13 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

TITLE TIME
4:09
7:45
4:06
5:24
3:38
5:05
4:18
5:26
4:16
3:59
9:37
6:11
3:03

About Gary Clark Jr.

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, 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. He eventually met Clifford Antone, promoter and owner of Antone's, the city's premier blues club, who began featuring Clark at his venue. An amazing live performer, Clark soon became one of the brightest players on Austin's blues and rock scene. He released an independent album, 2005's Tribute, followed by a pair of self-produced albums in 2008 for Hotwire Unlimited, 110 and Worry No More. An EP, Gary Clark, Jr., also appeared from Hotwire in 2010.

But Clark was far from just a one-trick pony guitar gunslinger. He could also sing, write, and arrange. He wrote the original score for the film Full Count and also appeared as an actor in John Sayles' 2007 film Honeydripper. In 2010, Clark was selected by Eric Clapton to perform at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, and a DVD of the show featuring Clark led to a recording deal with Warner Bros. Clark was soon in the studio working on his major-label debut. An EP called Bright Lights was released in 2011 in advance of the new album, Blak and Blu, which appeared in the fall of 2012. His next release was the impressive two-disc Live, recorded during an 18-month-long tour behind Blak and Blu, and Live better represented Clark's wild, impassioned, and often elegantly graceful live sets. After more touring, including dates opening for the Rolling Stones and the Foo Fighters, Clark released his second major-label studio set, 2015's The Story of Sonny Boy Slim. The album debuted at eight on the Billboard charts and Clark supported it with an extensive tour that was documented on the 2017 album Live North America 2016. ~ Steve Leggett

  • ORIGIN
    Austin, TX
  • BORN
    Feb 15, 1984

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