Gary Clark Jr.
It was a spectacular early summer day in Southern California as day 2 of the Arroyo Seco Weekend unfolded on June 24th. Temperatures in the low 80’s and soft breezes created a perfect environment for the giant picnic attended by 25,000 concertgoers. Many music fans arrived early to lounge about the sprawling meadow encompassing the three musical stages.
Stephen and Ziggy Marley came to the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles on November 1, to perform a unique concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of their fathers classic Reggae album, Exodus. The ornate venue in the heart of the original theater district of America’s movie capital was slow to fill up on this sultry night. It was the final night of the World Series of Baseball, just several miles away at Dodger Stadium and the band delayed the show for nearly an hour.
A few weekends ago, the inaugural Bourbon and Beyond Festival rocked Champions Park on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Even though the calendar indicated it was the first weekend of Fall it was very hot and humid in bourbon country, the park was geared up and ready to host what ended up being approximately 50,000 people for two days of music, food, and drink. The two main stages had alternating sets of the biggest names in blues, rock and a little bit of country music.
So many years after the disbandment of Grateful Dead that in turn relocated tens of thousands of devoted tour followers to various other acts and bigger life purposes, folks still crave that familiar feeling that kept them on tour. It didn’t only come from the music that Garcia and the gang connected with so many people through, but the sense of community and thriving weirdness that expanded continuously over decades of different intersections.
In celebration of his Grammy performance debut and two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Song ("Ain't Messin Round") and Best Traditional R&B Performance ("Please Come Home") -- the first time an artist has been nominated in these polar categories in the same year -- Gary Clark Jr. will be releasing a remixtape to fans comprised of unreleased music and reworkings from his Blak and Blu debut.
On Monday night in New Orleans, the House of Blues was graced with the presence of one of the next generation’s blues guitar heroes, Gary Clark Jr. Clark, who spent his years learning guitar in Austin, Texas, was preceded onstage by fellow Texans the Moeller Brothers, both bands lending a similar southern blues rock sound to a sold-out room of ears.