Record Of The Day #1 – Blak and Blu by Gary Clark Jr.

While it would be easy to say that this Austin artist is simply picking up where electric blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan left off, even a brief listen to Blak and Blu sheds light on the richness and variety embodied by Gary Clark Jr.’s music.

Kicking off with the upbeat and horn-rich “Ain’t Messin ‘Round,” Blak and Blu explores elements of soul, rock, and hip-hop while still boasting a powerful amount of blues credibility.

I found myself most struck by “The Life,” a pop and hip-hop influenced summer jam and “Please Come Home,” a 70s-style soul-ballad showcasing Clark’s surprisingly smooth falsetto.

For fans of Clark’s iconic heavy blues-rock tracks, “When My Train Pulls In,” “Bright Lights,” and “Numb” are unrelenting in both their quality and their bluesy southern attitude.

Blak and Blu flows more smoothly than just about any post-2010 record I can name. Careful thought was obviously put into the exact order of the tracks, creating a natural concert-like feel. In an age of singles, Gary Clark Jr. released a true record intended to be enjoyed as a full work that progresses through various stylings and moods.

Blak and Blu is a fantastic debut record and would serve as great study material for any musician looking to enter the rock or blues game.

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