Often touted as the leader of the Austin, TX music scene, Gary Clark Jr.’s music combines old school rock and roll sounds with a smooth soul/R&B/bluesy feel. Warner Brothers Records released his EP in December, and he was recently announced as a performer at cult-attended Coachella Music Festival for this year. Rolling Stone placed his EP on their “50 Best Albums of 2011″ list, after giving it a glowing feature review in their August issue.
The first two tracks, “Bright Lights” and “Don’t Owe You A Thang” are upbeat and jazzy. I can easily see myself playing them with the windows down on a nice day driving around Los Angeles, and then hearing them thrown into a club mix when I’m out at night. However, the real hidden gems on the EP come in the form of live solo acoustic tracks “Things Are Changin’” and “When My Train Pulls In”. The toned-down instrumentation paves way for the R&B side of his voice to be showcased. They both include minutes of him just playing the acoustic guitar, which shows off how incredibly talented of a player he is.
I had the opportunity to see Gary Clark Jr. perform live last summer when I interned at WBR, and I can attest to the fact that he is incredible live. He brings a huge stage presence for songs like “Bright Lights”, but quickly tones it down when he switches to more mellow pieces. In casual hipster threads that always seem to be accompanied by some sort of hat, he gives off a vibe of being chill, down to earth, and approachable–someone you could just walk up to and start casually jamming with.
Check out his unplugged performance of “When My Train Pulls In” from his November SPIN session.
Gary Clark Jr. is definitely going to be one of the acts to watch in 2012, and I highly recommend checking him out. For tickets to see him and the rest of the lineup at Coachella:
Weekend 1, April 13-15:
Weekend 2, April 20-22
*Image via: http://www.whereseric.com