Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Noelle Coultrip at Noelle.Coultrip@colorado.edu
Sweet, homegrown blues: Gary Clark, Jr.
The marriage of blues and rock and roll is filled with passion and grit, something that Austin native Gary Clark, Jr. perfected over the course of his musical career.
The vocalist, singer and songwriter’s dreams sprouted at a very young age after listening to the pop sounds of Michael Jackson and falling in love with Of The Wall, Jackon’s fifth studio album.
By sixth grade, Clark got his first guitar, marking the start of his musical endeavors His teen years were filled with performances in the nightclubs of Austin, Texas, sharing the stage with local blues performers like Jimmie Vaughn, Hubert Sumlin Jr. and Pinetop Perkins.
His journey in redefining American music and creating music about topics including the struggles of African Americans has accumulated quite a fan base for Clark; Barack Obama, Keith Richards, Alicia Keys and Beyonce all consider themselves fans.
Clark’s latest album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, exemplifies the evolution the blues genre has gone through, intermixing traditional blues with elements of rock, R&B and soul to create a new kind of art. The album starts off with “Healing,” a song that begins with a clip of the traditional, raw blues, carrying on into a unique combination of blues and rock, complemented by Clark’s own unique twist. “Hold On,” another song off of Clark’s latest record, is much different; soft piano initiates the song, progressing into a softer approach to typical R&B music.
Clark’s southern roots are deeply ingrained in his music and his lyrics, allowing listeners to feel what it really means to be from Texas. Gary Clark, Jr. performs at the Ogden Theatre on Tuesday, April 5 and Wednesday, April 6 at 8 p.m. with opener Black Pistol Fire.
Get lost in the magic: Joanna Newsom
Joanna Newsom blazes her own path in the music sphere.
Newsom’s musical aspirations began at the age of 5, when she told her parents she wanted to play the harp. From there, Newsom developed her unique sound, writing and singing about home and the feelings associated with it.
Her first album, Milk-Eyed Mender, came out in 2004, the first of Newsom’s seven albums. Her music has experienced the bright spotlight of success, as it was featured on Best-of-Year and Best-of-Decade lists.
Her latest album, Divers, exemplifies the fairy-like, enchanted quality of her music. Listening to it is akin to the imagined experience of walking through a portal into a fairytale, filled with magic and a unique shimmering beauty. Her music not only sounds great, but also touches on a variety of topics filled with complexity. In an interview with Gigs In Paris, Newsom said, “If it’s simple enough to summarize in a sentence, then it should be a sentence, not an album.”
Joanna Newsom performs at the Boulder Theater on Sunday, April 3 at 8:30 p.m. with opener Robin Pecknold.
Uncensored and raw: Underoath
Christian metal band Underoath is reuniting for its Rebirth tour, in which the band will play two of its albums – They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line – from beginning to finish.
In 2010, the six-piece Florida band released its latest album Disambiguation, marking the last of its five studio albums.
Creating music for over a decade and continually producing music has paid off; the band’s music video for “Writing On The Walls” earned a Grammy nomination and two of its albums received gold certification
Underoath’s progression is clear on its latest album, moving from the bubblegum Warped Tour culture to the status of a legitimate metal band that can make real music. Disambiguation clearly shows that the amateur elements are gone and have been replaced with a more mature sound.
Underoath performs at the Ogden Theatre on Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. with opener Caspian.