Legendary Chicago bluesman, Eddy Clearwater died today. He was 83. Born Edward Harrington in Macon, Mississippi, Eddy moved to Chicago in 1950, taking on the nickname “Guitar Eddy”. His agent suggested Clear Water, playing off of bluesman Muddy Waters. Eventually that morphed into Eddy Clearwater.
Clearwater perfected his own style of Blues, which he called “rock-a-blues”, a mixture of Blues, rock, rockabilly, country and gospel. His music career extended over six decades, and he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2016.
I first saw Eddy Clearwater live at a club in Des Moines called “Blues on Grand”. I tell you, it was one hell of a show. Of all the Blues acts I saw in Des Moines, I think Clearwater was my favorite. Eddy was such a showman, and I was mesmerized by his guitar play. Clearwater was self taught, and he played the guitar left-handed and upside down. My buddy who was at Blues on Grand with me said, “Watching him play is giving me a headache!” When Clearwater was on stage, he grabbed your attention, and didn’t let you go until he was done with you.
We sat close to the stage, although at BoG, no one sat very far from it. Just before a break, Clearwater called my buddy and I out from the stage. During the intermission, he came over to us and talked to us like we were old friends. Of course, he gave each of us a guitar pick. To this day, I still have mine; it’s fastened to the dash of my old Land Rover.
The NDSU Bison defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 23-21 today in Iowa City. What a great game. Iowa was ranked #15. The win maintains the Bisons’ streak of victories over FBS teams. Since 2010, NDSU has beaten Iowa State, Kansas State, Colorado State, Minnesota and now Iowa. The Bison have won five consecutive FCS National Championships.
A late run to Iowa last night through the rain. A very nice drive none the less, and a huge mental relief. It’s good to be back on the road. Let’s hope the 300 keeps rolling along.
A surprise perk: I have had no cruise control since I acquired the car. It didn’t bother me too much, since I’ve only owned one vehicle with it. After all the recent work to the car, and the search for a infrequent gas supply issue, on a whim I decided to give the cruise another shot as I ventured down I-35. Lo & behold, the car had a working cruise control.
I suddenly know how an ex-smoker feels… Now that the cruise works, what do I do with the right foot? It’s not natural.
On my last visit to Iowa, I observed a new road trip game. As one drives the lonely, two-lane blacktops in the Hawkeye State, there are numerous red-tailed hawks sitting on fenceposts, telephone poles and signposts. The object of the game, is to honk your car horn as you pass the hawk, hoping to get its attention.
Of the 20 or so hawk-honkings that I witnessed, I was amused to see that 95% of the hawks paid absolutely no attention to the honking what-so-ever. I still believe that the one that moved was nudged by a strong gust of wind.