Gary Clark Jr.’s new album is “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim.” The Austin, Texas-based blues artist drew notice with his critically acclaimed breakthrough debut ‘Blak and Blu’ and to say this one is highly anticipated is to say the very least. Find out what the critics have to say this time around.
The album has a title like that of a memoir or even a movie or a documentary. And the story unfolding is just that. Yes, Gary Clark Jr. won a Grammy Award in 2014 and it was for a traditional blues performance at the previous year’s Grammy ceremony.
For those who may fear that a blues artist can’t achieve mainstream success in these highly commercialized and compartmentalized musical era, the fears are not being realized, thankfully, this time around. Yes, Gary Clark Jr. is a trailblazer as his music transverses genres when least expected, hip-hop, funk and soul are all in the mix and always, there is both the masterful guitarist and the achingly expressive voice. His live performances often go viral on YouTube as he’s been a mainstay at music festivals all over the world. You can see one such performance in the video below.
And now, as a followup to that breakthrough album, ‘Blak and Blu’ he is again drawing notice for all those same exciting reasons. Pushing boundaries and showing us that, yes, music released on a label so major as Warner Bros. still has the verve, the spirit and the pathos we’re hoping for from the blues.
So what do the critics have to say? Here’s a sampling.
“….By sidestepping guitar herodom, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim stakes out territory Gary Clark Jr. can proudly call his own. ….” — Austin Chronicle
“….Less flashy than his debut, but in pulling back on the guitar heroics, he galvanizes his genre-jumping, to….– Entertainment Weekly
“….It grows with listens, and at its best (as on Hold On), Clark’s guitar/soul-beat fusion is smooth and stylish. But some of it is just (whisper it) a bit boring. ….” — Classic Rock Magazine
“… With a new dose of narrative flow, his second record keeps tighter boundaries than his first. It’s less adventurous but more driven, with sharper eyes on the road. The Story of Sonny Boy Slim wraps like an old Western: Wherever Clark’s been going, he gets there….” Consequence of Sound
Yes, critics have spoken on Gary Clark Jr’s new album ‘The Story of Sonny Boy Slim’ and you can hear what he himself has to say about it in the interview videos below, along with the exciting live performance.