Texas blues guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. has been riding high this past year. Since his "discovery" by the legendary Eric Clapton, who invited him to perform at the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival, Clark's incendiary performance at the event was caught on videotape and released on DVD, leading to the release of 2011's The Bright Lights EP. The four-song flamethrower has pretty much stayed in the top five of the blues chart since its release, leading to an intense year of touring and sold-out cross-country tour dates.
The success of The Bright Lights EP has led many, including the Reverend, to wonder just when the heck a full-length follow-up LP would be released...well, true believers, wonder no longer because on October 22, 2012 Warner Brothers Records will release Blak and Blu, the major league debut album from the Austin, Texas native. Working in Los Angeles with an unlikely crew that includes producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day); Mike Elizondo, protégé of rap producer Dr. Dre, on bass; and drummer J.J. Johnson, Clark delivers an inspired set of twelve original tunes and a very special cover song that just may blow your mind!
Clark is crazy like a fox...Cavallo learned to play guitar from R&B legend Lowell Fulson, and he brings the same studio magic to Blak and Blu as he did to The Bright Lights, and while Johnson's blues credentials (Derek Trucks Band, Joanne Shaw Taylor) are unassailable, the multi-talented Elizondo has also recorded with folks like B.B. King and Eli "Paperboy" Reed. It's Clark that's the star of this show, however, and his scorching fretwork is applied to a wide range of material, from the juke-joint boogie-blues of "Travis County" and the blues-rock romp "When My Train Pulls In" to the sizzling R&B of the title track and the aforementioned cover song, a breathtaking ten-minute jam on Albert Collins' "If You Love Me Like You Say" (which was written by Little Johnny Taylor) that incorporates the acid-drenched psychedelic blues of Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone From The Sun."
Expect Gary Clark, Jr.'s Blak and Blu to top the charts upon its debut, the album a guaranteed lock to shake up the blues world like nobody since Stevie Ray Vaughan...
Related content: Gary Clark, Jr. - The Bright Lights EP review
Photo courtesy Warner Brothers Records