W.C. Clark

Record Review

Phases and Stages

W.C. Clark

From Austin With Soul (Alligator) W.C. Clark spends most of his time on the road these days, and for this reason locals sometimes take him for granted. After all, the guitarist has been a stalwart of the local blues scene for as long as any of us can remember, over 30 years now. Well, let me tell you, Clark is back with a passion, and he's laid down the gauntlet for all those ubiquitous SRV wannabes who continue to flock to our fair city. Take note, y'all. After three critically acclaimed projects for the now-defunct Black Top label, one of which garnered him a coveted W.C. Handy Award for Best Soul/Blues Album, the "Godfather" of the Austin blues scene raises the ante on this debut for the independent Alligator imprint, the premier blues label in the biz. The result is a glorious homegrown affair, recorded and produced south of the river at Arlyn Studios with a cadre of crack local musicians, that stands proudly as the most satisfying set of good rockin', soul-drenched blues to come out of Austin in quite some time. Clark's potent combination of gritty Texas guitar blues and shuffles wedded to the smooth, gospel-rich Stax/Hi sound of Memphis is a total knockout. Two of the many highlights here include a saucy romp with homegirl and labelmate Marcia Ball on the Ike & Tina-esque "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing," followed by a devastating vocal performance by Clark on the heartbreaking soul ballad, "How Long Is a Heartache Supposed to Last?" that wrings out every last drop of emotion. Welcome home, W.C., we've missed you.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey
Conspirators (Record Review)

Reid Jowers, Sept. 27, 2019

Texas Platters
The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Jay Trachtenberg
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 16, 2021

Top Books of 2020 That Struck a Literary or Musical Chord
Top Books of 2020 That Struck a Literary or Musical Chord
A writer's fictional joyride, a rock & roll memoir, and jazz fairy tales are books that sang this year

Dec. 18, 2020

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle