Austin’s newest blues prodigy, Gary Clark Jr., has been heavily celebrated for the past year. Since releasing his Bright Lights EP last year, Gary Clark Jr. has received praise from Rolling Stone and from his hometown (where there is even a Gary Clark Jr. Day). On top of that, he has played with Eric Clapton, and was invited to play festivals including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Jay-Z‘s Made In America Festival, Lollapalooza, and Neil Young‘s Bridge School Benefit. This year, Gary Clark Jr. is back with his highly anticipated debut full-length, Blak & Blu. The album was produced by Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple, Rilo Kiley, Mastodon), Rob Cavallo (Green Day) and Clark himself, and their eclectic backgrounds show through on the record. The songs’ influences range from straightforward blues to soul and R&B. “Travis County” is fast-paced Chuck Berry-style roots rock, while “Numb” offers heavy psych-blues to leave you, well, numb. “Bright Lights” has the sound of a Black Keyssong but with Clark’s own flare, and “Ain’t Messin’ Around” is the horn-laden opener that sounds like a fuzzy, guitar driven version of a high energy Otis Redding number.
RIYL: The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Jack White
Recommended Tracks: track #1 “Ain’t Messin ‘Round”, track #3 “Blak and Blu”, track #4 “Bright Lights”, track #5 “Travis County”, track #8 “Numb”, track #10 “Things Are Changin'”
Label: Warner Bros