Gary Clark, Jr. Performs at the Waller Creek Conservancy Benefit Tonight at Stubb’s
Songwriter Gary Clark, Jr. was definitely raised on all the good old-school stuff. Playing guitar since he was 12, Clark grew up listening to the best of the best – John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker - obviously all strong blues influences on everything he writes and sings today. But there’s also all the classic R&B, hip hop and soul that he loved as a kid. Put everything together for a bigger picture, and that’s what you have with Clark’s music.
Nowadays, Clark is an artist recognized by some of the greatest names in the business, like Eric Clapton (“I got on his radar through fellow Texans, Jimmy Vaughn and Doyle Bramhall II, so they’d kind of been mentioning my name to him…”) and B.B. King, and he had the honor of performing for President Obama and the First Lady at the White House at a special event honoring blues music, with Mick Jagger and Jeff Beck in the audience as well. Clark was at once elated, honored, and, to put it mildly, freaked out.
“I was honestly a bit surprised that they let me through the gate,” he joked recently in an interview with Jay Trachtenberg in KUT‘s Studio 1A. “It was a real treat. I was kind of the new guy around all those vets, so to be invited to an event that was a tribute to the blues in the White House was giving the blues a lot of love. Just to be a part of that was pretty special.”
Clark has a new album coming out October 22nd, BLAK AND BLU, a remarkable song collection that he brought with him into the studio because – well, he just knew they had to be on the album. And it feels that way, very instinctive and organic. Clark sat down with collaborators Mike Elizondo and Rob Cavallo, and pieced together tracks that, according to Clark, pretty much go all over the place, stylistically. It’s a blend of many elements – roots, blues, R&B, funk, all kinds of beats.
Clark will be the featured performer at the Waller Creek Conservancy benefit show tonight at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater, 801 Red River. Gates open at 7 p.m. Opening the show is Austin-based roots band Wheeler Brothers. And Clark will also play at the ACL Fest Sunday at 2:15 p.m., on the AMD Stage. A couple of great opportunities to see him. Recommended.