It came from the south and spread to cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit. Now Gary Clark, Jr. is bringing the blues back to Texas. This state is home to some legendary blues guitar players such as Albert Collins, Lightning Hopkins, Johnny Winter, but most notably and more well known to the casual fan, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. Clark was found by Vaughan’s older brother, Jimmy, and he became big around the Austin, Texas scene before achieving more notable success. Clark lives up to that standard and then some on his new offering. This is the follow up to his smash EP, “The Bright Lights EP.”
The lead single “Bright Lights” was featured in commercials during prime-time on major networks including ESPN. ” Blak and Blu” was produced by Mr. Cavallo along with Mike Elizondo, who has worked with a wide range of artists such as Dr. Dre. Clark drew inspiration for this album from blues standards such as Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, and even Sublime. Clark’s lead single titled “Ain’t Messin Around” has a Lenny Kravitz type of vibe. The track “Blak and Blu” shows some hip hop influence as well. My favorite song on this album is “Numb”. The guitar is loud and mean, and Clark’s vocals add an element to the track that really makes it hit. Although this album is not a traditional blues album, its rocks, like the Black Keys except harder with power. There are a lot of pop influences but Clark still brings plenty of soul to project. This album shows that Clark is very versatile, he keeps his rhymes simple but his guitar playing is still as good as ever. This album is what is needed to help bring blues back to forefront. Rolling Stone Magazine was quoted as saying, “Give Clark credit for striving to be something more than a blues-rock throwback and singing from a troubled heart. And hope that he gets through the narrow portals of pop radio.” (Jon Pareles, 2012) Lets just hope this album does get major airplay. So GO AND GET THIS ALBUM! It is out now so don’t hesitate just buy it.