Taping Recap

Taping Recap: Gary Clark Jr.

Four-time Grammy Award winner and distinguished alumnus of Austin City Limits, Gary Clark Jr. returned to The Moody Theater stage Tuesday night for his fourth headlining appearance on the show. “I’m glad to be a part of this family,” said Clark, after wishing ACL a happy 50th anniversary. “It means more than you guys will ever know.” What transpired was a transcendent journey into his latest album, JPEG RAW, with Clark even leading the audience through meditation exercises at one point. Written predominantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, JPEG RAW hints at personal transformation, with introspective, sometimes melancholic themes, but not compromising Clark’s signature heavy guitar and occasional riffing with longtime bandmate, guitarist Eric Zapata (who was wearing a mesmerizing metallic spiked hat), or as Clark referred to him, “the man with the most mystique.” 

“Lets have some fun,” said Clark, as he kicked off the set with “Maktub,” featuring a wailing guitar solo that cemented the promise of a great night ahead. As the audience journeyed with Clark and band through “Don’t Start” and title track “JPEG RAW,” he paused to switch guitars, telling the story of how as a young boy he begged his parents (who were in the audience) for a guitar that would make him sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan. 

Clark brought out Austin-based singer-songwriter Naala for “This Is Who We Are,” and later nodded to the stacked list of guest performances on the JPEG RAW album, including Valerie June on “Don’t Start,” Stevie Wonder on “What About the Children,” and George Clinton on “Funk Witch U.” 

Performing only one song, “Feed the Babies,” from his earlier body of work, Clark’s performance of primarily tracks from JPEG RAW was wholly a new experience for the live audience, lending itself to a sort of crowd hypnosis meets introspective listening. Closing out the set with 9-minute-long “Habits,” it was difficult not to be completely mesmerized by the hauntingly beautiful call and response echo between Clark and background vocalists Shanan, Shawn and Savannah (who also happen to be his sisters), as they sang, “come back my love…” While the night ended on a softer note, the audience roared with applause for their hometown hero Gary Clark Jr. 

Gary Clark Jr. performs on Austin City Limits, March 26, 2024. Photos by Scott Newton.


Maktub – JPEG RAW

Don’t Start – JPEG RAW


This is Who We Are (ft. special guest Naala) – JPEG RAW

Feed the Babies – This Land

To the End of the Earth – JPEG RAW

Alone Together – JPEG RAW

What About the Children – JPEG RAW

Hearts in Retrograde – JPEG RAW

Hyperwave – JPEG RAW

Funk Witch U – JPEG RAW

Triumph – JPEG RAW

Habits – JPEG RAW


Gary Clark Jr. – vocals, guitar

Eric Zapata – guitar

Jonathan Deas – keyboards

Elijah Ford – bass, guitar, synth

Dayne Reliford – keyboards, bass

Jarrod Johnson – drums

Shanan Colvin – vocals

Shawn Clark-Martinez – vocals

Savannah Clark – vocals

Special guest: Naala on “This is Who We Are.”