Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

5

Gary Clark, Jr.: Live North America 2016

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
At first glance and upon initial listen, Gary Clark, Jr.'s Live North America 2016 suggests a holding pattern on his rapidly-developing career. More careful perusal, however, reveals the man's second concert release, out in fairly quick succession to both Live (Warner Bros., 2014) and his last studio album, The Story of Sunny Boy Slim (Warner Bros., 2015), is the full and complete personal artistic statement the latter title purported to be, as well as harbinger of future stylistic changes.

In its pure unadulterated emotional and sonic form, sans overdubs of any kind, the honest power of Clark and his band's musicianship sheds a discernibly different light on the polished likes of the aforementioned studio work, During the seven (!) culls from from that aforementioned record, including "Grinder" and "The Healer," the guitarist/vocalist depicts how forcefully he can parlay this music in practiced, natural collaboration with guitarist Eric 'King' Zapata, bassist Johnny Bradley and drummer Johnny Radelat. And while the cacophonous closer, "Numb," is a carryover from the prior double live release, it still sounds so close to the artist's heart and soul; as such, it will be sure to satiate the appetites of the most ravenous guitar hero-worshipers

As world-weary as are Clark's vocals at times-and outright plaintive in his falsetto on "Our Love")-his guitar playing is pointed as it is passionate. He knows how to formulate a thought and state it so forthrightly he neither overextends himself or wastes notes even on "When My Train Pulls In," the longest track here at just shy of ten minutes duration. In compensation for such repeats, the two 'new' numbers on this single, twelve-track CD, covers of Jimmy Reed's "Honest I do" and Elmore James' "My Baby's Gone," reaffirm Clark's blues roots as much as the hypnotic r&b/soul styling of "Down to Ride" broadens the depiction of his stylistic influences.

Meantime, the guest appearances of vocalist Leon Bridges and saxophonist Jeff Dazey on "Shake" suggest an eclectic approach in a different form. While this cut is of a piece with the rest of this record, the continuity enacted by Clark's abrasive slide guitar, the contrast offered by the extra voice and the horn gives a hint about how the Austin native's music would sound with an expanded ensemble. As a result, the intrinsic value of the Live North America 2016 transcends first impressions, reaffirming what fans of Gary Clark Jr. already know so well (and savor) while representing a memorable introduction to the casual listener not so familiar with his work.

Track Listing: Grinder; The Healing; Our Love; Cold Blooded; When My Train Pulls In; Down To Ride; You Saved Me; Shake; Church; Honest I Do; My Baby's Gone; Numb.

Personnel: Gary Clark Jr.: vocals, guitars, harmonica; Eric 'King' Zapata: guitars Johnny Bradley: bass, background vocals; Johnny Radelat: Drums, background vocals Leon Bridges: vocals (track eight only); Jeff Dazey: saxophone (track eight only).

Title: Live North America 2016 | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Warner Bros.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Seems Like a Lifetime Ago 1977 - 1980" CD/LP/Track Review Seems Like a Lifetime Ago 1977 - 1980
by John Kelman
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "The Traveller's Tale" CD/LP/Track Review The Traveller's Tale
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Langen ro" CD/LP/Track Review Langen ro
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Red Nation "1"" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!