Move over Bill Graham, the Surly Brewing folks have done it again! It’s not enough to cook up some of the nation’s most respected craft brews. Somebody smart noticed the big field out back and made the connection between beer, food trucks and live music. Who else schedules a trio of parties with headliners like the recent Courtney Barnett, next week’s Gary Clark, Jr and October’s Surlyfest with The Hold Steady? I mean, seriously folks! How cool is that?
This show is brought to us in conjunction with 89.3 The Current and First Avenue. Tickets are going fast but still available HERE
The Blues have a way of constantly evolving and engaging fans with their live magic. But two facts remain. First, there’s never been much room at the top. Despite brilliant purveyors filling the club circuit (and playing mostly to middle age audiences) only a select few make that jump to a huge audience. Think BB King or Muddy Waters. Some years back Buddy Guy assumed the mantel. While still successfully working the national scene, Buddy is nearing the end of his career. According to Rolling Stone, Gary Clark, Jr is the Chosen One.
The second fact is that while blues are universal, there is a difference between those who love the sound, decide to play it and those who drank directly from the font of knowledge. Buddy Guy once accurately stated: “The Blues is just a hand me down thing.” Great blues guitarists don’t appear out of thin air. They are raised by a community. Second, they normally have a dependable running mate. That’s simply because young kids who are listening to the music of their parents or grandparents have a difficult time being one of the cool kids. So they need that peer support in the early days. Not many places provide that. Perhaps this explains why certain areas of the country seem to be the spawning grounds more than others.
Everything originally came from the Mississippi Delta. Many of the greats came north to Chicago looking for work. That sound crossed the Atlantic and came back to us in the form of the British Invasion. But let there be no doubt many also went west to Texas; particularly the city of Austin. Thanks in no small part to the existence of the legendary Antone’s. Guys like the Vaughn Brothers cut their teeth jamming on that legendary stage. So did Gary Clark, Jr.
This cat is no hype. He’s the real deal. Able to not only delight the purists but to open the minds of a whole new generation. Able to re-ignite a genre that was in need of a match. Able to break down barriers between genres. Able to sell out places like Red Rocks, where he will appear before coming to Surly Field. Or headline Clapton’s Crossroads Festival. Or score a Grammy by the age of 30.
The future of the blues is here. His name is Gary Clark, Jr.