The wait is almost over; Gary Clark Jr., the young, ultra-charismatic blues guitar titan from Austin, TX, is riding a tidal wave of deserving buzz that is louder than ever after years of paying his dues in his hometown and hitting the festival circuit. Clark will release his hugely anticipated debut album on October 23, but you can stream the entire record for free right now on iTunes.
Clark’s debut LP, Black and Blu, is a jaw-dropping doozy of a record. If Gary Clark Jr. is new to your radar, the Austin native has been hailed as this generation’s “chosen one” by Entertainment Weekly and “the next Hendrix” by The New York Times. Rolling Stone deserves credit as the first biggie to contribute to the storm of praise by knighting Clark “The Best Young Gun of Rock.” Listen to the likes of “Ain’t Messin ‘Round,” “When My Train Pulls In,” “Bright Lights,” and “Numb,” and you’ll hear exactly what all of the “chosen one/Hendrix/young gun” talk is about. Clark is a barn-burning force of nature live, and he fully capitalizes on his sound and years of experience on record.
What may catch you off guard, though, is the versatility of Clark’s influences. Even while playing onstage with Clapton, idolizing Stevie Ray Vaughn in the town that made him famous, and being hyped as the next Hendrix, Clark has always been up front with his mash-up of influences including Nirvana, the Ramones, Tupac, and R&B, in addition to the blues greats. (Clark was honored as the only artist who to play both nights of Jay Z’s recent, inaugural Budweiser Made in America Festival.) The title track takes on a whole different swagger compared to the first two rockers out of the gate, and “The Life” comes across like a mid-’90s R&B radio gem with a bleeding heart and positivity mixed in with all of the sexiness. Gary Clark Jr. embraces many different genres on Blak and Blu, but all of them are all rooted in guitar heroics and sound damn good. After years of readying himself in The Live Music Capital of the World, Gary Clark Jr. swings for the fences and sends blast straight to the upper deck all over Blak and Blu.
Listen to Blak and Blu in full for a limited time on iTunes. Watch for The Silver Tongue review in the coming days.
Blak and Blu Tracklist:
01. Ain’t Messin ‘Round
02. When My Train Pulls In
03. Blak and Blu
04. Bright Lights
05. Travis County
06. The Life
07. Glitter Ain’t Gold (Jumpin’ For Nothin’)
09. Please Come Home
10. Things Are Changin’
11. Third Stone From The Sun/If You Love Me Like You Say
12. You Saved Me
13. Next Door Neighbor Blues
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