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Gary Clark Jr.

If Austin's Black Joe Lewis and his Honeybears are the saving grace of modern soul, then Gary Clark Jr. is our pick for resident Texas bluesman for the next 60 years. Clark, who also hails from the 512, is quickly blazing trails at only 27 years old, already thrilling the likes of Eric Clapton and Sheryl Crow, singing on Crow's recent version of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." The Austin native has been devastating audiences in his hometown since before he could drive, and the state capital proclaimed May 3, 2001 "Gary Clark Jr. Day." He played Bonnaroo this year, and spots on the Dave Matthews Band's Caravan in July and September's Austin City Limits Music Festival are around the corner. There is something rugged and authentic about Clark, who doesn't seem to be imitating blues-rockers three times his age as much as he is making a sound all his own. The footage from his set at last year's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago will give you the chills.

 
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