It is already a well known fact that Gary Clark Jr. can play an incredible guitar. However, what makes this up-and-coming blues guitarist stand out among the others is his exceptional ability to cross between multiple musical genres within each song he writes. “The Healing”, the first single from his new album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, clearly exemplifies this skill.
One problem that I usually encounter with many Gary Clark Jr. songs is their heavy reliance on the repetition of a single central riff. Although enjoyable at first, the riff eventually loses its vitality and effectiveness. The Healing does not suffer from this problem. It sticks to its guns, but provides just enough variety to keep it interesting.
The track starts off sounding like something out of a hip-hop song, yet still infused with those simplistic and refreshing guitar licks that many have grown to love from Clark. The song then builds up into the chorus, which brings out a satisfying gospel element characterized by a pre-dominantly female background chorus. Clark managed to keep my foot tapping the whole way through. His subtle dynamic changes throughout the song provided enough diversity to keep it enjoyable all the way to the end. Additionally, the minimalistic style employed by Clark within the bridge created a trance-like sound, and made it even more satisfying when things got heavy again.
Guitar virtuoso Gary Clark Jr. delivers yet another powerhouse single with “The Healing.” The catchy chorus, along with the masterful bluesy guitar solos one comes to expect from Clark makes this song worth a couple listens. Clark is currently supporting the Foo Fighters on their Sonic Highways tour, but he kicks off his solo international tour on October 2 at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.
“When this world upsets me, this music sets me free.”