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Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 12/15/2011

Gary Clark Jr. — The blues in the bright lights

NEW YORK — When Gary Clark Jr.’s right hand hits the strings of his electric guitar, it’s almost always a downstroke — as if he wants gravity on his side. At a crammed Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, the notes fall off his guitar like raindrops. Ripe fruit. Bombs.

Sixties-inspired blues-rock shouldn’t steal your breath so easily in 2011, but Clark’s playing can be almost paralyzing. A dumbstruck front-row fan can’t seem to get his hands to clap between songs. “Wow,” he says, arms pinned to his sides. “Wowwowwow.”
Blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. is poised to be one of the breakout stars of 2012. (Bill O'Leary/TWP)

Clark, who headlines sold-out shows at the 8x10 in Baltimore Friday and the District’s Red Palace on Saturday, won’t release his major-label debut album until next year, but some have already crowned him the three-way heir to Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But his promise stretches beyond that. The 27-year-old Austin native isn’t resuscitating the blues so much as trying to wrestle it into the future.

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Read the rest of this article from today’s Washington Post, right here .

By  |  11:59 AM ET, 12/15/2011

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