Gary Clark Jr
NEW ALBUM ‘THE STORY OF SONNY BOY SLIM’
OUT ON WARNER BROS. RECORDS
“A star whose next release should raise him higher.” – Evening Standard
“Supernaturally talented.” – Time Out
“Thrillingly gritty blend of hip-hop, soul and blues.” – Sunday Times Culture
“Clark might just be the man to bring guitars back into fashion.” – The Telegraph
Gary Clark Jr.’s list of fans and collaborators read like a who’s who of music: The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, B.B, King and Buddy Guy. After 500,000 sales and a Grammy Award for his Warner Bros. Records debut ‘Blak and Blu’, Clark will build on his burgeoning reputation with the release of ‘The Story of Sonny Boy Slim’.
Produced by Clark himself, ‘The Story of Sonny Boy Slim’ is a mash-up of his biggest influences which range from Leadbelly to Outkast via Marvin Gaye, with sounds that flow effortlessly from retro school soul to hip-hop via aggressive hard rock and sensitive balladeering. In addition to guitar and vocals, Clark also contributed most of the bass, drums, keys, harmonica and percussion that feature within its thirteen tracks.
The album was recorded at Arlyn Studios in Clark’s hometown of Austin, Texas to “soak up my hometown vibe and put some of that energy back on record while it was still fresh.” He decided to produce the album in order to “push myself to my creative limits, and to express myself without over-thinking stuff – I’m happy when I’m able to do that because it’s the thing that I love the most.”
Pre-orders for the album are now open, with ‘The Healing’ and ‘Grinder’ available as instant grat tracks. Album opener ‘The Healing’ is about “me testifying and expressing how I feel about music.” It commences with a field recording of Austin busker Christopher Copeland before Clark’s guitar rips into centre-stage to kick-start a sizzling concoction of blues-rock, hip-hop beats and gospel backing vocals. The second track, ‘Grinder’, finds Clark twisting screeching solos over a corrugated rhythm, with a lyrical theme of fighting for money and power.
‘The Story of Sonny Boy Slim’ will be available on digital, CD and vinyl formats.
The first of Clark’s big name connections was established in 2010 when Eric Clapton invited him to perform at his Crossroads Festival on a bill that was compered by Bill Murray. Similar collaborations have followed on a steady basis ever since: he was invited to participate in the Austin segment of Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highway documentary/album and he’s also set to join the band on tour this autumn; he has supported and performed with The Rolling Stones; and he collaborated with Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran at a Grammy tribute to Stevie Wonder show.
In a world in which such associations are becoming a “slightly trippy” norm, an invitation to perform at the White House as part of an all-star musical ensemble with Mick Jagger, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Booker T and others was something dramatically out of the ordinary. Even president Barack Obama proved to be a fan when he described Clark as “the future.”
After playing Somerset House last summer, Gary Clark Jr. announced three dates at London’s Electric Ballroom last November 14th, 15th and 16th . All dates sold out.