Artist – Gary Clark Jr.
Album – The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim (2015)
Check it out – https://itun.es/gb/YBc78
Gary Clark Jr. is a blues musician from Texas, USA. As a guitarist and vocalist Gary is influenced mainly by the blues, but interestingly incorporates a range of other style into his music, from soul to jazz, country to even hip-hop. Although he has yet to reach the heights of other blues players such as Joe Bonamassa and John Mayer, Clark is still quite young in his career gaining numerous accolades. Clark has up till now played alongside B.B.King, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck at the Crossroads festival, performed in the film ‘Chief’ and co-written/recorded with artists such as Foo Fighters and Alicia Keys.
If Joe Bonamassa is the technical/virtuoso blues guitar player and John Mayer is the pop blues artist then I feel from listening to this album that Gary Clark Jr is the most authentic blues player. Maybe it’s a subliminal thing, seeing as Clark is the only black musician out of these three., playing in a genre created by black musicians. But truthfully I think along with Clarks vocal tone he also has a deeper understanding of the simplicity in the blues and the ability to add its influences from gospel to jazz. ‘The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim’ starts with the track ‘The Healing’ which incorporate a range of Clarks styles, most notably are the drums which carry a simplistic but hard hitting hip-hopish beat, allowing Clark to create groove within his guitar playing and vocal delivery. The song ‘Church’ is also a particular favourite of mine, this one a little simpler instrumentally, including just vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica and a little percussion. ‘Church’ really brings the blues back to its basics, speaking about religion and including a vocal style from Clark and his backing singers which relates closely to gospel.
‘The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim’ is an authentic and fantastically written/performed blues album. Gary Clark Jr is truly on his way to becoming the next blues guitarist to inspire the younger generation, just as B.B.King does, Eric Clapton does and John Mayer does.