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#1
After reading the thread on about the falling popularity of blues music, I gave it a thought and found there are similar problems associated with the blues music currently.
As many blues listeners know, blues isn't just a genre or a style - it's a lifestyle, it's something personal and emotional, almost like a story you write.
Personally I think learning all the blues licks in the world or knowing all your scales inside out won't make you a respectable blues artist if you don't have the feeling and the driving emotion behind it.

So let's take a brief time to think here.
When you have a guitar jam with some friends and want a proper blues jam - well, from my personal experiences, they never turn out to be a blues jam. They just turn out into guitar boning session with distortion levels running dangerously high.
And it really has turned that ridiculous. Blues has lost it's main purpose in this period of time, where soul in music has been eliminated.
Blues jam? Forget it. Kids just try to nail a 20 nps bomb or some frenzy tapping session with endless pinch harmonics added every guitar lick or phrase.
It is sickening, and yet they call it blues, and so many classics are ruined the main essence of blues is out the window.

And it doesn't help when guitarists like Vai and Satch, although I do have huge respect for them, to do the same. They should stick what they do best.
I remember watching a video lesson with Malmsteen and one section good ol' Yngwie was trying to teach blues - or his terrible interpretation of it.

So my point is, and whether you agree or not, is that blues is no longer what it used to be.
The guitar used to be the song writing partner of a bluesman, but now all the guitar is just a tool for tricks.

Maybe this is why genuine blues band are no longer visible in the music industry these days.
eat sleep play guitar
#3
Quote by Night Revolver
After reading the thread on about the falling popularity of blues music, I gave it a thought and found there are similar problems associated with the blues music currently.
As many blues listeners know, blues isn't just a genre or a style - it's a lifestyle, it's something personal and emotional, almost like a story you write.
Personally I think learning all the blues licks in the world or knowing all your scales inside out won't make you a respectable blues artist if you don't have the feeling and the driving emotion behind it.


Different people take different emotions from different music. I, for instance, cannot stand death metal; yet I can understand the fact that on some other level I don't get, people who do like can relate. There's no universal trait for 'driving emotion'. It differs from person to person.

Quote by Night Revolver
So let's take a brief time to think here.
When you have a guitar jam with some friends and want a proper blues jam - well, from my personal experiences, they never turn out to be a blues jam. They just turn out into guitar boning session with distortion levels running dangerously high.
And it really has turned that ridiculous. Blues has lost it's main purpose in this period of time, where soul in music has been eliminated.
Blues jam? Forget it. Kids just try to nail a 20 nps bomb or some frenzy tapping session with endless pinch harmonics added every guitar lick or phrase.
It is sickening, and yet they call it blues, and so many classics are ruined the main essence of blues is out the window.


Oddly enough, it's people like you who further kill of the blues. So overly distorted guitar jams may not be your interpretation of the blues, but who gives a sht? The blues has been stagnant for a long while now, simply because purists won't let anybody do anything new with it. Playing fast, or to quote you, 20nps may not be the blues to you, but at the end of the day, blues is all about expression. And playing quickly is a perfectly valid form of expressing oneself.
And don't limit the blues to guitars; the blues can be - and is - played just as well, and better, than guitars on various other instruments.

Quote by Night Revolver
And it doesn't help when guitarists like Vai and Satch, although I do have huge respect for them, to do the same. They should stick what they do best.
I remember watching a video lesson with Malmsteen and one section good ol' Yngwie was trying to teach blues - or his terrible interpretation of it.


Hell, I don't even need to address this point. Refer to the above.

Quote by Night Revolver
So my point is, and whether you agree or not, is that blues is no longer what it used to be.
The guitar used to be the song writing partner of a bluesman, but now all the guitar is just a tool for tricks.

Maybe this is why genuine blues band are no longer visible in the music industry these days.


The guitar was a tool for tricks back in the 60s. What do you think Hendrix was doing? Hell, it was a tool for tricks before that too; what about all the guitarists in big bands before the 60s who used to play behind their heads and with their teeth?
And the guitar was never specifically the song writing partner of a bluesman; Son House's 'Grinnin' In Your Face' and 'John The Revelator' are two of the most powerful blues songs I've heard, and their both just vocals. The blues is not about guitar, or harmonica, or piano, or any other instrument you care to name; it's about expressing yourself in the best way you feel possible.
The blues cannot be kept in a box, simply because that is what has killed it. Nobody's willing to do anything new with it, so it just stays the same old hackneyed 12 Bar Blues progression with some twat wanking in an E minor pentatonic scale for half an hour. That is the fundemental problem with 'blues nowadays'.

For fuck's sake man, it's getting so fucking boring hearing people ramble on about 'the blues is dead' or 'it's lost it's direction totally'. Please fuck off. Unless you're roughly 60, you've got no right to say anything about the blues 'being dead' or 'having lost it's direction', because, guess what? You weren't around.
How about in the 60s with the hundreds of shitty blues bands saturating everything? That killed the blues, and then the hundreds of SRV imitators in the 80s and post-90s merely danced on its grave.
You want good blues? You want good, raw, unadultered blues? Then stop fucking complaining about it. Go out and find some. There's probably thousands of blues albums you don't have, and hundreds of artists you haven't heard of. Go buy a random blues album from someone you've never heard of. Or hell, go to clubs and pubs, try actually looking for blues communities etc. Because they do exist.
You want blues? Stop complaining, and go find it.
#4
This is crazy.

The blues is a Genre of music, whether it changes some ones life or they just dig the sound, it will still remain a music form, not a specific doctrine. Further more, it's an art form with which someone can stick to the beaten path or stretch the boundaries.

If the blues jams you attend are not fitting your paradigm of what is or isn't blues, find some else to jam with. If your like the older style, listen to it and explore it. They are many artists that still survive and produce recrds.
Don't be derivative. Explore...
#5
it's not losing anything, it's just evolving, of course, it's anoying to jam and having a guy with his bc rich trying to shred with the gain all the way up

back in the days. bluesmen were in a really different enviroment, so their blues is really different to the few blues that's coming out, most "bluesmen" i know just try to be popular, but they don't give a **** about feeling

some others are too influentiated by other music, so their sound it a big mix of everything
#6
I agree with SomeEvilDude. The blues have always been changing, and for the better. Before Hendrix no one was playing the blues the way he was. People were criticizing him because his music was to "messy" with feedback and distortion. Thirty years later people have nothing but respect for him. When SRV came around, people were complaining that his blues where too upbeat, too happy, too fast. Twenty years after his death he is a legend. Nowadays blues is in a transformation and WE ARE NOW THE ONES COMPLAINING like people did years ago about guys like Buddy Guy, Hendrix and SRV, because their style was too radical for people too handle. I too hate all this bullshit about people saying that the blues will die. It will never die, because everything stems from the blues. And when music falls apart it will always come back to it's original form, THE BLUES.
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
-Mark Twain
#7
While I completely agree with SomeEvilDude (great post btw, if a little hostile).

I can definitly see where Night Revolver's post is coming from, and I don't fault him for it.

I think Night Revolver's frustrations stem from the fact that because of the ridiculously prevailent "shred" guitarists, it seems like Blues is in danger of just becoming another form of music dominated by that style. And the fact that everyone else who likes the blues is just some douchebag rehashing stuff that's been done already to a tee doesn't help either.

However, I encourage you to check out the artists who are keeping the Blues alive and helping it EVOLVE. Look at artists like Derek Trucks and John Mayer and take solace in the fact that while Blues may not be in it's greatest of shape right now, there's no way in hell it's gonna die.

Respect
-Falcatarius
#8
SomeEvilDude

What ignorance in your post Night Revolver. You're just as bad as the people you're slagging off, if not worse.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
#9
It seems people took my post a little too literally. I'm 'slagging off' no one in reply to Resiliance and SomeEvilDude's response, although well thought out, is missing my main point.
No where in my post did I say blues is dead - for all I know it's still around - but I'm saying blues is too generalised, hense the point the thread title 'blues losing definition.
It could be a good news for some and bad news for the purists of blues. But whatever your opinions mount on this issue, no doubt blues genre itself has been saturated to the point that anything can be called blues.
I'm no purist as you suggest I am and I am all for evolving the music to a different direction - it's my current project at the moment with my band. And all I am saying is anyone - majority are guitarists - are name tagging anything they want as 'blues'.

Let's simplify what I have said from my last post.
I was simply saying that in blues guitar jams have lost the feeling element.
Sure, if you can convert speed licks and solos with emotion than by all means go ahead, but the problem is that many people dont and try and focus all their minds on their techniques.

Now my question is then to posters involved thus far, how do you define blues or coin the term in music, or can it be defined at all?
Blues will mean different to different people individually, that is for sure.
eat sleep play guitar
#10
Quote by Night Revolver
Let's simplify what I have said from my last post.
I was simply saying that in blues guitar jams have lost the feeling element.
Sure, if you can convert speed licks and solos with emotion than by all means go ahead, but the problem is that many people dont and try and focus all their minds on their techniques.

Now my question is then to posters involved thus far, how do you define blues or coin the term in music, or can it be defined at all?
Blues will mean different to different people individually, that is for sure.


How can you have the arrogance of assuming just because they play fast or not with a bend every other phrase, or -insert blues cliché here- they don't have just as much or not more feeling in their playing as you do? Well... That's the thing, you don't know.

You said it yourself... It's different to everyone. So why do you think you've got the golden standard?

Besides, your examples are flawed. For instance, in your original post I assume you were talking about Yngwie and his song "blue". You say he was trying to teach blues. WRONG. He was simply putting down his interpretation of something "bluesy" (verbatim), without a typical blues chord progression (verbatim again). He never for a second claimed to be teaching blues in that video.

Then you go on and call his interpretation of it "terrible". Excuse me? What's that all about? And you dare say you're not a purist?

Perhaps you can explain to me how one practices for his entire life (and in Yngwie's case two times over as he had a crash after which he had to completely relearn guitar playing) to reach the technical standard he pursues without having an overwhelming passion for the music he wants to play? It can't be done without it.

Now, don't think I'm defending him, I'm defending everyone's right to expression without being slagged off as having no emotion or any other such nonsensical accusations, because frankly, that's bullshit. You don't like it, fine. Just don't talk unfounded shit.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
#11
Resiliance, I think the Ywngie thing he's referring to is this one. For the thread starter: while this may not be what you call blues, in purely terms of technicality, what he's playing there is blues.
And in any case, 'The Blue' is a pretty damn good tune if I do say so myself.

Quote by Night Revolver
It seems people took my post a little too literally. I'm 'slagging off' no one in reply to Resiliance and SomeEvilDude's response, although well thought out, is missing my main point.
No where in my post did I say blues is dead - for all I know it's still around - but I'm saying blues is too generalised, hense the point the thread title 'blues losing definition.
It could be a good news for some and bad news for the purists of blues. But whatever your opinions mount on this issue, no doubt blues genre itself has been saturated to the point that anything can be called blues.
I'm no purist as you suggest I am and I am all for evolving the music to a different direction - it's my current project at the moment with my band. And all I am saying is anyone - majority are guitarists - are name tagging anything they want as 'blues'.


Well, firstly, I'd like to apologize for the harshness of my first post; I've been feeling like shit all weekend, and ended up venting on you. My point still stands the same, but I apologize for the harshness in the way it was presented.
While, no, you didn't strictly say that the blues is dead, it very much came across in your original post that that was what you were implying. However, in saying it's too generalised, you are contributing to the decline of it. The blues is generalised simply beacuse of purists; now you may not be one, but that point still holds true. Blues purists are not willing to see the blues branching out in any other way than the traditional styles of artists in days-gone-by, so it simply gets stale. And then when somebody comes along and tries to do something new, the purists shit all over them, and shun them from the blues community, simply beacuse they can't understand what's happening. That is why blues has become too generalised, that is why the blues is saturated.
As for the last half of that post, I'd love to know where you get that part from. I've never heard anyone in my area, nor have I met any musicians at all - in real life - that claim to be blues players. Yet, the few local blues bands I've seen, have been simply nothing but SRV rip-offs; and I have to say it, they get incredibly boring. Fast.

Quote by Night Revolver
Let's simplify what I have said from my last post.
I was simply saying that in blues guitar jams have lost the feeling element.
Sure, if you can convert speed licks and solos with emotion than by all means go ahead, but the problem is that many people dont and try and focus all their minds on their techniques.


Now why is not focusing on one's technique a bad thing? The better affiliated with your instrument you are, and the more you can utilise technique to get full capacity of your instrument, the easier it's going to be to express yourself in diverse ways. And surely that is the essence of the blues, being able to express oneself in any and all ways one sees fit.
I for one cannot see the correlation that so many people seem to see, between having good technique and no feeling in playing. The better technique a player has, the better they'll be able to express themselves. So please explain to me why people who simply focus their minds on technique aren't playing with feeling? Emotion, strictly speaking comes from what's inside you, from what's in your subconscious all the time. Just because a person's conscious mind is focused on playing with good technique, does not mean that they're not playing with emotion.

Quote by Night Revolver
Now my question is then to posters involved thus far, how do you define blues or coin the term in music, or can it be defined at all?
Blues will mean different to different people individually, that is for sure.


Blues will mean different things to people inidividually? While, yes, that is completely true, haven't you just been complaining about people who call themselves blues guitarists and then simply play fast licks focus on their technique? Oh, the joys of hypocrisy.
#12
Quote by SomeEvilDude
Resiliance, I think the Ywngie thing he's referring to is this one. For the thread starter: while this may not be what you call blues, in purely terms of technicality, what he's playing there is blues.
And in any case, 'The Blue' is a pretty damn good tune if I do say so myself.


That's not the fragment I meant, but my comments still largely apply to even this one.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
#13
Quote by Resiliance
That's not the fragment I meant, but my comments still largely apply to even this one.


No, I know that's not the one you meant. I'm well aware that 'The Blue' is a completely different tune of Ywngie's. I put that link in as I believe that was what the thread starter was referring to.
#14
R
Well, firstly, I'd like to apologize for the harshness of my first post; I've been feeling like shit all weekend, and ended up venting on you. My point still stands the same, but I apologize for the harshness in the way it was presented.
While, no, you didn't strictly say that the blues is dead, it very much came across in your original post that that was what you were implying. However, in saying it's too generalised, you are contributing to the decline of it. The blues is generalised simply beacuse of purists; now you may not be one, but that point still holds true. Blues purists are not willing to see the blues branching out in any other way than the traditional styles of artists in days-gone-by, so it simply gets stale. And then when somebody comes along and tries to do something new, the purists shit all over them, and shun them from the blues community, simply beacuse they can't understand what's happening. That is why blues has become too generalised, that is why the blues is saturated.


So, blues is too generalised because there are a (presumed) minority of fans who hold the genre to a set descriptor?

I don't see how that makes sense.
#15
A few things spring to mind here:

- It's really funny to watch white kids claiming that other white kids are 'killing the blues' on internet forums. All of these arguments are just 'the blues about the blues', and pointless.

- I agree with Frank Zappa: talking about music is like fishing about architecture. What exactly does all this talking prove?

- If you think 'soul in music' is void in modern music, then listen to more music.
Encore God & Asomodai- UG JHS Brotherhood

Encore God: fighting UG Zeppelin-centrism since 2002.
#16
Quote by Encore_God
- I agree with Frank Zappa: talking about music is like fishing about architecture. What exactly does all this talking prove?


Dancing
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
#18
I doubt that real blues will ever be mainstream again, if it ever truly was.


Pray, tell us, what is the definition of 'real blues'? Because I know damn well that nobody can provide a proper definition, because, guess what? It doesn't exist; there's no universal property, really.
#19
Quote by Resiliance
Dancing


Haha, thanks geezer I'm quite glad actually, dancing is way more exciting than fishing. And women look better doing it.
Encore God & Asomodai- UG JHS Brotherhood

Encore God: fighting UG Zeppelin-centrism since 2002.
#20
Quote by SomeEvilDude
Pray, tell us, what is the definition of 'real blues'? Because I know damn well that nobody can provide a proper definition, because, guess what? It doesn't exist; there's no universal property, really.


Okay, maybe I should specify. I guess I mean traditional blues...without the rock attached.
#21
Quote by Encore_God
Haha, thanks geezer I'm quite glad actually, dancing is way more exciting than fishing. And women look better doing it.


I dunno... Fishing is pretty exhilarating...
Quote by holybassbatman!
Most people on UG are teenage boys who think that the only way they can assert their 'dominancy' is by making others feel low and bossing them around. More than likely in real life they are subject to bullying.
True?

#22
Okay, maybe I should specify. I guess I mean traditional blues...without the rock attached.


But then, even that depends how you talk about it. I know some folks who think the blues ended with electric guitars and drum kits.
Encore God & Asomodai- UG JHS Brotherhood

Encore God: fighting UG Zeppelin-centrism since 2002.
#23
how 'bout you all realize that all this fussing over "Blues" isnt going to change anyones outlook on the blues. So just try signing off the net, stop fighting about it, and play "The Blues". It is a goofy arguement...
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<- ".....Sell Your Computer, Buy A Guitar....." ->
#24
I doubt that real blues will ever be mainstream again, if it ever truly was.


blues was never mainstream
#25
True. Again, I guess I'm not explaining myself well. I guess the best way to say this is to say that there will never be a group of players like the old delta players or the Chicago players ever again. Culturally, politically, historically etc. there's not a lot of incentive for it these days it seems. Musical "movements" are tied into "movements" in other facets of society. And this brings me to another question I ask myself a lot...when will a truly or at least substantially new form of music develop? Something that's not a variation of rock...because that happens all the time.
#26
Quote by deluxity
blues was never mainstream


Er... yes, it really was.
Encore God & Asomodai- UG JHS Brotherhood

Encore God: fighting UG Zeppelin-centrism since 2002.
#27
^ when? im pretty sure that white suburban america never really embraced real blues, and thats pretty much what mainstream means.
#28
In America when black rights had not been made completely equal to those of white people there was actually an entire culture developed around both blues and jazz. Typically at the time, the only place black people could really go to to have fun were bars and underground joints called "speakeasy's" and the like. So yeah, at that point, most people spent their free time at joints like these, and they were prominently played at by blues and jazz musicians. I'm pretty sure at that time people would have called blues mainstream.

Just read this part over:
^ when? im pretty sure that white suburban america never really embraced real blues, and thats pretty much what mainstream means.
I never really noticed you said "white suburban america".... I'm curious why you would consider mainstream a thing for only a certain selection of a certain race.....
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#29
Quote by rixills
^ when? im pretty sure that white suburban america never really embraced real blues, and thats pretty much what mainstream means.


Er, in the 60s when the airwaves were dominated from shitty soulless blues-bands, who simply played a standard 12 Bar Blues rhythm, sang some clichéd lyrics about being left by a woman - although with no real intelligence behind them, such as the way Sonny Boy Williamson II did - and have then have some prat noodle around for a little bit in a blues pentatonic, before going into the turnaround and finishing the song.
#30
Quote by rixills
^ when? im pretty sure that white suburban america never really embraced real blues, and thats pretty much what mainstream means.


Oh right, so white suburban America is the whole world, is it?

In Britain in the 1960's, thousands of bands pounded the motorways in poorly maintained vans pedalling their English blues week after week. Kids over here were obsessed with the music. And at that time, bands like the Stones got the likes of Howlin' Wolf to perform on dinnertime television with them.
Encore God & Asomodai- UG JHS Brotherhood

Encore God: fighting UG Zeppelin-centrism since 2002.
#31
Quote by Encore_God
Oh right, so white suburban America is the whole world, is it?

In Britain in the 1960's, thousands of bands pounded the motorways in poorly maintained vans pedalling their English blues week after week. Kids over here were obsessed with the music. And at that time, bands like the Stones got the likes of Howlin' Wolf to perform on dinnertime television with them.



I know... I hate the way everyone seems to forget about this little island - we once conquered half the globe, you know...

But seriously, it's a pitty blues isn't so mainstream now... When exactly did English blues die (mostly)?
Quote by holybassbatman!
Most people on UG are teenage boys who think that the only way they can assert their 'dominancy' is by making others feel low and bossing them around. More than likely in real life they are subject to bullying.
True?

#32
...Not to be a racist of any kind but, it doesn't help that alot of black people are doing rap/hip-hop...I really can't remember a black blues guitarist come out from the past 5 years...
#33
Quote by magikman13
...Not to be a racist of any kind but, it doesn't help that alot of black people are doing rap/hip-hop...I really can't remember a black blues guitarist come out from the past 5 years...


Very good observation.
Quote by holybassbatman!
Most people on UG are teenage boys who think that the only way they can assert their 'dominancy' is by making others feel low and bossing them around. More than likely in real life they are subject to bullying.
True?

#34
Quote by tilleking
Very good observation.


A blanket observation. Just because they aren't big doesn't mean they aren't out there. I know of a couple people on the bar scene back home that are trying to come up. Also, Robert Randolph does the gospel/funk/blues style stuff.

Granted, that isn't the style of music that black culture is embracing right now, but that doesn't mean there aren't black kids playing it.

Most white people I know listen to nu metal, rap, or country, but just because that's the most popular thing doesn't mean there aren't white kids trying to come up.
#35
Quote by Roll251
A blanket observation. Just because they aren't big doesn't mean they aren't out there. I know of a couple people on the bar scene back home that are trying to come up. Also, Robert Randolph does the gospel/funk/blues style stuff.

Granted, that isn't the style of music that black culture is embracing right now, but that doesn't mean there aren't black kids playing it.

Most white people I know listen to nu metal, rap, or country, but just because that's the most popular thing doesn't mean there aren't white kids trying to come up.



Relax, killer. He said "a lot"... he didnt say all of them.
#36
Quote by tilleking

But seriously, it's a pitty blues isn't so mainstream now... When exactly did English blues die (mostly)?


It didn't die so much as moved on. Blues artists progressed and expanded the format, crossed it with folk and pop sentiments and went on to make other kinds of music. This is not to say that Britain doesn't have an excellent blues scene, because it does.

I still can't understand why people want blues to be 'mainstream'. Makes no sense to me.

Quote by magikman13
...Not to be a racist of any kind but, it doesn't help that alot of black people are doing rap/hip-hop...I really can't remember a black blues guitarist come out from the past 5 years...


Go listen to guys like R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and all those guys. Great blues music.

Also, why in the hell should black people be obliged to make blues music?! One of the great strengths of black music is its ability to move according to the times.
Encore God & Asomodai- UG JHS Brotherhood

Encore God: fighting UG Zeppelin-centrism since 2002.
#37
Quote by Encore_God
I still can't understand why people want blues to be 'mainstream'. Makes no sense to me.


I guess what I mean is, I'd just like it if more of my mates listened to blues. I know one other person my age (17) that is into blues. I suppose I'd also like to be able to play blues with other people; not just against a backing track..! lol. If you see what I mean...

That's all I mean when I say mainstream, really.. I suppose it's not actually what it means, but still...
Quote by holybassbatman!
Most people on UG are teenage boys who think that the only way they can assert their 'dominancy' is by making others feel low and bossing them around. More than likely in real life they are subject to bullying.
True?

#38
Quote by tilleking
I guess what I mean is, I'd just like it if more of my mates listened to blues. I know one other person my age (17) that is into blues. I suppose I'd also like to be able to play blues with other people; not just against a backing track..! lol. If you see what I mean...



That's a good point. Most people I've jammed with think that the 12-bar blues is too cliche and corny to jam to. Yet all they want to play is nu-metal or screamo or some bullshit like that. The irony is completely lost on them.
#39
Its funny, in my music class everyone is busy trying to shred. Then i come along and play a few licks. They are all like pffft, anyone can play some blues. Its easy.

Meanwhile they are trying to master the 'One' solo!!

Its frusterating, lucky i have my best friend who loves all the blues with me.
#40
Quote by magikman13
I really can't remember a black blues guitarist come out from the past 5 years


I can, of course this guy, Gary Clark Jr., is really only popular in Texas, especially Austin, and to hardcore blues fans.
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