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Gary Clark Jr.: 'Music Is Medicine To Me'
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Gary Clark Jr.: 'Music Is Medicine To Me'

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Gary Clark Jr.: 'Music Is Medicine To Me'

Gary Clark Jr.: 'Music Is Medicine To Me'
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Gary Clark Jr.'s new album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, is out now. i

Gary Clark Jr.'s new album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, is out now. Frank Maddocks/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Frank Maddocks/Courtesy of the artist
Gary Clark Jr.'s new album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, is out now.

Gary Clark Jr.'s new album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, is out now.

Frank Maddocks/Courtesy of the artist

Gary Clark Jr., the blues-guitar wunderkind from Austin, Texas, who grew up into a solo star, titled his latest LP The Story of Sonny Boy Slim in a nod to his own nickname and whirlwind ascent. But there's a song on the album whose name might better represent its overall tone: "The Healing."

"Music is medicine to me. I don't go to church, but when I was trying to figure out my way as a young man, I was listening to albums," Clark says. "I would listen to Marvin Gaye, What's Going On, or Curtis Mayfield; Outkast and 2Pac and Biggie; the lyrics of Kurt Cobain; Bob Dylan and Hendrix — and just, like, take something from it.

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"It was more than just rocking out or guitar solos. I would really sit back and kind of reflect, try and understand somebody else's perspective, and also kind of understand where I was, and my place in all of it. So, it's very powerful to me. I'm sure I would lose it if I didn't have music in my life."

Though Clark remains a student of his predecessors, having found a mentor in Texas guitar legend Jimmie Vaughan, he says he's starting to get a feel for the other side of that relationship — especially as a new father. Hear more of his conversation with NPR's Arun Rath at the audio link above.

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