Vocalist Sharon Clark hails from the blues-drenched community of East Saint Louis, where she began singing professionally in the early 70s. She was eventually noticed by legendary saxman Oliver Sain, who hired her as lead vocalist in his Saint Louis Kings of Rhythm. Clark’s current style reflects both the passion of her gospel background and the jumping exuberance associated with Sain. Her voice is a unique combination of sweetness and gutteral soul; like Koko Taylor, she can compensate for shopworn or trite material by pouring on the emotional heat, but she’s also capable of nuances and subtleties Taylor can’t approach. Clark is a versatile purveyor of sophisticated blues and R & B honesty; if she can summon a bit more imagination in her choice of material, there’s no telling where her talent might take her. Tonight and Saturday, Blue Chicago, 937 N. State; 642-6261.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bruce Powell.