From the Vault...


Gary Clark Jr.
"Blak And Blu"

© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 2012

track listing
  • Ain't Messin 'Round
  • When My Train Pulls In
  • Blak And Blu
  • Bright Lights
  • Travis County
  • The Life
  • Glitter Ain't Gold
    (Jumpin' For Nothin')
  • Numb
  • Please Come Home
  • Things Are Changin'
  • Third Stone
    From The Sun/
    If You Love Me Like
    You Say
  • You Saved Me
  • Next Door
    Neighbor Blues

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Gary Clark Jr. related sites:
    Gary Clark Jr. Website
    Previous Review: #1445
    Rick Wakeman--Wakeman With Wakeman: The Official Bootleg
    Next Review: #1447
    Bon Jovi--Bon Jovi
    Gary Clark Jr.
    "Blak And Blu"

    Bluesman Gary Clark Jr. marks his debut this week, with his first full-length album, Blak And Blu. His influences are blues, jazz, soul, country, and hip hop. All of these styles (except Country) are in this album. And quite honestly, I haven't really ranted and raved positively about a more recent album in a long time. Gary Clark Jr. is definitely a great artist. This album has all the qualities of musical styles to satisfy anyone's craving. It was #1 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart for a total of 33 weeks. With that spectacular longevity at #1, it's obvious this album is one that should be in every music lover's collection.

    There isn't one bad track on this album... It opens with "Ain't Messin 'Round," and wow, what a great opener.. It's 1960s Stax/Soul feel, and it evens compares to Lenny Kravitz's style. "When My Train Pulls In" is updated Blues, and for fans of the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, this song is another great one. This song was a track from his previous EP, Bright Lights, yet it was a live/solo acoustic version.

    The title track is more of an R&B track, maybe fitting today's R&B/Soul/Hip-Hop formats. "Bright Lights" was from the title track EP -- an ultimate Rock/Blues track, and definitely a song that will be enjoyed with repeated listens. Speaking of Stevie Ray Vaughn earlier, his song "House Is A-Rockin" gets the comparison on "Travis Country" -- a great Rock & Roll track.

    Clark Jr.'s R&B mix with Pop has "The Life," and the return of Lenny Kravitz-ish Rock is heard on "Glitter Ain't Gold (Jumpin' For Nothin')" More of Rock on "Numb" as the opening riff of The Beatles' "Come Together" keeps playing in the back of your head.

    Early R&B, and even an early Prince feel comes to play on another song that should be a radio favorite, "Please Come Home." 1970s Soul/R&B gets the flavor for "Things Are Changin'" Jimi Hendrix fans will enjoy Clark Jr's version of "Third Stone From The Sun," as he showcases his guitar skills, and mixes this song with "If You Love Me Like You Say," (which was one of the tracks from the previously reviewed album Frostbite by Albert Collins, here on "You Saved Me" gets the compare nods to Rock, R&B, and Prince. The album ends with a old fashioned Blues track, "Next Door Neighbor Blues," as TV actor/recently blues artist Hugh Laurie's debut album comes to mind, as this particular style (as well as the early Delta blues) comes into play.

    There's no doubt, Gary Clark Jr.'s Blak And Blu would be a must for any music (and Blues) fan's collections. Not only is it considered a Blues album, it's a Rock album. It's a Soul album. It's R&B. It's a great mix of musical styles, that are all influences from the artist himself. It's a wonder why this album, didn't get to the top of the regular Billboard Hot 200 albums chart. Despite that, this is one of those albums that you HAVE to have. Give it a listen once, as every song will have the "I'm impressed; I'm liking this alot" button hit, on every track. Gary Clark Jr. is definitely one of those artists that will be compared to the other great Rock and Blues artists before him, like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and many others. Since his Bright Lights EP release, every one of his albums has hit the #1 spot on Billboard's Blues Albums Chart. It's obvious, he has a great talent, not only in his songwriting (he wrote 99% of ALL the songs on this album), and his vocal and guitar skills.

    Gary Clark Jr. is a future Hall of Famer. Give his music a listen. You will not be disappointed.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Bros. Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1445
    Rick Wakeman--Wakeman With Wakeman: The Official Bootleg
    Next Review: #1447
    Bon Jovi--Bon Jovi