Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Gary Clark Jr. at the Bowery Ballroom

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Gary Clark Jr. began playing guitar while in the sixth grade. Clark played small gigs throughout his teens, jamming with adult musicians in local venues. Jimmie Vaughan and others in the Austin music community helped Clark along his musical path, facilitating his ascent in the Texas rock circuit. This ascent mushroomed globally, and included performances at many festivals, including the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival, where he played guitar with Eric Clapton. Clark released his second album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, on September 11, 2015.

When Clark's concert at this summer's Governor's Ball was literally washed out, he was booked into the Bowery Ballroom. Opening the set with his breakthrough "Bright Lights, Big City," Clark and his trio (impressive guitarist King Zapata, bassist Johnny Bradley, drummer Johnny Radelat) charged into 2.5 hours of blues and blues-inspired songs and guitar licks. Songs were filled with lengthy and sometimes lightning licks, most of the time with just a little wah-wah and fuzz at times, but mostly the actions were in the fingers, not the foot pedals. Clark sang the slow burning "Cold Blooded" in a near falsetto and slow jammed on "You Saved Me," while escalating the tempo with "Ain't Messin' Around" and "Don’t Owe You a Thang." Some songs were more rhythm & blues, others were funky, while other were downright rockers with plenty of distortion. Clark demonstrated the many facets of music that have been kissed by the blues.

Visit Gary Clark Jr. at www.garyclarkjr.com.