Presse Archiv - William Clarke Heavy Hittin' West Coast Harp (LP, 180gram Vinyl) - Living Blues magazine (US)
Even a cursory survey of the obituaries and tributes that circulated after William Clarke's untimely passing in late 1996 reveals one consistent theme: Clarke was perceived by fans and critics alike as one of the very best harmonica players to ever master the instrument. The blues world is no stranger to hyperbole, for sure, but the praise for Clarke's artistry was (and still is) clearly merited. His dexterous style could oscillate between as-sertive and aggressive to sweet and subtle as the song required, and his rich, fat tone—es-pecially when blowing through amplification equipment—established a benchmark that few have matched. Clarke, a native of Southern California, released several indie label recordings during the late 1970s and 1980s, a time where he honed his craft, as Rod Piazza had before him, under the tutelage of George "Harmoni-ca" Smith. But it wasn't until his partnership with Alligator Records in the 1990s that Clarke started to garner national and international at-tention.
Presse Archiv - William Clarke Heavy Hittin' West Coast Harp (LP, 180gram Vinyl) - musicstreetjournal
Heavy Hittin' West Coast Harp (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill
The new LP is a compilation of music from a killer blues artist who was not well-known outside certainly circles. It includes a host of studio recordings along with a live track. There are some definite rarities here. That's true in part because his music is out of print and was never widely released, but also because there is one track that's previously unreleased. There is a healthy mix of blues and jazz here. While the recordings here are not of modern quality expectations, they sound good and really do represent the era in which they were released. The records if a heavy vinyl album with a gatefold sleeve. Overall, this is a great product that's well worth having for blues harp fan