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The sound of Austin, Texas in Shepherd’s Bush
At my age it is rare that I go anywhere interesting in the evenings; rarer still that I go and hear what for me is a new band, in a great venue; even rarer that i come out having experienced something exceptional. I was lucky enough to be at the brilliant Bush Hall last night (26.10.11) to witness Gary Clark Jr’s stunning performance, his only one in the UK on this tour, in front of a surprisingly small but enthusiastic crowd. Clark – at 27 an absurdly accomplished guitarist – was born in Austin, Texas, home to a vibrant and eclectic music scene encompassing rock’n'roll, blues and country music. Clark travels confidently across all three genres, often apparently at the same time, and spices up the mix with long, loud, virtuoso experiments that are enormous fun as well as being strongly reminiscent of Hendrix. At times his music is almost metal, with huge quantities of reverb and feedback, but then a burst of furiously intricate fingering reminds you that he is, at heart, a Texas blues man. He is just better at it than most. America can claim hundreds of great guitar players but few who combine raw ability with what is inevitably, these days, called the X factor; whatever it is, Clark has it.
This is his performance at Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 – a slightly bigger crowd than Bush Hall managed to drag out on a wet Wednesday night!:
I don’t think I have ever seen a man more comfortable with a guitar. Apart from Michael Proudfoot, of course.
Posted by Eddie on October 27th 2011 at 3.55pm