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Blak and Blu

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iTunes Review

Texas has given the world its fair share of estimable blues guitarists and Austin's Gary Clark, Jr. takes the blues into the 21st century with a soulful fuzztone that breaks through the hype. But it isn't just heavy guitar workouts that establish the man's credentials. The title track prefers a light touch, a comfortable mix of hip-hop rhythms and early 70s Philly Soul. That's Clark's modus operandi: do it all and do it right. "When My Train Pulls In" and "Bright Lights" blister like vintage Robin Trower and Stevie Ray Vaughan. "Travis County" embarks on a Stones-like romp that could've been found on Exile on Main St.. "The Life" tests out computer technology with a bright hip-hop groove and a tune that's pure pop and soul. "Glitter Ain't Gold" and "Numb" work the same blues-avenues as the Black Keys, while "Ain't Messin 'Round" kicks up a horn chart and a sense that someone's rewriting "Satisfaction" with great skill and enthusiasm while adding a gorgeous vocal hook to the chorus. There aren't many major label debuts this rich in pure talent and ambition.

Customer Reviews

There is hope

Just when you hear Gangnam Style and fear the world is done for, Blak and Blue is released. Thanks Gary.

Moments of Transcendence

Blak & Blu is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Reviews of Gary Clark's powerful live show continue to earn him cred and fans across the globe while legendary musicians like Clapton, McCartney & Waters have become some of his most admiring fans.

With hype like this, it's difficult for Gary Clark Jr. to live up to everyone's expectations of universal greatness especially while dwelling in the well-worn genres of blues & trad R&B.

Yet in spite if staggering odds against GCJ's latest release for Warner, there are stunning moments of fledgling flames that burn riffs, grooves and the occasional surprise flourished motif into this pretty pretty good rekkid that will stand as easily one of the Top 10 in 2012.

The raunchy guitar shrieks and analog drenched artifacts of "Numb" make for a meditative groove that leaves every last nerve jolted, jarred and jilted at the end of the track left wanting one more reprise.

"Ain't Messing Around" has the polished tightness of Beck's best tracks with the sophisticated bristle of a road-wise veteran who sings with a soulful voice that belies Gary's 28 years on this earthly place.

Which leads me to "Third Stone". It takes someone with either extreme grit or overwhelming blindness to the world of music to cover a Hendrix tune, especially the song known by more high school frat brothers than any other Hendrix composition. And yet GCJ manages to approach TSFTS with the maturity and wisdom of an astrophysicist who has managed to stay alive long enough to witness compelling evidence of Higgs Boson, the shattering of atmospheric free falls, and the emergence of an era when Quantum Computers could soon be as common as the latest iPhone device.

A real Musician!

This guy can easily be compared to the likes of John Lee Hooker, Hendrix, and Prince. He is a superb guitarist. Close your eyes and listen to You Saved Me, it's like a missing cut from the Purple Rain album. Love the falsetto's and guitar riffs. It's rock, rockabilly, and blues all in the same CD. It's a great listen over all.


Born: February 15, 1984 in Austin, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Texas guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. has been compared to guitar icons like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and his playing is a powerful and inspired mix of blues roots with contemporary soul and hip-hop, and when he's rolling at his best, he sounds like nothing so much as a natural hybrid of both the past and the future of the blues. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Clark first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 and spent his teens playing whatever gig he could get in the Austin area, eventually...
Full Bio