Today’s Song: Gary Clark Jr. Beautifully Reimagines “Pearl Cadillac” with the Help of Andra Day

Gary Clark Jr © Frank Maddocks
Just when you think “Pearl Cadillac” couldn’t get any better, Gary Clark Jr. adds Andra Day, shaves off 90 seconds, and makes us cry all over again.
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Stream: “Pearl Cadillac” – Gary Clark Jr.



Gary Clark Jr.’s  2019 “This Land” had everything; style, chops, and the ability to make you scream along and cry simultaneously. While the title track—with its delivery as much old-school Ice Cube as the blues’ Gods you’d expect—was the obvious standout, “Pearl Cadillac” served as charmingly smooth reminder to call your mother. It’s heartwarming and tear-jerking, with the jaw-dropping guitar playing that is Clark Jr.’s second nature.

Pearl Cadillac- Gary Clark Jr

Pearl Cadillac- Gary Clark Jr

Ten months on and he’s rerecorded it with his extremely talented, Grammy-nominated friend Andra Day and somehow it’s even better. More streamlined, slicker and dripping in the honey-laced phrasings of Day, the new “Pearl Cadillac” is timelessly beautifully. While a shortened solo may disappoint those who could listen to Clark Jr. rip for hours—don’t worry he still does live, with his live rendition of “Pearl Cadillac” clearing eight minutes—the tightened sound adds a bluesy- urgency to the Prince-style groove Clark Jr. is riding.

Day’s second verse threatens to steal the show, however, with her channeling the soul greats of yesteryear. Starting out sugary-sweet and ending with a guttural plea, it’s R&B crooning as it’s supposed to be done. As she delivers that final line, the goosebumps are guaranteed.

You say money ain’t everything
You could’ve made it on your own
Now I understand your sacrifice
Late nights, fussing and fighting at home
I’m sorry for the things I did wrong



Their voices meld so magically together that you can’t help dreaming of a duet album- nothing matches that moment in the chorus when Day’s depth compliments Clark Jr.’s falsetto. This beauty matches the tenderness of the lyrics, which are an ode to his pearl-Cadillac-driving mother and all the sacrifices she has made for him.

I remember when I left home in that pearl Cadillac
I was searching for some kinda way to pay you back
For your love, your love, your love
Your love, your love, your love
Your love, your love, your love
Well, I won’t let you down, I’ma make you proud

This song also showcases Clark Jr.’s incredible ability to speak through his guitar. His deftly placed bends squeal behind Day, accentuating her words and supporting her message without muttering a word. It’s a trait few have and no-one is better at it than Clark Jr.

Just when you think the original version of “Pearl Cadillac” couldn’t get any better, Clark Jr. adds Andra Day, shaves off 90 seconds, and makes us cry all over again. We’re truly not worthy.



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Pearl Cadillac- Gary Clark Jr
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📸 Frank Maddocks, 2019


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Oliver Crook

Oliver Crook is a Canada-based journalist who has been playing guitar and deciphering lyrics since he first heard Sum 41’s “Fat Lip” blasting through his older brother’s bedroom walls. Although his taste has (somewhat) developed since then, his passion is just as strong as ever. When not writing about music, he can be found drinking too much coffee, complaining about the finickiness of avocados, and being disappointed by all of his favourite sports teams.