The Story of Sonny Boy Slim
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Eclectic Rhythm and Blues

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After few solo produced albums released for an independent label, Gary Clark Jr walked to the mainstream stage in 2012 with his Warner Bros debut called Blak And Blu. Thanks to the performances next to Eric Clapton, B.B.King, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy, Gary became a shining star of blues, a hot guitarist that connects modern and traditional. This guy is walking in the shoes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, no kiddin!

On Blak And Blu, it was obvious that Gary has a wide spectrum of interests. While that album seemed like a collage of different genres stitched to each other, his new effort called The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim is a more natural fusion, especially within the same song.

Although the title of the album could suggest something different, there is even less purist blues than on his previous one. Now it is clear that Gary Clark Jr does not have the intention to walk in Vaughan’s shoes. Blues is just one of the ingredients in his music pot.

First two songs opening this record are The Healing and Grinder. I adore the mix of hard rock and modern RnB with massive, deep bass groove and distorted guitar. Stay is my third favorite.

Star is a nu-soul piece with strong falsetto, while Our Love is full blooded organ ballade. In the chorus, Our Love totally reminded me of Jennifer Rush’s The Power Of Love.

Church is raw acoustic quasi gospel, spiritually opposite to pretty worldly lyrics. Hold On is about everyday struggle people with low social economic status have. Many of the songs from the album have similar narrative.

Cold Blooded is a deep funk in a tradition of Curtis Mayfield and Bobby Womack. Wings is hypnotic crossover with effective female vocal, while Can’t Sleep is a modern Motown a la Mayer Hawthorne. Shake is a dance jump blues without many words, maybe the closest one to the pure blues.

The album is slowly shutting down with 8 minute sensual nu-soul Down To Ride. Gary Clark Jr has more similarities with traditional black American musicians who have a tendency to combine many genres, such as Sly Stone, George Clintone and their Funkadelic. Anyhow, I like that I have also sensed Frank Ocean and The Roots.

Gary Clark Jr is a musician who is building a bridge between old school RnB and the modern RnB. Finally!

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