Tag Archives: gary clark jr.

Photos: Gary Clark Jr. Brings The Story of Sonny Boy Slim Tour to Chicago


Gary Clark Jr. holds the fate of a whole genre in his hands alone, and I mean that in the most literal way possible. When Clark Jr. holds his guitar, show after show, he is keeping blues rock alive in 2016. With huge co-signs from the Foo Fighters, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and critics across the board, Buddy Guy even called Gary Clark Jr. the savior of blues. I first had the opportunity to hear Clark Jr. live, performing in support of Outkast’s huge reunion tour in 2014. Since then I’ve seen him perform at a couple festivals throughout the country and I always leave impressed.

Tonight Gary Clark Jr. traveled to the Windy City in support of his second studio LP, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, with his headlining tour of the same name. Performing for a sold-out crowd at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre, fans of all different ages and go-to genres got to see one of the world’s best guitarist live in action. Today marked April Fools’ Day but tonight’s performances at The Riv were certainly no joke. There was no better place to be in Chicago tonight than Gary Clark Jr.’s sold-out show. 

To warm up the crowd tonight was another one of Austin, Texas’ most talented artists, country music singer Carson McHone. McHone received a lot of local attention after her self-titled EP in 2013, and since then she has shared the stage with Lydia Loveless, Charlie Mars, David Ramirez, and even toured in support of Shakey Graves last summer. Tonight though, McHone shared the stage with her fellow Austin native and performed a number of records off her latest studio album, Goodluck Man. While you wouldn’t expect an alternative country singer to warm up a blues rock crowd, that’s just what she did tonight. Despite minor feedback issues on the production side and some outside fan chatter from the bar area, the performance was excellent in every way. McHone has a lovable and calm stage presence that fans can’t help but enjoy. Sometimes a guitar is still a guitar, and despite the differences in McHone and Gary Clark Jr.’s music, the two both know how to work the guitar and write some great records.

Soon after McHone stepped off stage, it was time for the man of the night. The lights went low and the crowd erupted in anticipation of the night’s headlining performance. Gary Clark Jr. kicked off his set with his track, ‘Bright Lights’ from his 2012 debut, Blak and Blu, an LP which scored the Texas guitarist his first two Grammy nominations. ‘Bright Lights’ may not be one of Clark Jr.’s biggest records, but the B-side is definitely one of his best to see live.

Throughout the night, Gary Clark Jr. performed the majority of records from The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, a few awesome covers, and a lengthy encore. With his epic guitar solos, Gary Clark Jr.’s guitar almost served as a separate band member for the night. Considering the fact that the ‘Don’t Owe You a Thing’ singer has been killing it on guitar since he was 12, it is no surprise that his solos stole the show. And that isn’t to say that his vocal, the rest of his band and everything else weren’t on their A-game, because they definitely were. If you get a chance to see Gary Clark Jr. perform this spring or summer, you need to jump on the opportunity. No matter what type of music you gravitate towards, you will definitely leave the performance in awe.

Check out our photos from tonight’s performance below and check out the remaining dates from Gary Clark Jr.’s headlining tour here.

Continue reading Photos: Gary Clark Jr. Brings The Story of Sonny Boy Slim Tour to Chicago


Album Review: The Story of Sonny Boy Slim | Gary Clark Jr.


Take an artist who was born and raised in Austin, Texas, musically influenced equally by funk, blues, country, hip-hop and soul and let him create a completely personal album. You get a story, not a completely cohesive one, but a good story nonetheless. The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, to be exact. Gary Clark Jr., happens to be this Austin raised musician and rather than giving us linearity or even a hazy path to follow, he instead gives us a collection of songs that stand as their own stars in the constellation of his life and we are able to connect them for ourselves.

The ground covered on this LP is vast. It collectively shares a two common denominators: struggle and love. Album opener, ‘The Healing’ sheds light on his inner-philosopher as he sings, “This music is my healing”. Never getting too specific about his struggles, he shares the sense of freedom music embellishes him with, also realizing the real cost of obtaining the thing he now has in his grasp, money. On the low riffs of ‘Grinder’ he almost satirically relishes in obtaining the lifestyle that people kill and have been killed over.

No matter what directions he takes lyrically, it all seems to circle back to love. Whether loving yourself or loving the one you’re with, passion and not pain seems to be the driving force of the album. There is a certain ambiguity he maintains song after song. Take Marvin Gaye-esque love ballad, ‘Our Love’ for example. Clark could have any woman on his mind when he whispers, “You’re the one I’m thinking of.” It’s the kind of song that brings you as a listener back to the repressed memories of a love that never was. The songwriting is familiar and therefore not always as interesting as it could be; but it works. It is obvious that Clark wanted to explore so many different things that they all can’t be fully realized within the length of one album.

The guitar-work and overall sound skips limberly around 70’s funk, contemporary blues and soul, to having a heavy hip-hop and R&B influence. The sound he created here is rooted in generations past and sounds similar to modern day neo soul with its own intricacies. He is expanding the category many had placed him into after his first couple works into uncharted territory, successfully establishing his very own seat at a table not far from the visionaries he often resembles.

Both traditional sounding and impossible to pigeonhole, Clark’s album is an extremely entertaining collection. From the upbeat silky rhythm of  “Can’t Sleep” to the bass-filled draw of “Stay”, Clark medicates his romantic thoughts in any number of ways, usually accompanied by sharply picked guitar solos. Clark’s wide-ranging vocals and honed guitaring make the absolute most out of all the spaces he tries to occupy sonically. Having already proved his skills on the finely tuned strings of a guitar, this album has Clark exploring his other curiosities and influences, which pays off in more ways than one. The fusion of genres here opens the door for so many questions in the future of where this man will take his music. My assumption is that we will all simply have to wait and see, but we can do so excitedly.


Summerfest Day 2 in Photos: Kings of Leon, Public Enemy, Gary Clark Jr., KONGOS


Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Yesterday kicked off the second day Milwaukee’s Summerfest 2015, the World’s Largest Music Festival. Unlike many other premiere music festivals, Summerfest (which runs until July 5th) brings an especially diverse list of performers to Milwaukee’s lakefront every year, creating for a festival where you can see Kanye West (who performed in 2011) share the same stage as Peter Gabriel and Kid Rock. So to get things started for The Early Registration’s first year at Summerfest, we had to catch a wide variety of acts all festival long.

Check out our Summerfest Day 2 photos below, of Kings of Leon, Gark Clark Jr., KONGOS and Public Enemy!

Continue reading Summerfest Day 2 in Photos: Kings of Leon, Public Enemy, Gary Clark Jr., KONGOS

Lollapalooza Announces 2015 Aftershows


Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

One of our favorite things about Lollapalooza is its aftershows. The aftershows not only allow fans who weren’t able to score wristbands to the actual festival to also see some great sets, but it showcases the beautiful intimate local venues (Aragon, The Mid, The Riviera and more) of our nation’s Second City, Chicago. This year’s Lollapalooza Aftershows are just as great as ever, with a number of performances that we recommend catching. Performing official Lollapalooza Aftershows this year are Alesso, Tove Lo, Gary Clark Jr., The War on Drugs, Glass Animals, alt-J, SZA, Mick Jenkins, Marina and the Diamonds, Logic and many more!

Check out the full list of shows at D0312.com!

The Most Anticipated Acts of Summerfest 2015


Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Milwaukee’s Summerfest lineup this year is diverse as always. Early today Summerfest revealed over 90 of its 2015 performers and headliners and now we have our most anticipated acts for “the World’s Largest Music Festival.” This year Summerfest takes place from June 24-28 and June 30 – July 5 at the Summerfest Grounds in Milwaukee, WI and you can check here for ticket information. Ticket prices start at just $12, with various promotions that run all festival long.

It wasn’t easy to decide who we are most excited to see at Summerfest this year, but definitely hit the jump to check out our ten most anticipated acts of Summerfest 2015. Also be sure to check out Summerfest.com for more information.