Gary Clark Jr - Gary Clark Jr's Blak and Blue: will a major label change the bluesman?

Gary Clark Jr - a musician often described as the savior of blues music - has released his first major label record on Warner Brothers. Influenced by the likes of Buddy Guy and B.B King, Clark Jr's sound is, unsurprisingly, rooted in American blues, though his new record - incidentally titled 'Blak and Blue'- ventures into uncharted territory.

He forays into retro-soul, R&B and shades of hip-hop, all of which has impressed the critics. Jon Pareles of Rolling Stone magazine also hears garage rock and psychedelia though insists, "The album's core is still the blues. Clark dips into the historical timeline, sampling a juke joint's worth of 20th-century styles: from the rural slide-guitar picking of "Next Door Neighbor Blues" to the desolate tidings and incendiary lead guitar of "When My Train Pulls In." The New York Times' Nate Chinen suggests, "Still, the album's core strength lies in its approximation of what Mr. Clark can do onstage," which is play blues-guitarist really, really well. In fact, Clark is considered to be one of the finest blues musicians around.

The long-standing rocker is winning high praise for figuring out how a veteran bluesman can possibly thrive in 2012.


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