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All Music Guide:
Once dismissed by purists as a Chuck Berry imitator (and an accurate one at that), tall, lean, and lanky Chicago southpaw Eddy Clearwater is now recognized as a prime progenitor of West Side-style blues guitar. That's not to say he won't liven up a gig with a little duck-walking or a frat party rendition of "Shout"; after all, Clearwater brings a wide array of influences to the party. Gospel, country, '50s rock, and deep-down blues are all incorporated into his slashing guitar attack. But when he puts his mind to it, "The Chief" (a nickname accrued from his penchant for donning Native American headdresses on-stage) is one of the Windy City's finest bluesmen.
Eddy Harrington split Birmingham, AL, for Chicago in 1950, initially billing himself on the city's South and West sides as Guitar Eddy. His uncle, Rev. Houston H. Harrington, handed his nephew his initial recording opportunity; the good reverend operated a small label, Atomic-H. Eddy made the most of it, laying down a shimmering minor-key instrumental, "A-Minor Cha Cha," and the Berry-derived "Hillbilly Blues" (both on Delmark's Chicago Ain't Nothin' but a Blues Band anthology).
Drummer Jump Jackson invented Eddy's stage moniker as a takeoff on the name of Muddy Waters. As Clear Waters, he waxed another terrific Berry knock-off, "Cool Water," for Jackson's LaSalle logo. By the time he journeyed to Cincinnati in 1961 to cut the glorious auto rocker "I Was Gone," a joyous "A Real Good Time," and the timely "Twist Like This" for Federal Records producer Sonny Thompson, he was officially Eddy Clearwater. Things were sparse for quite a while after that; Clearwater occasionally secured a live gig dishing out rock and country ditties when blues jobs dried up.
But Rooster Blues' 1980 release of The Chief, an extraordinarily strong album by any standards, announced to the world that Eddy Clearwater's ascendancy to Chicago blues stardom was officially underway. The '90s found Clearwater waxing two encores for Rooster Blues, a set for Blind Pig (1992's Help Yourself), Mean Case of the Blues, in 1996 on his reactivated Cleartone Records, followed by Cool Blues Walk in 1998, Chicago Daily Blues in 1999, and Reservation Blues in mid-2000. With consistently exciting live performances, Clearwater cemented his reputation as a masterful showman whose principal goal is to provide his fans with a real good time. Keeping in that tradition, Clearwater teamed up with like minded showmen Los Straitjackets, releasing Rock n Roll City in 2003 on Rounder, followed five years later by his first session for the Alligator label, West Side Strut.
Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater is the stage name of Edward Harrington (born January 10, 1935), an American Chicago blues musician. Blues Revue said Eddy plays “joyous rave-ups…he testifies with stunning soul fervor and powerful guitar. One of the blues’ finest songwriters.”
Early life 
He was born in Macon, Mississippi, on January 10, 1935. His family moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1948. He taught himself to play guitar at an early age (left-handed and upside down) and began performing with various gospel groups, including the Five Blind Boys Of Alabama.
Clearwater is best known for being part of the Chicago blues scene since the 1950s. He performs both within the U.S. (especially around the Chicago, Illinois area, where he resides) and internationally, such as at blues festivals in France, Germany, Denmark, Poland and the Netherlands. His sound has been described as “hard-driving Windy City blues, soul-tinged balladry, acoustic country blues and gospel uplift….good natured fretboard fireworks.”
When he left the South for Chicago in 1950, he worked as a dishwasher while living with an uncle. Through his uncle he met many of Chicago’s blues masters, including fellow left-handed guitarist Otis Rush and Magic Sam. Once he heard the music of Chuck Berry, he began performing some of Berry’s material as well as writing in a Berry-influenced style. He still regularly performs songs by Rush, Magic Sam and Berry as well as his own original material. In 1953, now known as Guitar Eddy, he began working regularly in Chicago’s south and west side bars. His first single, the Chuck Berry-styled “Hill Billy Blues”, was recorded in 1958 for his uncle’s Atomic H label, under the moniker Clear Waters, a name given to him by his manager Jump Jackson as wordplay on the more famous Muddy Waters.
He recorded a few more singles and began receiving local radio airplay. Eventually the name Clear Waters morphed into Eddy Clearwater. He worked steadily throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and he was among the first blues musicians to find success with Chicago’s north side college crowd. He was a regular Saturday act on the Kingston Mine's north stage while bluesman Linsey Alexander played on the south stage. He toured Europe twice during the 1970s and appeared on BBC Television. Clearwater has been nicknamed The Chief and sometimes wears Native American headdress.
The release of his 1980 album The Chief under the Rooster Blues label announced that Clearwater's ascendancy to Chicago blues stardom was officially underway. Two encores for Rooster Blues, Help Yourself (1992) and Mean Case of the Blues (1996), cemented Clearwater's reputation. He became known as a masterful blues showman whose principal goal is to provide his fans with a real good time. Cool Blues Walk followed in 1998, followed by Chicago Daily Blues the next year, with Reservation Blues released in mid 2000. In 2004, he was nominated for a Grammy Award with Los Straitjackets for their collaboration, Rock 'N' Roll City.
Vintage Guitar described his 2008 Alligator Records album, West Side Strut as “great blues. Eddy’s fat, voluptuous tone shows a masterful command of the guitar. It’s hard to believe he can reach such heights in a recording studio. One listen and you’ll wonder why Clearwater’s name isn’t respectfully spoken in the same breath as Freddie King and Otis Rush.”
Personal life 
Clearwater is married to his manager, Renee Greenman. Together they once owned 'Reservation Blues', a Wicker Park (Chicago) blues bar and restaurant. It is no longer in operation.
He is the father of two children, Jason and Edgar Harrington. He has three stepchildren, as well as two grandchildren.
He is a cousin of blues harmonica player Carey Bell.
On 8 January 1997, Clearwater underwent successful triple heart bypass surgery.