I got to know Clarence and the Blind Boys’ long-time guitarist, Sam Butler. Sam, a fabulous singer in his own write, appeared with me in an early version of the New York Rock and Soul Review in the nineties.
Sam Butler started singing as a child, fronting his family group as "Little Junior and Butleraires". He began playing guitar with the Blind Boys in 1972 and he's been at Clarence's side ever since, singing, playing and arranging.
After Clarence, Sam's smooth vocal style and soulful guitar have defined the Blind Boys’ sound on recordings and in their exciting live performances.
As for Clarence, what can I say? He was a charter member of the Blind Boys when they first came together at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in 1939. But age cannot defeat this gospel master.
With his enormous range, he can sing it all - sweet, funky, hollerin' - and when he goes down low, he can scare the devil right out his skin.