Ain’t Messin Around: Gary Clark Jr. Live at Moody Theater in Austin

Can you believe it? Finally, a review of a show that didn’t happen at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin. On Saturday March 4th, three blues’esque bands: The Peterson Brothers, Eve & the Exiles and last but not least, Gary Clark Jr., took the stage of Austin’s famous Moody Theater, the location for the filming of Austin City Limits.

The Peterson Brothers

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Photo by Matt Travelstead

Glenn and Alex Peterson are two of Texas’s very own homegrown recording artists. Hailing from out of Bastrop, Texas – a mere hop, skip and a jump away from Austin, the teenage pair are going to dramatically change the face of Blues music today, in my opinion. While this is the first time I was fortunate enough to see the Peterson Brothers play live, I hope it won’t be the last.

The show was soulful, funky and an all-around good time and their talent is impeccable. As they progressed through their set, I could see how much fun they were having, not just by the huge smiles on their faces, but by their energetic body movements and coordinated guitar playing. Accompanied by a pair of capable drummers and a surprise violin solo, it was obvious that in the midst of an ever growing crowd, these boys thoroughly whetted the whistles of the arriving patrons for the performers yet to come.

Eve & the Exiles

Photo by Matt Travelstead
Photo by Matt Travelstead

An original blues band hailing from Austin, Texas, Eve Monsees & the Exiles are that unassuming blues band that sneak up on you when you least expect it. While her connection to the headliner of the evening is well known, she attended high school with Gary Clark Jr., it is rumored that she inspired the now internationally acclaimed guitarist to play the guitar in the first place. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why her band was fortunate enough to play as an opener at all of Gary Clark Jr’s Texas shows.

Gritty and slow, Eve and the Exiles eked out several songs, each one building upon the last. It was clear that her musical influences were vast and varied. At times I heard straight New Orleans style playing, but then the tone would suddenly change and the band would smoothly transfer to something that more resembled the famous Kansas City sound. If Eve is not on tour, you can find her at the well-known Antone’s Record Shop in downtown Austin, TX, which she co-owns.

Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. Show 456
Photo by Matt Travelstead

Another Austin original and soon-to-be married, Gary Clark Jr. came home to Austin to share “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim” with an anxious and celebratory sold out crowd. The ever inventive bluesman, who in some ways embodies a young Jimi Hendrix reincarnated, performed a plethora of songs from both his newest album and his debut album “Blak and Blu.”

Concert goers were enthralled and excited by such songs as “Numb” and “Ain’t Messin ‘Round” as they squinted in the dark lighting to see Gary Clark Jr. and his very talented band play on stage for almost two very electrifying hours. If you haven’t seen Gary Clark Jr. I strongly suggest you do. His current tour goes until August 28th, with a stop in my home city of Louisville, KY for the Forecastle Festival on July 17th, 2016.