PHILADELPHIA, PA – August 1, 2011 – WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and non-commercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, names Gary Clark Jr. as its August Artist To Watch. WXPN Music Director and Host Dan Reed presented the first of the month’s on-air segments today, August 1, in the 4 p.m. hour.
This native Texan singer-guitarist has been a musical force of nature since he picked up a guitar at twelve years old. His fusion of blues, rock, and contemporary soul ensured that his entrance into the music world would be nothing short of explosive. Playing gigs since his teens, Gary Clark Jr. continues to wow audiences wherever his music takes him. Clark has won the Austin Music Award for Best Blues and Electric Guitarist on three separate occasions, along with awards from various blues magazines and associations around the country. His talents have also led him to self-produce two albums and compose the original score for the film Full Count. In 2010, he performed with Doyle Bramhall II and Sheryl Crow at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, where Clark was the only young newcomer to be selected by Eric Clapton to perform. He also performed at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. August will be an exciting month for Clark; he will release a new EP, Bright Lights, on August 9 and will open for Questlove at The Blockley on August 3.
“I saw Gary play in his hometown in Austin during SXSW and within seconds of his set I was blown away by his presence, songwriting and explosive performance,” says Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming for WXPN. “He was rocking. He was playing the blues. He was getting down with some sweet soul music. And his guitar playing was stunningly great and so controlled. It was like seeing a guy raised on Nirvana, Otis Redding, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Page all at once. I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of people were totally impressed with Gary Clark Jr. at the XPoNential Music Festival this year. He put on an explosive show.”
Dan Reed said, “I’ve seen him referred to as ‘The Savior of the Blues’ and I can see why people have attached such high praise to him. He’s a soulful, powerful player, and certainly one of the best new blues artists I’ve seen in 20 years.”
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month's featured artist click here.
Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN's commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio's most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O'Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.