March 24, 2011

NO LIMITS:

The Next Big Name to Come Out of Austin? (JIM FUSILLI, 3/24/11, WSJ)

[A]ustin resident Gary Clark Jr., who may be the city's next big music star, was an island of easygoing professionalism and aw-shucks charm. He played eight sets, ranging from a solo gig for an industry group to showcases sponsored by Warner Brothers, his new label. As if immune to pressure, he flashed his blend of blues, soul and rock, mixing fluid, muscular guitar with a rootsy bark or a falsetto croon. Though his influences are plentiful—Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King and Smokey Robinson are in evidence—throughout SXSW 2011 Mr. Clark came across as someone who is building something that is distinctly his own.

"I don't want to be stuck in a box," said Mr. Clark, referring to his approach, from an office overlooking Sixth Street, the unofficial midway to the SXSW bazaar. "There's so much soul in Freddie, Curtis Mayfield, Prince. It flows together."

Since it's a short trip from his home in Austin's Oak Hill section, Mr. Clark played SXSW in years past and had his moment in the national spotlight when he was featured in John Sayles's 2007 film "Honeydripper." Last year, facilitated in part by guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, a longtime supporter, the soft-spoken 27-year-old made an impressive appearance at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. He's among the artists on the live "Crossroads" DVD, playing his own composition "Bright Lights" and joining Messrs. Bramhall and Clapton, Susan Tedeschi and her husband, Derek Trucks, behind Sheryl Crow for two numbers.


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Posted by at March 24, 2011 6:07 AM
  

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