Gary Clark Jr.
Blak and Blu
Gary Clark Jr. has shredded his way to some of the world’s most prestigious stages by blending traditional blues with a myriad of musical genres. His debut full-length album is a reflection of diverse influences, offering grungy blues-driven tracks like “Numb,” only to turn around with the soft and slow “Please Come Home.” The vast array of sounds on Blak and Blu will keep listeners guessing as Gary Clark Jr. takes them on a journey to rediscover the blues in the modern era.
Building off of the critically acclaimed “Bright Lights” LP, Gary Clark Jr. seriously broadens his musical horizons on “Blak and Blue.” However, blues die-hards may be disappointed by the lack of new guitar-based material. Besides the aforementioned “Numb” and the stripped-back slide guitar on “Next Door Neighbor Blues,” the bulk of feature guitar play on the album comes in the form of old tracks re-recorded for a full-length release. “When My Train Pulls In,” “Bright Lights,” “Things Are Changin’” and “Third Stone From The Sun” are all fantastic songs in their own right, but they certainly fail to add value to an album for those already familiar with this bluesman from Austin, Texas.
As it stands, Blak and Blu offers a little bit of everything for listeners interested in a blend of blues, soul, funk and modern rock. Purists will be left looking for more, but with his latest release, Gary Clark Jr. has made it clear he ain’t messin’ ‘round with his signature guitar sound and will be a dynamic force in music for years to come.