Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gary Clark Junior Ain't Messin' Around

Gary Clark Jr.
Blak and Blu
Warner Brother Records
Five Scoops of Bosco

Gary Clark Jr. Live
Thurs. 11.15.2012, Los Angeles
Fri. 11.16.2012 San Francisco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

Every generation has it's own great Blues Guitarists/Singers.

The 50's had Buddy Guy.

The 60's had Jimi Hendrix.

The 70's and 80's Belonged to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan respectively.

And more recently you could make a case for Susan Tedeschi and John Mayer.

But as far as the Blues Universe is concerned, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the Two Thousand Ott Tens definitely are going to be the decade of Gary Clark Jr.

I just heard his album Blak and Blu (released in October) and all I can say is thank God that the art of the Blues is alive and well for a new generation.

But Gary Clark Jr., 28, who performs in Los Angeles and San Francisco on Thursday and Friday respectively,  is much more than a traditional blues man.

He brings influence from many musical genres to make this one of the most eclectic blues albums in recent memory.

His sound is a mixture of Hendrix, Bob Marley, John Legend, Chuck Berry and more.

The Austin based Bluesman has spent the last few years promoting his music through concerts and festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella and in around his home in Texas .  He has received praise from well known artists along the way.

 The opener of his new album entitled “Ain’t Messin’ Around”, has horns taking a prominent role, but it showcases much of Clark’s wonderful abilities: A great voice and a great touch for hooks and rifts.

 “Travis County” is reminiscent of the classic Rolling Stone tune “All Down the Line.”

The soulful “Please Come Home” channels Sam Cooke.

Probably the most intriguing and interesting track  on this album is Clark's cover of “Third Stone From The Sun/ If You Love Me Like You Say” by Jimi Hendrix and Little Johnny Taylor.

The piece clocks in at around ten minutes and begins in Hendrix realm of psychedelic consciousness.
Then the track shifts gears into a poppy number that features random turntable scratches. Ok you have to be there...but trust me, it sounds great.

The only criticism of the album is the fact that he may be painting on too big of a canvas and tries to cover too much musical ground.

It's an enjoyable listen but maybe he can settle into his own unique voice and style the next time out.

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