Gary Clark Jr. Live
Gary Clark Jr. is one of the most popular and most deserving bluesman working the genre in 2014. Often when somebody reaches Clark’s level of recognition, there’s a temptation to branch out into pop or rock, and Clark has indeed injected his playing with touches of hip-hop and soul, sparingly. But he largely sticks to the electric blues here on this expansive live album. Recorded during an 18-month tour in 2013 and 2014, Live deserves to be the crown jewel in the Texas guitar wizard’s catalog. The blues has always been a live music, meant to be heard in bars and clubs worldwide, with the players improvising on the basic framework until they find a way to somewhere new. The vintage soul groove of “Things Are Changin’” provides a change of pace after the intense blues workouts of Lowell Fulson’s “Three O’Clock Blues” and Robert Petway’s “Catfish Blues.” The medley of Albert Collins’ “If You Love Me Like You Say” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun” provides 10 minutes of blazing inspiration, while Collins’ “If Trouble Was Money” is yet another highlight.