In 2011, Gary Clark Jr. blasted his way into the public conscience with his electric debut EP, The Bright Lights EP. Since then, Clark has been a poster child for modern day blues rock releasing multiple studio albums and live albums. We break down Clark’s top 10 songs to date.
“Church” made its first appearance on The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim and also appeared on Live/North America 2016. It’s a stripped down track with Gary and his acoustic. There is also some harmonica mixed in with backing vocals that compliment the song well. Gary can rip when he needs to, but “Church” shows he doesn’t have to.
9. “Down To Ride”
If any song was the definition of “chill” it might be “Down To Ride.” This track has such a great vibe and perfectly blends multiple styles. The song comes in at 7 minutes and 52 seconds, but it makes you wish it were longer.
8. “Please Come Home”
Gary Clark Jr. is known for his versatility and “Please Come Home” is a perfect example. It’s a great soul track with Gary’s falsetto vocals and an absolutely majestic guitar solo. “Please Come Home” is featured on Blak & Blu and Live.
7. “Things Are Changin”
“Things Are Changin” first appeared on The Bright Lights EP as a solo acoustic piece and later got the full band treatment on Live. Either way, it’s one of Clark’s best.
6. “The Healing”
“The Healing” is the leading track off The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim. It’s a great depiction of modern day blues rock.
“Numb” made its first appearance on Blak & Blu and has since showed up on both of Clark’s live releases, Live, and Live/North America 2016. It’s definitely a staple of the live show. Featuring fuzz drenched guitar, “Numb” rocks hard.
4. “You Saved Me”
“You Saved Me” was a major standout from Clark’s debut LP, Blak & Blu. Did we just mention fuzz? More fuzz and a great guitar solo, “You Saved Me” is one of those perfect songs for a late night drive.
3. “Don’t Owe You A Thang”
“Don’t Owe You A Thang” appeared on The Bright Lights EP and later on Live. It’s a red hot blues track and a definite foot stomper.
2. “When My Train Pulls In”
“When My Train Pulls In” might be the highlight of Gary Clark Jr.’s live show. There’s a reason why the song has appeared on all four of Gary’s releases with Warner Brothers, it rocks. When the track first appeared on The Bright Lights EP as a solo acoustic number it was very well done, but the full band arrangement, especially in the live setting takes it to new heights. It’s a scorcher.
1. “Bright Lights”
“Bright Lights” is the track that saw Gary Clark Jr.’s rise begin when he took Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival by storm in 2010. Clark sings, “You gonna know my name by the end of the night.” It’s safe to say that was true. The Bright Lights EP followed and Gary Clark Jr. has been a leader in modern day blues and rock ever since.
Photo credit: Joey Martinez