CD reviews: Gary Clark Jr

After the success of his breakout album Blak and Blue, there was no doubt about Gary Clark Jr's chops, or his reverence for the blues pioneers he pays homage to here.

Fortunately, not following the sterile, scatter-burn approach of some other blues guitar revisionists, Clark Jr mixes up his grab-bag of tasty licks and phenomenal tone with contemporary compositions, maximising the use of vocal harmonies backed by beats borrowed from the streets.

Equal parts Blaxploitation, Marvin Gaye and BB King, The Story of Sonny Boy Smith has moments that would benefit from more focus but, really, that's splitting hairs.

•  Gary Clark Jr. The Story of Sonny Boy Smith. Warner Music NZ.

•  Four stars (out of five)

Single download: Hold On
For those who like: Curtis Mayfield, Robert Cray, Massive Attack, Fleetwood Mac

- Mark Orton

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