Gary Clark, Jr. | The Roxy | Atlanta, GA | 4.05.03
I first had the pleasure of experiencing Gary Clark Jr.’s music back on February 15th (which also happened to be his 19th birthday) at the Continental Club in his hometown of Austin, TX. His soulful guitar licks and flowing vocals, along with his original material, grabbed my attention almost immediately. I was genuinely in awe. I knew right then that I was experiencing something special... music that matters.
This young Texas blues guitarist/singer wunderkind is currently on his first Southeastern tour and is sharing the bill with perennial Texas blues man Jimmie Vaughn. To my great fortune, the tour included a stop at Roxy Theatre here in Atlanta, GA. Even though the Final Four was going on, there was no way that I was going to miss this gig.
By Josh Verduzco
I arrived early at The Roxy and was greeted by the steadily growing line of Jimmy Vaughn fans waiting to get in. The doors soon swung open, and I made my way through the lobby into the dimly lit theater. As more people came streaming in, I began over hearing conversations regarding whom Gary Clark, Jr. was. I decided to talk him up the best I could. These blues lovers were now looking forward to the opening act, because my enthusiasm was unmistakable. The anticipation of hearing fresh new music was spreading throughout the venue.
Finally the lights went down at a little before 9:00PM. Three figures emerged from the side of the stage, and immediately began playing: Gary Clark Jr. on guitar/vocals, Jay Moeller on drums, and Matt Ferrell on keys (Gary was center, Jay to his right, and Matt to his left). From the get-go, this young trio of musicians had the crowd moving. Jay kept the tempo steady on the drums while Matt kept the groove up from behind on what I think was a Hammond B3. Gary’s strong axe play and smooth vocals kept the small but growing crowd wanting more. His guitar solos were the highlight of the show. Gary moves his fingers up and down the frets with amazing agility. They were up there having fun too, wearing huge grins on their faces. The chemistry between these three guys is something most bands wish they had. After the second song, members of the crowd began yelling, "What’s your name?," since Gary had not introduced himself or his band mates before going into the first number. Unfortunately, the set only lasted fifty minutes or so. They played everything from Howlin’ Wolf to songs from Gary’s own CD, titled Worry No More, which are all written and arranged by Gary.
By Laura Rojo
The crowd did not want these guys to stop playing. The applause had gotten louder and longer after every song, but alas it was time for them to exit stage left. I decided to check out the merchandise stand in the lobby and people were already buying up his CD. Gary graciously appeared shortly thereafter and mingled with his new fans and signed autographs for all those who requested it.
Even if you are not a blues fan you will want to catch Gary live, if possible. Check out his website at www.garyclarkjr.com. Do yourself a favor while you’re there and get a copy of his debut release Worry No More. It includes eleven original tracks that combine to clock in at an impressive 52:30. The future of Texas Blues is upon us.
JamBase | Atlanta
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