Blues singer mixes music, culture

CHICAGO The Skokie native travels the world performing his music, often honoring his family's heritage by wearing a Native American headdress at his concerts.

Clearwater wore his headdress at a show in Rawa, Poland.

"The Indian people they went through the same kind of oppression that black people did, so I wear it in honor of the American Indian," said Clearwater.

Eddy 'The Chief' Clearwater travels the world making more than 200 appearances a year. He said Europeans often have a greater appreciation for the blues than in America.

"What with the blues it had to go to Europe and the Europeans had to bring it back to us-- like look at what you have right here in your own country," said Clearwater.

In 2007, Clearwater received Skokie's first Arts Legacy Honor Award. A day was dedicated to him.

"I was caught totally by surprise and I am highly appreciative of it and I am proud to be in Skokie as a resident...I feel back home," said Clearwater.

Clearwater, who was born in Macon, Mississippi, as Edward Harrington, learned how to play the guitar with his left hand as a child.

"I want give as much back to the blues as the blues has given to me because it's very important for the younger generation to hear. This is where we came from this is our culture. I want make sure it continues into the next generation," said Clearwater.

For more information on Clearwater, visit

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