Posted on 2013/07/26 20:52
  • Live Report
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Field of Heaven, despite the rain, was comfortably full.

The lights were dimmed a bit, often casting a hellish red glow on Gary and his band of blues bros as they shred, as if summoning the spirit of Robert Johnson and all those who sold their souls to lay the tracks upon which young Gary walks.

The four-piece solidly informed fans of what blues is and can still be. Gary’s original tracks like “Don’t Owe You A Thing” establish a cocky distortion that rocks, letting the young gun solo something fierce with a fresh youthful energy. A cool wanderer with the boots for walking, Gary is unassuming and a little scraggly. Not the type to too eagerly soak up the bright lights he is increasingly playing under, but rather blend in and transcend the stage through music; it is an amazing thing to witness live.

Wah-wah-ing his way in an interlude, it is a bit hard to distinguish where some songs end and others begin.

Like the time Gary and rhythm guitarist just disappear without warning and the drum and bass solo kicks. Those two fellows were great, playing off one another’s afro topped head nods and knowing sun-glassed looks, and then out slides Gary, back with some Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine type scratching that sounds like funky turntables rather than blues guitar. The sheer number of different ways this man can manipulate just 6 strings is incredible.

Solos like a feverish dream, looking distraught and possessed, eyes closed in a scowl much to old for his years like a trance, and transporting the listeners with him, he finally stumbles out of it away from the mic stand and grins, knowingly, like a shaman who he and only he knows exactly where he just went. Take Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone From the Sun” covered, no scratch that, remade into 20-minutes of musical gallivanting. Nuts.

Classic blues hook lyrics like “If trouble was money, baby, I swear I’d be a millionaire,” coupled with soft and sweet fingerpicking, the subtlest touches and bends of a string, just barely still on the fret board, without showboating though, Gary proves his rich musical upbringing while giving you a glimpse of the dark side of the tracks that this GCJR locomotive rumbles down. Hop on if you get the chance, because while he might not have everyone in the crowd dancing their pants off, he sure as hell will have everyone groovin’.

His hit “Bright Lights” was the closer, and with the confidence that leaks in after the president of the United States and plenty others give you such glowing praise (albeit well-deserved) he sings, “ you gonna know my name by the end of the night.” And, regardless of the language barrier, you better believe a few thousand Fuji Rockers will. Not to mention, with a festival pace as it stands, a few million are gonna know his name soon enough.