Chicago's Eddy Clearwater is a southpaw guitar inferno whose Windy City blues are laced with vintage rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, country, and gospel. He even recorded his last album with the surfabilly band Los Straitjackets. Clearwater's new one, West Side Strut (Alligator), a tribute to his Chi-Town neighborhood, is a solid foray into multiple facets of the blues ranging from the sizzling shuffle "Blue Over You," to the stomping, horn-driven "They Call Me the Chief," and a raging Chuck Berry-like rocker "Too Old to Get Married," with guest Lonnie Brooks chipping in scorching guitar licks. Brooks's son, Ronnie Baker Brooks, wrote some of the material, added his own guitar and vocals, and produced, adeptly capturing Clearwater's grit and guitar magic. This show, and Saturday's featuring the funky blues of Big James & the Chicago Playboys, also mark the release of the live album, Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Festival 2007, featuring performances from Clearwater, James, and other local and national blues stalwarts recorded last June in Peavey Plaza.
Fri., March 21, 8 p.m., 2008