Gary Clark Jr. is an American guitarist considered by some to be the leader of the Austin, Texas rock scene, playing in a style that has at times been compared to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He has been acclaimed as the savior of blues and Rolling Stone declared him “Best Young Gun” in its April 2011, “Best of Rock” issue. His live performances, as well as his recordings, blend rock, soul and blues, infusing fluid guitar with a guttural howl and a falsetto trill that mix together.
My favorite cd of year thus far is SMOD by SMOD (Nacional Records, 2011). It is produced by one of my favorite artists, Manu Chao and it carries his signature psychedelic bounce with reggae bass lines, one-note melodies and dubby chants. Manu Chao also produced one of my favorite cd’s of all time, the groundbreaking album, Dimanche a Bamako, by the accomplished duo, Amadou and Mariam. One member of SMOD is Sam, son of Amadou and Mariam, who Manu Chao met in 2005 when he was producing Dimanche a Bamako in Mali. At that time Sam and his friends had formed a group to make “African Rap”