If Gary Clark Jr. isn’t the greatest thing to happen to guitar music since Jack White, I don’t know who is. A performer who is equal parts Jimi Hendrix as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr. has been heralded as the savior of blues, and damn if he hasn’t earned every inch of that title. His performance on the What Stage (preceding the legendary Beach Boys and Bon Iver) was one of the most impressive displays of technical prowess on the electric guitar that I’ve ever seen. People used to say that Jimi Hendrix could make his guitar speak and Gary Clark Jr. has inherited that gift as well. I couldn’t see him on stage very well (though I caught a glimpse of him every now and then) because I was in line for Bon Iver (the front of the line but more on that two days from now) but I could hear him great. The acoustics made his set sound a little on the “bass”-y side but no one who was there could doubt how phenomenal of a guitar player Gary Clark Jr. is. That man turns his instrument into a tool of pure artistic expression (and technical flourish). I’m picking “Bright Lights” off his self-titled EP because it’s a damn good song which is both a textbook example of how great Gary Clark Jr. is with his ax but also his singing ability and his ability to craft well-placed lyrical and instrumental hooks in his music. Keep your eye out on Gary Clark Jr. He’s about to have a huge year.

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