Gary Clark Jr., ‘Gary Clark Jr. Live’ – Album Review
It's only fitting that one of the best live performers of our generation has finally released his first-ever live album. The album, which was recorded at Gary Clark Jr.'s shows across the world over the past year, is a collection of his best live renditions of some of his most popular songs to date.
It's not surprising that a lot of the songs sound like so many of the biggest blues rock acts of this century, given that Clark has a knack for melding classic rock and traditional blues into his music. The first track, 'Catfish Blues,' is an exceptional way to open up an album. It blasts you with an intensity that can only really be captured in a live setting. The wailing guitar solo and passionate vocals will impress fans from the start.
'Travis County,' is so clearly recorded that you almost can't even tell that it's being performed live. Then, Clark leads into a slightly uptempo version of his golden blues-rock track, 'When My Train Pulls In.' Of course, the song sounds great live, but the reggae uptempo riff that he's playing almost distracts from the song's intensity. Almost.
'Don't Owe You a Thang' is so similar to Eric Clapton's 'Crossroads' that it's nearly a cover of the timeless hit -- which is fitting, since Clark was featured at Clapton's 2013 Crossroads Festival.
'Three O'Clock Blues' sounds very much like Led Zeppelin, further proving that the singer has a whole slew of influences. It's so perfectly laid down by the guitarist that you can almost feel yourself there at the show, pumping your fist, singing along. Next up is the seductive 'Things Are Changing,' which has a very sexually-charged feel to it -- and isn't that how all good rock and roll should sound?
The album closes with an excellent version of 'When the Sun Goes Down,' but before that, fans will hear, again, near-studio quality versions of his previous album's title track, 'Blak and Blu,' and his first big single, 'Bright Lights.'
The album is simply great from front to back.
In fact, 'Gary Clark Jr. Live' is not only an album, it's an experience. As the first live album for such a talented young musician as Clark -- who has many more years to go -- you can almost be certain that he'll only get better as he continues to evolve, making his way into the rock and roll history books.
He'll fit in quite nicely with the likes of Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.