Austin-based guitarist Gary Clark Jr. is a man of few words. Rather than waste time with between-song banter, he lets his music do the talking for him, and on this night at House of Blues, it spoke volumes.
...off of Gary Clark Jr.'s Sonny Boy Slim
The artist effortlessly hopped from one genre to another — offering tastes of the blues (“If Trouble Was Money,” an Albert Collins cover), rock (”Grinder”), gospel (“Church”), and a healthy helping of soulful R&B (including “Our Love” and “You Saved Me,” both from his latest release, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim).
Kicking off the show with three songs from his 2012 debut, Blak and Blu, including “Ain’t Messin ‘Round” and “When My Train Pulls In,” Clark greeted the capacity crowd with, simply, “Feels good to be here” and ended the night after 105 minutes of prodigious musicianship saying, “Thanks for rocking with us. Peace.”
Wearing his trademark wide-brimmed hat, the guitarist — who’ll be playing Coachella next month and returns to San Diego for a gig at Humphreys in August — wrapped up his regular set with “Shake,” singing “Don’t stop, baby, keep on moving.” And that he did, playing three additional songs during his 20-minute encore, including the soulful groove and Slim standout “Down to Ride.”
While most of Clark’s songs featured lofty licks, the highpoint of the night came during “Numb,” when he unleashed a blistering, two-minute-plus guitar solo marked by the distortion that often yields comparisons to Jimi Hendrix. It was a striking reminder that Clark’s music knows no boundaries.
- Concert: Gary Clark Jr.
- Date: March 11
- Venue: House of Blues
- Seats: General admission