Gary Clark Jr.

Live North America 2016 (Warner Bros.)

Texas Platters

Legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker once stated, "The blues tells a story. Every line of the blues has a meaning." That mantra epitomizes Gary Clark Jr. and his second live album, Live North America 2016. Following 2014 double album Live, the homegrown guitarist invests each note with maximum emotional impact, unfurling gunslinging triplets, fuzz squeals, and humbucking bends, not to mention spaces in between – coiled steel feedback and levitating chord suspensions. Aerating seven tracks off second Warner Bros. studio LP The Story of Sonny Boy Slim (2015), Clark never wastes a note as he bends his instrument to Jimi Hendrix lacerations ("Grinder"), gospel prayers ("Our Love"), and funk shuffles ("Cold Blooded"). Other lessons include Jimmy Reed's country pickings on "Honest I Do" and abrasive slide throttles for Elmore James' "My Baby's Gone," which segues perfectly to Clark closer "Numb." Despite the label milking Clark's live discography, blues should always manifest onstage.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Gary Clark Jr.
Texas Platters
Gary Clark Jr.
This Land (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, March 22, 2019

Playback – Carnegie Bound: Gary Clark Jr.
Playback – Carnegie Bound: Gary Clark Jr.
Gary Clark Jr. strips down on his way to Carnegie Hall, hardcore duo Street Sects kills the lights, and Savannah Welch makes her first public appearance since losing her leg

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 2, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey
Conspirators (Record Review)

Reid Jowers, Sept. 27, 2019

Texas Platters
The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Alejandra Ramirez
Longtime Austin Collaborators Patrice Pike and Wayne Sutton Finally Duo Up
Longtime Austin Collaborators Patrice Pike and Wayne Sutton Finally Duo Up
At the heart of so many essential acts beats a duo, so it is with the Little Sister / Sister 7 legends

May 1, 2020

Pike & Sutton Reunite for Duo LP Whose First Video Gets You “High”
Pike & Sutton Reunite for Duo LP Whose First Video Gets You “High”
Sister 7 bandmates debut Heart Is A Compass April 3

March 6, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Gary Clark Jr.

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle