Last year while working at a record store, I was exposed to a lot of artists that I probably would’ve never heard of otherwise. Having to spin a variety of albums each day, there was no hesitation with “testing out” new and even older music. One day coming into work, we had a bluesy rock album playing. I had just gotten into Dan Auerbach’s (of the Black Keys) solo music and I thought the vocals were so similar, that it must have been him playing over the loudspeakers. Turns out it was a fairly new artist, Gary Clark Jr., who I had never heard of before. Instantly, I became a fan of his groovy combination of blues and rock, so I had to buy his record. If you want an album with variety, then his album Blak and Blu is something you definitely want to pick up. Songs like “Bright Lights” and “Times Are Changin’” are heavier with rock and blues influences, whereas “Please Come Home” sounds like it could be a lost song of the Motown era.
If you’re a fan of artists like Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Jimi Hendrix, Citizen Cope, and yes, even John Mayer, then Gary Clark Jr. is an artist you will no doubt enjoy listening to. The guitar is prominent on the record with buildups and great solos, showing this man is seriously talented. This past weekend, tickets went on sale for Kings of Leon’s Mechanical Bull tour with Clark being the opening act. Coming to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on February 26th, this is not something I want to miss. For something more intimate and to avoid the inevitable crowd of drunk people dancing around singing “Sex on Fire” (I’d be one of them, I’ll be honest), Clark is playing the Danforth Music Hall on November 18th.