Welcome Back: Gary Clark Jr.
The bluesman is back, with tunes fuelled by a boyhood pet name and Keith Richards’s shepherd’s pie.
Superstar musicians have always gone to great lengths to ‘keep it real’. For his latest album, The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim, Gary Clark Jr. did the same, swatting away the plaudits and returning to his native Austin, Texas, to record in down-home fashion.
Splicing blues and soul with the palpable influence of hip-hop, Clark tells us his new material is the sound of a man channelling his 12-year-old self, set loose in a musical sweet shop.
You’re a household name now. Is it hard to write with such scrutiny on you?
It’s not hard, actually. I just went back home to Austin, where I felt very comfortable, shut everything out and kinda brought it back to home base. I sat in a room with three other guys, and they let me gather my thoughts, get my chops up, just make noise and express myself the way that was real to me. I just let it all go.