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gary clark jr. offers fire & hope in ‘this land’

January 11, 2019
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Gary Clark Jr. is arguably the greatest guitarist in a generation, so any new music from him is a big fucking deal, and his latest single “This Land” is pure fire. It’s a defiant anthem that flips Woody Guthrie’s gentle ode to communist idealism into a battle cry. “Fuck you, I’m America’s son / This is where I come from / This land is mine,” Clark sings over blistering guitar flourishes.

Savannah Leaf’s groundshaking video marries the song with powerful imagery and a narrative about a young boy reclaiming his legacy and future. It’s the rare video that can stare directly at the cancer in America’s soul and come away with what is ultimately a message of hope. And it doesn’t hurt that flowing through the whole thing is some of Gary Clark Jr’s best guitar work to date. When that’s just the icing on a veritable guitar god’s cake though, you know you’re in for something.

Gary Clark Jr. also debuted a new song “Feed the Babies” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.