Austin native Gary Clark Jr.’s goal is to make timeless music that’s reflective of his disparate confluence of inspirations, from classic rock and soul, to hip-hop, R&B and punk rock informed by the blues. He must be succeeding, as Spin says, “there truly is nobody else like him around.” Billboard calls him a “gamechanger,” while Rolling Stone writes, “he is as comfortable wailing on straight blues as he is with simmering soul, shfiting easily from funk to a fine Stones-y grind on his electric guitars.” For this episode the guitarist returns to the Austin City Limits stage (he was a featured guest in the Season 33 Tribute to Bluesman Jimmy Reed), performing songs from his newest release.
Clark’s musical abilities were cultivated at an early age as he began playing guitar and mesmerizing small audiences throughout his teenage years. After catching the attention of local promoting legend Clifford Antone, Clark became ingrained in the Austin music community and was mentored by an array of musical icons, including Jimmie Vaughan. With his inspired versatility and electrifying live performances, he embarked on a steady rise within the Texas music scene, accompanied by two self-produced albums, three Austin Music Awards for Best Blues and Electric Guitarist, and tours with his biggest influences. In 2010, Clark was invited by Eric Clapton to perform at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, a stint that led to Clark’s signing with Warner Bros. Records.
Blak and Blu, Clark’s full-length debut, was released in late October, 2012. The album has garnered exceptional reviews from fans and music critics, who write that Blak and Blu “establishes him as an artist in command of his influences and easily able to replicate their charms” (Washington Post) and is “the raucous shout of a happy talent” that “has a real feel for each genre he mixes and matches” (NPR).
EPISODE LISTGary Clark, Jr./Alabama Shakes (Season 38)
- Encore: Gary Clark Jr. and Alabama Shakes
- Gary Clark Jr. and Alabama Shakes: blues/soul game-changers
- Gary Clark Jr. does his hometown proud
- Watch Gary Clark Jr.’s ACL taping – streamed live on Nov. 30
- Ticket Giveaway: Gary Clark Jr 11/30
- Taping announcements: Delta Spirit, Gary Clark, Jr. and Esperanza Spalding