NEPA Scene Staff

Scranton bluesman Clarence Spady shares confessional new single ‘Surrender’

Scranton bluesman Clarence Spady shares confessional new single ‘Surrender’
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

Today, acclaimed Pennsylvania bluesman Clarence Spady released “Surrender,” the debut single from his first album in 13 years.

Not one to hide from the mistakes of his past, nor to let his guard down long enough for those demons to return, Spady was inspired to write “Surrender” after one of his daily recovery group meetings held at a local church. The theme that morning was surrender. At the conclusion of the meeting, he sat down at the piano and the initial seeds were planted. For many mornings thereafter, he returned to that piano and his feelings continued to emerge into this intensely emotional composition.

The song was recorded at Red Rock Recording Studio in Saylorsburg and engineered, mixed, and mastered by Kent Heckman. In August, Spady signed with Nola Blue Records in Lancaster, who plan to release the full album in 2021.

Music journalist Bill Dahl wrote, “With the release of the emotionally charged ‘Surrender,’ Clarence Spady reclaims his place as one of the fieriest and most intense blues guitarists and vocalists of his generation.”

A longtime fixture of the Northeast music scene, the Scranton-based singer, songwriter, and guitarist has been a regular performer at Greenwich Village’s iconic Terra Blues club, where he has been captivating travelers from all over the world with his guitar virtuosity and magnetic stage presence for nearly 30 years.

Born Clarence Sloan Spady on July 1, 1961 in Paterson, New Jersey, he is known to play with depth and sensitivity, effortlessly combining blues, jazz, funk, Latin, and rock into his own unique style. His moving guitar play, rough street-edged vocals, songwriting, and live improvisations are demonstrated with every performance.

Spady was nominated for Best New Artist Debut in the 1997 W.C. Handy Awards following his debut release, “Nature of the Beast” (Evidence Records, 1996). His sophomore release, “Just Between Us” (Severn Records, 2008), garnered a Blues Music Award nomination for Soul Blues Album of the Year. He has performed internationally in support of both albums and plans to resume touring as soon as restrictions are lifted.

At 59 years old, Spady has quite literally spent his lifetime performing, ever since his debut at the local Elks Club at age five, when he played “High Heeled Sneakers” with his uncle’s R&B band. Named one of Living Blues magazine’s “Top 40 Guitarists Under 40” in 1996, his bright future was derailed by ongoing struggles with substance abuse and addiction that plagued him for many years. Now, with the wisdom that only hindsight can bring, Spady shines brightly from a solid place of physical, emotional, and spiritual strength, committed to recapturing his musical trajectory and reaching new heights.

For label president Sallie Bengtson, it is an exciting time to be working with Spady.

“Clarence has the kind of soulful intensity that can’t be taught, but only acquired through a combination of his God-given talents and life experiences. Nurturing and inspiring that creative force is already yielding exciting results, and we have only begun to scratch the surface. I’m eager to reintroduce this incredible talent to the worldwide blues community in the months ahead.”

Scott Goldman, who has managed Spady’s career since 1991, said, “From fourth grade when I first heard Clarence perform to today as we embark on an exciting new partnership with Nola Blue Records, I’m proud of Clarence for his resilience in the face of many obstacles. We are both so excited for this opportunity to share his transcendent musical ability with the world.”

“I’m like a child at Christmas time,” Spady said following his signing to Nola Blue. “Thank God! I can finally play the blues for the world to hear. Stay tuned.”

See NEPA Scene’s photos of the Clarence Spady Band performing at the 2019 Briggs Farm Blues Festival here.

Photo by Robb Malloy and Tammy Heid-Malloy/Moon’s Eye Media/NEPA Scene