Watch Gary Clark Jr.'s Searing 2017 Grammy Performance - Rolling Stone
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Watch Gary Clark Jr.’s Searing ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’ at Grammys

Singer-guitarist enlists song’s co-writer William Bell for classic blues track

Gary Clark Jr. enlisted veteran soul singer William Bell to deliver a blistering version of “Born Under a Bad Sign” at this year’s Grammys.

Clark and Bell traded off vocals on the foreboding blues rock classic, which the latter co-wrote in 1967 with Booker T. Jones for bluesman Albert King. Clark also showed off his always impressive guitar chops, tearing through a solo that contained a few homages to Eric Clapton’s playing on Cream’s famous cover of the song on Wheels of Fire.

Along with his performance, Bell, at age 77, took home his first Grammy for Best Americana Album for his 2016 LP, This Is Where I Live. He was also nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance for “The Three of Me.”

Clark is a regular performer at the Grammys. In 2014, he accompanied Keith Urban, adding guitar pyrotechnics as the country star played his single “Cop Car.” Last year, the bluesman returned to pay tribute to B.B. King alongside Chris Stapleton and Bonnie Raitt. The three took turns singing King’s classic “The Thrill Is Gone.”

The versatile Clark Jr. also won a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2013 for his song “Please Come Home.” The following year, his track “Ain’t Messing ‘Round” was nominated for an award in the Best Rock Song category.

Clark’s last album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, came out in 2015. But he kept busy last year, primarily working as a sideman. He contributed guitar to Anthony Hamilton’s What I’m Feelin‘, Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love!, and the soundtrack for Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis movie Miles Ahead. Clark Jr. also placed an original song on the soundtrack for Mark Wahlberg’s disaster movie Deepwater Horizon.

In This Article: Gary Clark Jr.


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