The Show: Wednesday, December 5, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
J&J’s Blues Bar

By Ken Shimamoto

W.C. Clark occupies a position in the Austin blues constellation roughly analogous to that held by Robert Ealey in Fort Worth. Originally a bassist, he later switched to guitar and spent some time on the road with the band for soul singer Joe Tex. When young white players started to show up on the Austin blues scene, Clark was quick to form alliances with them, first playing with Angela Strehli in Southern Feeling, then forming Triple Threat Review with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton. Clark co-wrote “Cold Shot,” a big hit for Vaughan in the 1980s and still a bar-band staple.

Clark celebrated his 50th birthday in 1989 by appearing on Austin City Limits with Vaughan, Barton, Strehli, Kim Wilson, and Charlie Sexton, and went on to release three c.d.’s on now-defunct Black Top Records. (All three discs are available from Clark’s web site, www.wcclark.com.) In March 1997, tragedy struck when two people close to him, his fiancée and his drummer, were killed in a van accident outside Dallas. Still, he returned to performing later that year.

His current release, From Austin With Soul, on Chicago-based Alligator Records, finds him in a Memphis soul bag that de-emphasizes his tasteful, spare guitar work in favor of his Al Green-inspired vocal approach. Besides performing five originals, Clark covers Clarence Carter’s “Snatching It Back,” O.V. Wright’s “I’ve Been Searching,” and Lee Dorsey’s “Get Out of My Life, Woman,” and partners with ex-Austinite Marcia Ball on Oliver Sain’s “Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing.” The Texas Horns, led by longtime Clark collaborator-producer, saxophonist Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff, play a crucial role in replicating the distinctive sound of the classic Hi and Stax horn sections.

Clark’s a versatile, engaging performer who owns a big chunk of Texas blues history. The house should be rockin’.

Sat at J&J’s Blues Bar, 937 Woodward St, FW. 817-870-BEER.


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