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Gary Clark Jr. shows the power of the blues

Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. Credit: Getty Images

In February, legends like B.B. King and Mick Jagger gathered for a blues showcase at the White House attended by the Obamas.

Also on the bill that day was Austin's Gary Clark Jr., who is quickly making a name for himself as the next great blues musician. Clark's debut album comes out in the fall, but his mix of blues, rock and R&B has already won him spots playing alongside Eric Clapton, Alicia Keys and Dave Matthews.

amNewYork spoke with Clark via email.

Do you find it limiting to be known mostly as a blues musician? I've found that most people who speak in terms of genres limit themselves in their scope and understanding of music. Blues itself is the foundation for all forms of rock 'n' roll, past, present and future, intertwined in every facet of rock music today. Is it limiting to me? Absolutely not. I just do what I do.

Which other musicians influenced your work? Everyone from Tupac to the Ramones to Nirvana to Earth, Wind and Fire to Joni Mitchell to Freddie King and Tom Petty, just to name a few.

What can people expect from your new album? A little bit of everything, I hope. I think there will be something in there for everyone with different tastes, speeds, textures and feels.

What was it like to play at the White House with so many legends? We had a great time. Everyone was so gracious toward me and I'm grateful for the opportunity to play alongside those cats.

You had an acting role in the movie "Honeydripper." Will you do more? Maybe someday. I'm pretty busy right now, so it's not high on my urgent priority list at the moment.

Gary Clark Jr. will be at Central Park SummerStage on Saturday at 3 p.m., Enter park at 69th St. and Fifth Ave., 212-360-2756, FREE. 

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