The late California harp master, famed for his fabulous technique, huge tone and deep soul. "Honest, gritty, foot-stomping blues...superb, hard-driving harpist...heartfelt, inspired vocals"--DOWN BEAT
All songs written by William Clarke, Eyeball Music, BMI except Soon Forgotten by James Oden (Arc Music, BMI) and The Work Song by Nat Adderly (Upam Music Co., BMI)
William Clarke, Harmonica and Vocals
Alex Schultz, Lead Guitar
Zach Zunis, Rhythm Guitar
Fred Kaplan, Piano
Flaco "Slim" Medina, Acoustic Bass
Lee Campbell, Drums
Horns on Pawnshop Bound, With A Tear In My Eye, Going Down This Highway, and It's Been A Long Time:
John Marrotti, Trumpet and Valvebone
Jon Viau, Tenor Sax
Troy Jennings, Baritone Sax
On The Work Song and I Feel Like Jumping:
Willie Brinlee, Acoustic Bass
Eddie Clark, Drums
On Chasin' The Gator:
Tyler Pederson, Acoustic Bass
Jimi Bott, Drums
On Soon Forgotten and Driving My Life Away:
Al Blake, Guitar
Produced by William Clarke
Recorded at Pacifica Studios, Culver City, CA
Engineered by Glenn Nishida
Mixed by William Clarke; assisted by Glenn Nishida
Cover photo by Peter Amft
Back cover photo by David Horowitz
Cover design by Matt Minde
Mastered by Dr. Toby Mountain at Northeastern Digital, Southborough, MA
Special thanks to Dick Shurman, Jeannette Clarke, Charlie Musselwhite, George "Harmonica" Smith, Shakey Jake Harris, Roy, Elizabeth and Roscoe Clarke, Gina & Willie, Bruce Iglauer and Lamar's Records.
This album is dedicated to Jeannette Clarke
William Clarke is the real thing. He's a bluesman through and through. His harmonica and his vocals could only come from a man who has lived every word he sings and every note he plays.
He's been living the blues since he first picked up a harmonica at the age of sixteen and began sneaking into the Los Angeles ghetto clubs to learn at the feet of the blues masters. But he spent twenty years working a day job as a machinist and raising a family before he set out to make his career as a man. His music is a working man's music. You can feel the soul and sweat in every note (and see it when he's on the bandstand!).
He's still a working man, but now he's working as a bluesman, driving his own van across the country to over 200 gigs a year, playing three sets a night and blowin' like hell on every one of them.
Alligator has had the honor of bringing forward a lot of great bluesmen and blues women in the last twenty-one years. William Clarke is a proud addition to our family.
- BRUCE IGLAUER