Were You There?
W.C. Clark is known as "the Godfather
of Austin Blues", and this set, recorded live at The Saxon Pub in
Austin, lets you know exactly why he was given that name.
Backed by a crack band featuring John
Fannin (guitar), Ty Grimes/Nico Leophonte (drums), Pete McClaran/Gerald
Spencer (bass), Tom Robinson (sax) and Jamie Hilboldt (piano/organ),
Clark delivers a classy set of soul and blues that can only enhance
his already burgeoning reputation.
Clark opens with a swinging rendition
of Sam Cooke’s "Having A Party", a number that highlights the smooth
soulfulness of his vocals and the fluidity of his guitar playing. –
maintaining the feel and mood on "Nightshift" which highlights
Robinson’s mellifluous sax. The Crescent City classic "Hey Pocky
Way" is given a Texan slant that is again a feature for Robinson’s
soaring sax – "Georgia On My Mind" is tailor-made for Clark’s
wistful vocals – whilst on Jimmy Reed’s "You Don’t Have To Go",
Clark slips into blues mode with soul-infused vocals underpinned by
rattling piano and funky sax.
Another Reed classic, "Big Boss Man",
is given a seriously funky work-out – Van Morrison’s "Bright Side Of
The Road" is given a joyous reading that matches the soulfulness of
the original – Johnny Copeland’s "Down On Bended Knee" finds Clark’s
anguished vocals echoed by Hilboldt’s harrowing organ – whilst
"Stand By Me" and "What’d I Say" further enhance Clark’s reputation
as a purveyor of quality soul and blues.
"Were You There?" – I wish I was - and
so will you. But in the meantime, treat yourself to the next best
thing and buy this CD. (