Gary Clark Jr. @ House of Blues San Diego – 03/11/2016
Blues guitar master Gary Clark Jr. brought his “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim Tour” to the San Diego House of Blues on Friday March 11th. This Grammy award winning artist drew a sold out crowd to the downtown San Diego venue and left everyone in attendance in awe of his amazing skills at coaxing soulful blues licks from his red Gibson SG guitar. Clark is considered a modern master of the blues and his playing in San Diego left no doubt as to why he is so revered. His command of his instrument and knowledge of his craft are evident. A solid backing band featuring Johny Bradley on bass, Eric Zapata on rhythm guitar, and Johnny Radelat on drums was a perfect complement to Clark’s scorching leads and passionate vocals.
Clark is currently touring behind his most recent studio album of the same name The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, and songs from that album as well as 2012’s Blak and Blu made up most of the set list for the evening. Songs like “When My Train Pulls In” and “Bright Lights” are always a treat hear live with Clark’s solo guitar punctuating each track. Playing incredible riffs reminiscent of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughn throughout long solo sections, one can’t help but see some hints of Hendrix in Clark’s playing as well. The band also dropped several covers including a set favorite “If Trouble was Money” by Albert Collins. With simple lights and staging and his band placed toward the rear of the stage, Clark is free to let his guitar do the talking as he stalks across the open expanse literally singing from both his guitar and from his mouth at the same time. Gary Clark Jr. is a throwback act in the best way possible. He offers an authentic and emotional live experience featuring a level of musicianship that is rare in today’s music, his live show is not to be missed.