Gary Clark Jr. mixes classic rock and blues at Roots N Blues

Gary Clark Jr. and his band wowed the audience at Friday’s closing Roots N Blues performance.


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Austin, Texas, native Gary Clark Jr. performed for a massive crowd Sept. 29 at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival.

Accompanied onstage by backup guitar player King Zapata, drummer Johnny Radelat and bassist Johnny Bradley, Clark Jr. entered the stage with his suede fedora and started with hits “Ain’t Messin ‘Round” and “When My Train Pulls In” from his 2012 album Blak and Blue.

Although he didn’t address the audience for most of the concert, Clark Jr. let his music speak for itself. With quick guitar riffs and long, drawn-out solos similar to the undeniable style of Stevie Ray Vaughan, his guitar skills were nothing short of impressive Friday night.

A large crowd of people danced and swayed to Clark Jr.’s blend of blues and classic rock. The band’s use of a gritty style that is not heard on the album added to the upbeat vibe of the festival.

When the band played “You Saved Me” from Blak and Blue, the audience surged with energy. Clark Jr. and Zapata hit the beginning chords, and the stage lights came to life, turning in circles for the duration of the hit song.

“I’m enjoying myself; thank you,” Clark Jr. said to the audience. “Columbia knows how to do things out here.”

As the band wrapped up its act, it finished with a cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together,” adding a unique blues twist and ending on a happy note.

Edited by Brooke Collier |

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