Board the Gary Clark, Jr. Train

2011-12-20-garyclark.jpg Photo by Rich Tarantino

Sometimes hype is just that… hype. Too many times, artists packaged as the “next big thing” fail to live up to the premature “it” factor when their albums drop. I could name dozens upon dozens, but would rather focus on an artist who not only lives up to the acclaim he’s received throughout the year, but may even exceed it. It’s not a matter of whether Gary Clark, Jr. is going to hit it big or not, it’s when he’s going to take over. As a matter of fact, he’ll probably be a star by the time you finish reading this post.

With just an EP to his credit, the Texan has already received praise from everyone from Eric Clapton to Alicia Keys, and Rolling Stone recently singled him out as one of five shredders to watch under 40. That iconic magazine also ranked his Bright Lights EP as the 40th best album in their top 100. Not too shabby…

One can only wonder what hell is going to break loose when the 27-year-old emerging rock and blues guitar god puts out a full record. I spoke with him about that and more during an “A-Sides” session in White Plains, NY last week. From a private studio of the Music Therapy Institute within the Music Conservatory of Westchester, Clark also performed two tracks off his EP and fittingly discussed music education. We were, after all, in a music school. Watch the too cool for school singer/songwriter below and get on the bandwagon now.

“Bright Lights”

“When My Train Pulls In”


On Music Education:

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman’s music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I’m hoping this is refreshing.