NEPA Scene Staff

Scranton bluesman Clarence Spady will release 1st album in 13 years, ‘Surrender,’ on May 21

Scranton bluesman Clarence Spady will release 1st album in 13 years, ‘Surrender,’ on May 21
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From a press release:

Today, Scranton blues singer/songwriter Clarence Spady announced an official release date for his highly anticipated new album on Nola Blue Records in Lancaster as well as a series of CD release shows.

Due out May 21, “Surrender” is a strikingly personal collection of nine tracks, including seven original compositions. A retrospective of his storied life and career, this pivotal release bridges the challenges of a past plagued by addiction with the bright promise of a blossoming future.

A 12-page collectible booklet of musical history, photos, and song information is included with each CD. Three previously unreleased originals, recorded live at the River Street Jazz Cafe in 1999, concludes the album. This glimpse into the dynamics of a live Clarence Spady performance whets the appetite for the return of live music that is emerging on the horizon.

“Taken as a whole, ‘Surrender’ could be construed as a summarization of Spady’s life,” noted music historian Bill Dahl. “The riveting contemporary blues guitarist never fails to satisfy when he gets inside a studio.”

Released last October, the title track, “Surrender,” has received a silver medal in the Global Music Awards and is a current semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. His second single, a cover of Lucky Peterson’s “When My Blood Runs Cold,” pays tribute to his longtime friendship with the late Texas blues icon.

“‘Surrender’ represents a fresh start for Clarence, both personally and professionally,” label president Sallie Bengtson said.

“The support and recognition from radio, media, and fans in response to the first two singles has been outstanding, and we look forward to sharing the complete collection.”

According to Spady’s manager Scott Goldman, “Clarence is thriving from the genuine connections and team support that surrounds him, from musicians to engineer to label, promotion, and management. These things, along with the everlasting love of his son Khalique, are inspiring him to write and develop more and more music. ‘Surrender’ is just the tip of the iceberg. I know the world is going to love these songs and musicianship!”

To say that “Surrender” is greatly anticipated would be an understatement. This triumphant record is only Spady’s third in a quarter century and his first in 13 years. He was nominated for Best New Artist Debut in the 1997 W.C. Handy Awards following his debut album, “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, so he is currently preparing for an exciting weekend of CD release shows – Friday, May 21 at the Stoner Grille in Lancaster; Saturday, May 22 at the River Street Jazz Cafe (667 N. River St., Plains) for his local fans; and Sunday, May 23 at Terra Blues in New York City, conditions permitting. Pre-orders for the album will begin on Friday, May 7.

A longtime fixture of the Northeast music scene, the 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.

At 59 years old, he 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.

“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,” Bengtson commented.

“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,” Goldman added.

“We are both so excited for this opportunity to share his transcendent musical ability with the world.”

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