“I’ve played through both good and bad speakers. Speakers that would take the punishment of the road and nightly performances and those that couldn’t make the grade at all. I like Eminence more and more each time I play through them. They are designed for the professional players.”
“If blues is played right,” says Austin, Texas native W.C. Clark, “it makes your soul feel clean.” Indeed, master guitarist/vocalist Clark – known as “The Godfather of Austin Blues” – has been playing the blues right and cleansing souls from the East side of Austin to stages around the world for over 40 years. And he’s been mentoring countless young blues and soul players in the finer points of the music for almost as long. Blues stars from Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan to Angela Strehli to Lou Ann Barton to Marcia Ball have all perfected their craft under Clark’s tutelage. Clark’s mix of modern Texas blues, searing guitar and heartfelt, Memphis-style soul vocals have made him a favorite of blues and R&B fans alike. The Houston Chronicle said Clark is “one of Austin’s most pervasive live performers…he is a powerful and poignant soul man with hard-earned blues wisdom.”
On his new album, From Austin With Soul, Clark not only makes his Alligator Records debut, he forcefully carries his soul-drenched blues to heights he’s previously only hinted at. Clark wrote five of the album’s 13 songs (Bitchy Men, Let It Rain, Got To Find A Lover, I’m Gonna Disappear, I Keep Hanging On), and included well-chosen covers from a variety of artists, including Clarence Carter (Snatching It Back), Gatemouth Brown (Midnight Hour Blues), Bobby Bland (Got Me Where You Want Me), Albert King (Get Out Of My Life, Woman), and Johnny Adams (Real Live Livin’ Hurtin’ Man). Clark’s emotional duet with former student and current labelmate Marcia Ball, on Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing, is only one of the album’s many musical highlights.
With From Austin With Soul, Clark is poised to take his soul-drenched blues to new heights. Clark has toured relentlessly for years, and he will hit the road hard in support of the album, including a performance at the Chicago Blues Festival in late May, 2002. Along the way he’ll meet up with old fans and friends and will undoubtedly gain new ones everywhere he plays. The rest of the world is now in on what the city of Austin has known for decades: W.C. Clark is an innovative and creative artist whose soulful singing and tasty guitar playing reach out from Austin, with soul, to all corners of the music-loving world.