Grammy weekend in LA is always filled with secret shows…surprise shows…shows you couldn’t get on the guest list even if you were sleeping with the doorman. 2013 was no exception: Muse @ the Grammy Museum. Frank Ocean @ the Ace. Deadmau5 @ House of Blues on Sunset. Justin Timberlake at the 4,000 capacity Palladium. Yet, with all those impressive names, Gary Clark Jr.’s late-night set at the Roxy was the golden ticket for serious live music obsessives. Moreover, for the guitar aficionados, it may have been a second coming.
Those may be tall words, but those who have seen the man perform and bend strings in such mind boggling ways, can attest that the statement is no lie. Hendrix, Clapton, Vaughn…Clark Jr. honestly deserves a place within the same breath. If you’ve heard his Blak and Blu album, you’re halfway there. If you saw him at festivals in 2011-2012, you’re 3/4’s there. Seeing him on his own, in any hall or theatre, is an experience that only the sounds and songs the man emanates can explain. He takes you ALL the way there in terms of blues guitar control and presence. ALL the way there in terms of soul.
Even if the boldface rocking blues isn’t your thing, if the shred doesn’t get your date off per se…GCJ can tone it down to Gaye/Pickett levels of soul brilliance that don’t come often enough anymore. There’s an actual poignancy to the man that hasn’t…s***, it hasn’t come around in YEARS through one man’s skill set in a live setting. Add to the fact a rhythm section that harkens back to the days of the Derek’s Dominoes and Hendrix’s Experience, what can you say or do? Trust the fact that the comparative name droppings do not come lightly in this rarest of occasions.
Currently GCJ is in Europe. He returns to the states in April with more festival dates. Visit his website for more information on live dates. Youtube him for clips. If you’re a lover of boots, seek out his Troubadour run. They’re out there and they are smoking. They will make all of this wording MUCH more relevant.
Visit www.garyclarkjr.com for more info.