Gary Clark Jr. / GIVERS / Alice Smith
Central Park Mainstage (mid-park, 72nd St., Manhattan)
Rarely does an artist explode onto the music scene like 26-year-old singer-guitarist Gary Clark Jr. when he delivered his incendiary debut performance of his song “Bright Lights” at Eric Clapton’s 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival. A rocking soul man for a new generation, he was weaned on John Lee Hooker and T-Bone Walker but fuses his deep blues influence with a love of classic hip-hop and contemporary soul. His voice weaves between a melodic lilt and a seasoned blues howl with his guitar licks dancing and dodging between and behind the beat as if the essence of Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre loom in his head by way of the Mississippi Delta.