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Author: Subject: Gary Clark Jr - “Blak And Blu”

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 10/25/2012 at 10:56 AM


This week @ Best Buy $7.99 Free Shipping

iTunes has 2 additional tracks.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/25/2012 at 11:03 AM
By Jon Pareles
October 23, 2012

How can a serious bluesman thrive in the age of Auto-Tune? That's the question Gary Clark Jr. grapples with on his major label debut. Since his teens, Clark has been the young titan of Texas blues, coming out of Austin in the early 2000s with a smoothly long-suffering voice and one hell of a mean guitar tone, playing solos that claw and scream their stories with ornery splendor. He's a full-fledged guitar hero of the classic school.

And that's all he would need to be, if he only wanted to spend his career playing for roots-music die-hards and recording for his own Hotwire Unlimited, the Austin label that released his albums from 2004 to 2010. But Clark, 28, has a different trajectory and a much larger goal: to reach his own generation, the one that grew up on hip-hop and R&B.

Clark spreads his musical bets on Blak and Blu. Instead of having one signature sound, he tries a dozen, delving into modern R&B, retro soul, psychedelia and garage rock. A handful of the album's songs are cherry-picked from Clark's Hotwire catalog, remade in studios that make everything sound bigger and tougher. Abetted by producers Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Fiona Apple) and Rob Cavallo (Green Day), Clark is clearly aware that young listeners have heard the Black Keys, Prince and the Roots. Although most songs have a live, hand-played flavor, a few of them – including the title track – tilt toward the static, looplike grooves of hip-hop.

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" to the Cream-y riffing and layering of "Glitter Ain't Gold." But Clark won't be genre-bound. "Ain't Messin' 'Round" is pushy, updated Stax-Volt soul with Clark's fuzztone leading the charge of a horn section. "Things Are Changin'" makes another Memphis move with a fat Al Green-style backbeat.

As an album, Blak and Blu makes for a bumpy ride. The roaring, distortion-soaked blues of "Numb" – which sounds something like Stevie Ray Vaughan tackling "Come Together" – upstages the falsetto croon and string arrangement of "Please Come Home." The souped-up Chuck Berry boogie of "Travis County" collides with "The Life," which has Clark ruminating over woozy, echoey keyboards: "Can't go on like this/Knowing that I'm just getting high." Clark and Warner Bros. clearly expect listeners to carve their own playlists from the album's 13 tracks.

Outside the structures of the blues, Clark is still a journey-man songwriter, sometimes settling for easy rhymes and singsong melodies, as he does in "Blak and Blu," which aspires to the thoughtfulness of Marvin Gaye, wondering, "How do we get lifted/How do we not go insane?" Give Clark credit for striving to be something more than a blues-rock throwback and singing from a troubled heart. And hope that he gets through the narrow portals of pop radio. But on this album, it's still his blues that cut deepest.




http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/blak-and-blu-20121023

 

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  posted on 10/25/2012 at 12:18 PM
The album is great. Should open my generation up to the blues because he's becoming a well-known musician outside of the genre, and mixing it up with some R&B/hip hop influences.
 

Peach Bud



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  posted on 10/25/2012 at 01:41 PM
Gary Clark Jr is awesome. Saw him in Toronto last summer at the Rivoli and it was a crazy good show. Hit 2 hours and carried a power trio playing slide and regular tunings interchangeably without any problems.

We got to the show and it was sold out, but they said tickets might be released, we waited in line for 2 hours and then the venue announced there was no more tickets so we had to leave. We had played a few times at the Horseshoe (both on Queen St in Toronto) before and I knew there was a back allley so I thought we might catch a glimpse of Gary. His bass player was out back so we went and talked to him and explained our situation. He tore off his wristband and gave it to me, then brought us in the back door to Gary's room. Gary gave us his other wristband and they walked me and my friend to the side of the stage so we could watch the show. All in all a pretty memorable night.

I'd like to see him and Derek team up sometime.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/25/2012 at 02:43 PM
Heard a good chunk of it today. I dig it

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/26/2012 at 04:27 AM
$7.99 at amazon - and no tax....

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/26/2012 at 01:21 PM
LOVE Gary Clark Jr!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/26/2012 at 02:16 PM
He sure was good at Crossroads 2010.

 

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Peach Pro



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  posted on 10/27/2012 at 11:21 AM
I saw him opening up for GPN last year on the Bonarroo Buzz Tour and was blown away. I couldn't wait till his first full length cd came out and grabbed up Blak and Blu with much anticipation. It left me confused...
It seems to me that the record producing folks got in his head and have him doing alittle bit of everything... what kind of record is it?? Oh there are some really good cuts but some of them are the typical auto tune stuff that domiinates the airwaves today... is Gary Clark Jr the next Bruno Mars? Is he the next pop R&B star? He may end up going that way but I think he is at his best playing and singing the blues rock.
That being said it has been spinning in my iPod steady for the last week or so.. I just skip over the overproduced/autotune stuff and let him melt the speakers on the other tracks.
Maybe the stuff I don't like will introduce some new folks to him.
Definetly worth a listen.

 

Peach Pro



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  posted on 10/27/2012 at 11:45 AM
On Jay Leno this week...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_sVyUO59U0

sand some other cuts on YT:
Things Are A Changing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9dqtmgsmAg

Third Stone From The Sun/IfYou Love Me Like You Say
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PE_B_RR6qA

"When My Train Pulls In"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOeFJF3tTSU&list=PLTmFZBSZal5jsY3PN60vT 5_Y2vCEHocMY&index=1&feature=plcp



[Edited on 10/27/2012 by marknga]

 

True Peach



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  posted on 10/27/2012 at 07:43 PM
I was really impressed w/ him on the White House blues show, and bought his EP Bright Lights. Fairly disappointed in that though. Still need to see him live.
 
 


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