*For over four decades, Bill Clifton has worked hard, honing his craft, playing Blues. He’s performed between 150 to 200 shows per year in North America, Europe, and other regions such as Mexico, New Zealand and Fiji (with the Mofo Party Band).
*He is known for his high octane guitar work and stage antics, leaving never a dull moment during a performance. Employing a mixture of Chicago Blues, Texas Blues, Delta Blues, North Mississippi Hill Blues and R&B music styles always keep things fresh and interesting. No two songs will sound the same and Bill is constantly striving to make his music better. Along with his musicianship Bill has strong work ethics when it comes to his music; paying attention to even the smallest detail, and has experience songwriting, recording, engineering and music production. Aside from that his main goal is to have fun with his music.
*Performing and in many cases headlining major blues and music festival such as: San Francisco Blues Fest., U.S.; BB King Music Fest., U.S.; Sacramento Blues Fest, U.S.; Modesto Blues Fest. U.S.; Sonora Blues Fest. U.S.; Peer Blues Fest., Belgium; Kwadendamme Blues Fest., Netherlands; Keeping the Blues Alive Fest., Netherlands; Polish Boogie Fest., Poland; Blues Express Fest., Poland; Seven Nights To Blues Fest., France; Jazz and Blues Rallye, Luxembourg; Fiji International Jazz & Blues Fest., Fiji Islands; and many other notable festivals, concert and club venues.
*Sharing the stage with many famous artist such as: BB King, Mavis Staples, Los Lobos, Joe Bonamassa, Charlie Musselwhite, James Harman, James Cotton, Little Milton, John Mahall, Huey Lewis, Tommy Castro, Ron Thompson, Bo Diddley, Rod Piazza, North Mississippi Allstars, Luther Tucker, Kim Wilson, Johnny Winter, Leon Russel, Big Bill Morganfield to name just a few.
*Winner of and multiple nominee for Modesto Area Music Awards and recipient of the “Declaration of Appreciation” from the State of California supporting the arts.
*Toured and recorded with Big Bill Morganfield (Grammy nominate, Blues Hall of Fame member and son of the legendary Muddy Waters). Bill Clifton’s guitar skills were featured on several tracks of Big Bill’s critically acclaimed recent CD release “Bloodstains on the Wall”.
Co-founder (with brother, John Clifton) of Fresno’s The Mofo Party Band with extensive touring and many recording projects, Bill Clifton is a seasoned professional and one of the most widely accepted performers from California’s Central Valley and beyond. The Mofo Party Band releasing five Studio Albums and two live albums, selling many thousands of CD’s worldwide during the bands run as one of the area’s top Blues touring act. Bill’s earliest influences were Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Bill recounts, “The first two songs I can remember hearing when I was a young child was Johnny Cash, Ring Of Fire and Elvis’s, Jailhouse Rock. When I heard those two songs I knew that there was true magic in music.” From that point Bill’s interest and influences grew to include the likes of: John Mayall, Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Freddie, Albert and BB King, Magic Sam, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush, R.L. Burnside, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Jazz greats such as Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Kenny Burrell and too many others to mention.
“BILL CLIFTON’S CHICKEN AND WHISKEY BAND” is a melding of some of Fresno’s most notorious Blues musicians. Bill Clifton and drummer Craig Carter go back many years to Bill’s first band from the mid 70’s, The Omar Blues Band. Bill and Craig remained friends through the years, and reconnected musically in 2015. Craig’s powerful style kept him playing in many Fresno Bands including The Showdown Blues Band where Craig started working with guitarist Paul Chaney doing regional festivals and clubs. Chaney - deeply rooted in the blues since his early youth with several family members who are also accomplished blues and R&B musicians. Paul Chaney’s snappy authentic blues guitar stylings, and vocals give a soulful blend to Clifton’s aggressive hard driving edge. Bass Player, Jeff Henry is well versed in blues, jazz, and rock music and tenure with great bands such as Fresno’s, Blues West Orchestra; L. A. based, Johnny Mastro and Mama’s Boys; and Bay Area blues great, Ron Thompson. Jeff has played many festival and club venues in the U.S. and Europe including the San Francisco Blues Fest. Bill and Jeff have been long time friends and sometimes collaborators for many years.
* Bill Clifton, lead guitar and vocals;
* Paul Chaney, guitar and vocals;
* Jeff Henry, bass guitar;
*Craig Carter, drums;
The coming together of the four friends and fellow artists resulted in:
The band has proven a new fresh exiting sound with many positive revues from recent performances.
They are currently working on a new studio album which is scheduled for release: June 2018, on independent label, Pro-Tec Records.
Written by: Graham Wright
freelance writer/reporter 2017
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