Lead Guitarist for The Legendary Ohio Players, Clarence “Chet” Willis, Steps to the Forefront with New CD Release “The C-Dub Project”
Atlanta – As the lead guitarist for the Ohio Players, one of funk’s legendary bands, there is no argument that Clarence ‘Chet’ Willis understands the technology of rhythm. Willis’ history spans over 30 years either playing, singing, writing and/or producing on gold and platinum mega-hits like “Funky Worm,” “Rollercoaster,” “Honey,” “Skin Tight,” and “Fire!” The Ohio Players have long been lauded for laying the foundation for funk served sweet, sticky and soul-satisfying.
So when the notion hit him to join forces with his songwriting partner Harry “HarryO” McLoud and step out to create a sound of his own, “The C-Dub Project” was born! Adding a new dimension to a legacy of musical mastery, “The C-Dub Project” is an eclectic collection of refined funk that is hypnotic, haunting and toe-tapping. Mesmerizing and tantalizing, Willis and McLoud rock us to the next level with 12 ear-bending tracks that wind rhythm around the spectrum of possibilities.
Clarence originally started playing the guitar at an early age, being mainly influenced by the sounds of late night radio broadcasts, attending church with his family and the music he heard in his neighborhood by aspiring musical talents like himself. Early on in his musical journey, he started playing guitar for a local gospel group called The Gospelteers. He remained with them for over a decade. While in high school, he joined a band known as The Majestics. They recorded one single as The Majestics and later changed their name to The Overnite Low Show Band later evolving into the group SUN. In 1975, Clarence was recruited to join The Ohio Players and was nicknamed “Chet.” He remains with the Ohio Players to this day and still tours with the band.
As a young teenager in Dayton, Ohio, Harry saw The Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and became smitten with the electric guitar. He sought out his close friend Clarence Willis to teach him to play. This began Harry’s career in the music business in a variety of roles including, but not limited to guitarist/songwriter, road manager, personal manager, local concert promoter and public relations representative. Together Willis and McLoud have spent decades together on the road and in the studio via the incarnations of several bands.
With the “The C-Dub Project” they enchantingly blend elements of jazz, funk and old school creating a dreamy laidback soundscape. The opening track finds Willis on acoustic guitar and percussion teasing with a melodic Latin-tinged rift entitled “Peek-A-Boo” before breaking out and breaking down into “Someday Sundai,” a bass-heavy jam that hearkens the best of the ’80’s old school funk sensibility. “Is There Something on Your Mind?,” with its wistful refrain, washes over us like a warm summer breeze offering promises of unrequited love with “Anything” flowing like an ode to the ’70s with its comforting folksy appeal. “You Make Me Feel Like Woo!” tilts and turns the beat while “BluLyte” recalls the ambiance of blue light basement parties.
“This is new music for the old school audience,” expresses Willis. “Cool, smooth and groovin’ is how the music makes you feel. Whether you want to get your dance on, chill out and relax, or go for a ride, we feel ‘The C-Dub Project’ is right for all that and much more. And even though we had the old school audience in mind, our music appeals to everyone regardless of age.”
To get your “C-Dub” on, take a ride at www.thec-dubproject.com. “The C-Dub Project” may be for an old school audience, but it’s a new generation of sound!