Blues great Willie Clayton is live and uncut at Blues & BarBQue concert in Atlanta

Willie Clayton talks exclusively to Tall Boy about his career & the Blues

As the headliner for this November 2016 concert, Willie Clayton does what he does best and the crowd loved it. Concert-goers attending the Blues & BarBQue Charity Birthday event at the Museum Bar were treated to his raw and genuine brand of blues that sets him apart from any and all other blues performers.

True to his philosophy and his lifestyle, the  music spans several decades that started in Mississippi when he was 8-years old. Accordingly, he will tell you how he took his talent on the road at 11-years old with stops in Tennessee and finally in Chicago. A chance to open for Al Green at that age brought him the recognition, inspiration and involvement with musicians and artists of various genres. That long list includes some of the greatest names such as Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Rufus Thomas, B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Little Milton, Isaac Hayes, Howlin’ Wolf, Tyrone Davis, Aretha Franklin and it goes on. Fact of the matter, Clayton has also performed, recorded or collaborated with more contemporary artists such as Jeff Lorber, Ying Yang Twins, Dave Hollister, Audrey Wheeler, General Crook and Bobby McClure. But he always stays true to his roots.

Although he is billed as one of the greatest Chicago blues legends alive today, and despite his recording 25 albums in his rich career, he will school you about how his home state Mississippi is still the birth of down-home Delta blues. He believes it’s something in the water, or maybe it’s that “G” chord” that defines the foundation of blues. For whatever it is, he lives with the belief that “greatness does not come from a keyboard.” There’s truth in this because his music is as live as it can get.

His many hits have graced the mainstream Billboard charts, most notably “A Woman Knows,” “Party Like We Used to Do,” “I Love Me Some You, and “Boom Boom Boom.” You don’t get that type of music from pushing buttons or sampling others, which defines Clayton as an original. Building upon these successes, he’s able to further define the sound of the blues as all-encompassing. Quite simply, all American music is built on or derives their sound from Blues, and if you listen closely to Hip-Hop, R&B, Country, Pop, and Gospel you’ll hear it.

So, with is whirlwind appearance in Atlanta, the man of integrity who just wants to give his audience more than 100% with each performance, states emphatically he will never play his audience for a joke. His newly released album “Untamable” features the song “Girl I Want Your Body,’ proving Willie Clayton is still the real deal.

  • Joseph Walker, III


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