Given that its roots date back over a century, the blues is often unfairly seen as a stodgy and antiquated form of music that doesn’t have much relevance in contemporary times. Thanks to artists like Texas’ Gary Clark, Jr., however, one of America’s original art forms has been given a fresh new sound that appeals to blues newcomers and traditionalists alike. Since the release of his revered 2012 debut, Blak and Blu, Clark has been praised as “the New Hendrix” and “the savior of the blues,” both well-meaning descriptions that nevertheless seemed to set the young musician up for failure. Amazingly, he has continued to live up to the hype as one of the world’s most exciting and innovative guitarists, blending the old-school blues of his musical forebearers with more contemporary genres like funk, soul, and even hip-hop. Clark’s most recent album, The Land, continues to explore new sonic soundscapes while bravely confronting the many challenges still facing Black Americans.