By Malvina Rincon
Starting off his set with â€˜When My Train Pulls Inâ€ from his new album Blak and Blu, Gary Clark Jr. almost makes it seem too easy. Wielding his guitar at an immediately awestruck crowd, he is in his element. In front of a select audience at Apogeeâ€™s Berkeley Street Studio for KCRWâ€™s â€œBerkeley Street Sessionsâ€, he looks at home with his guitar in hand. Ripping through â€œAinâ€™t Messinâ€™ Roundâ€, the first track from his new album, Clark is a man in control, not only of his guitar, but of the audience. He has a confidence on stage that comes only with a man sure of his talents.
You know that scene in Back to the Future when Marty McFly is playing â€œJohnny B. Goodeâ€ and Marvin Berry calls his cousin Chuck and tells him that this is the new sound heâ€™s been looking for and holds up the phone receiver? Well, Gary Clark Jr. is Marty McFly and â€œTravis Countyâ€ is that sound. Itâ€™s familiar, but new at the same time. Either way, it gets the crowd dancing and leaves it wondering â€œWho is this guy?â€
The performance was paired with an interview led by KCRW host Anne Litt. At this time, the audience had an opportunity to hear some of Clarkâ€™s background. Once â€œoff stageâ€, he seemed shy. If the audience had not witnessed what occurred seconds before, they would find it hard to believe that this was the same man that had just wooed them with a guitar.
During the interview he shared that although his love of the guitar started early, he started singing before he picked up an instrument. It is no wonder then why his vocal abilities are equally as impressive as his guitar skills. His performance of â€œYou Saved Meâ€ and â€œThings Are Changinâ€™â€ are perhaps the best examples of Clarkâ€™s vocal range, which can go from bluesy to R&B and soul, with seemingly little effort.
One of the last songs he performed, â€œIf You Love Me Like You Say/3rd Stone from the Sunâ€, perhaps best showcased his talents. If you heard the studio recording of this song and thought that was a record being scratched on a turntable, I have news for you. Clark managed to blow minds as he manipulated that guitar into whatever he willed it to be. The things I saw this man do with his guitar, I am sure I will never see again.
Ending his set with the Albert Collins cover of â€œIf Trouble was Moneyâ€, the song sounds as if Clark could have written it himself. Having started playing at blues clubs in his hometown of Austin when he was 14 years old, Clark possesses the experience of a much older man. Now, at 28, he has been able to soak in the knowledge and influences of those years into his new album, Blak and Blu, which is fully realized in a live setting.
It would be a disservice to your ears not to listen to the live wonderment of Gary Clark Jr. when KCRW airs this installment of its Berkley Street Sessions on Morning Becomes Eclectic on December 4th.
(photo credit: Jeremiah Garcia)
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist extraordinaire Gary Clark Jr. will release his long-anticipated full-length debut album for Warner Bros. Records on October 23rd. The album, for which the title and track-listing will be announced soon, was produced by Gary Clark Jr. and Mike Elizondo, who is known for his work with Mastodon, Fiona Apple, Dr. Dre, and many others.
Clark has been slipping new songs into his sets while performing at all of this year’s major music festivals, including Bonnaroo, the alt-leaning mainstays Coachella and Montreal’s Osheaga Festival, the indie rock-driven Sasquatch!, Lollapalooza Festival and the eclectic NOLA Jazz & Heritage Festival. This coming weekend of Sep 1st and 2nd Clark will be the only artist to play both nights of Jay Z’s Made In America Festival at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Other performers include Jay Z, Pearl Jam, Skrillex, Drake and more. After that, Clark winds up at the final major US festival of the season, Austin City Limits Festival, along with Warner Bros. Records label-mates Neil Young & Crazy Horse and LP the weekend of October 12-14th.
To coincide with the release of his album Clark will also make several television appearances in October. Those details will be announced soon.
While you wait Clark’s debut full-length, you can snap up Clark’s acclaimed THE BRIGHT LIGHTS EP, as well as an exclusive 12″ vinyl single, Gary Clark Jr. Presents HWUL Cuts Vol. I that contains two previously unreleased live tracks, “If You Love Me Like You Say” and “Bright Lights.”
Austin City Limits Music Festival has announced its lineup for the 2012 edition of the festival. Set to headline this year’s lineup: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys and Jack White. Three day tickets and single day passes are still on-sale for the festival for the festival set for October 12th through the 14th. Pick them up here while they last.
Check out the full lineup below:
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys
Jack White, Florence + The Machine, The Avett Brothers, Iggy & The Stooges, AVICII, BASSNECTAR, The Roots, The Shins, Weezer, Gotye, The Civil Wars, M83, Tegan and Sara, Childish Gambino Two Door Cinema Club, Thievery Corporation, The Afghan Whigs, Crystal Castles, Andrew Bird, Gary Clark Jr., Metric, Band of Skulls, Esperanza Spalding, Alabama Shakes, Delta Spirit, M. Ward, Randy Rogers Band, Die Antwoord, Rufus Wainwright, NEEDTOBREATHE, Big Gigantic, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Steve Earle, The War On Drugs, Umphrey’s McGee, Barrington Levy, Old 97′s Punch Brothers, Bombay Bicycle Club, A-Trak, Trampled by Turtles Patterson Hood, Michael Kiwanuka, Big K.R.I.T., Oberhofer, POLICA, Tennis, Zola Jesus, Stars, Kimbra, Black Lips, Los Campesinos!, Jovanotti, Ben Howard, Ruthie Foster, Freelance Whales, Civil Twilight, The Whigs, Dev, The Lumineers, Bad Books, The Devil Makes Three, Asleep at the Wheel, First Aid Kit Patrick Watson, LP, Caveman, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Father John Misty The Wombats, Dry the River, The Boxer Rebellion, Soul Rebels Brass Band Thundercat, Willis Earl Beal, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Kishi Bashi, Deep Dark Woods, Moon Duo, Kopecky Family Band, River City Extension Quiet Corral, Wheeler Brothers, The Relatives, Space Capone, The Staves Native Run, Nikki Lane, Quiet Company, Infantree, Wild Child, La Vida BohÃ¨me The Eastern Sea, The Dunwells, Kenny Vaughan Trio, Justin Jones, SonÃ¡mbulo Royal Teeth, Noah Gunderson, The Aaron Ivey Band, The Mighty Sincere Voices G.S.T., Colorfeels, Lera Lynn, Megan McCormick, Shields of Faith, Stapletones, The Baylor Choir, Disciples of Joy, Ralph’s World, Orange Sherbet, Big Don Rocknoceros, Hullabaloo, Jambo, Peter DiStefano & Tor, The School of Rock, The Q Brothers
Tomorrow, Saturday March 17th, MOG returns to the Mohawk in Austin for their annual unofficial SXSW party. This year’s lineup features The Roots, Bob Mould, Blitzen Trapper, Cloud Nothings, The War On Drugs, Howlin Rain, G-Side, K Flay and The Silent Comedy.
The event, presented by Intel, is MOG’s signature party of the year. We go every year and we’ll definitely be there tomorrow (look for some photos from the show on the site next week).
The show is free, all ages so make sure you get there early. Take a listen to the artists on this MOG playlist.
Date: Saturday, March 17th.
Location: The Mohawk. 912 Red River St. Austin, TX
Time: 12pm-6pm (Capacity is limited, show up early!)
Rock & Soul supernova Gary Clark Jr. has launched a brand new video clip for the song, “Don’t Owe You A Thang” from his acclaimed The Bright Lights EP to coincide with the previously announced tour dates beginning this month. The clip was directed by Keith Megna (Beck, Jamie Lidell, Feist, etc.) and you can watch it now here (or below).
Gary Clark Jr. has also been confirmed to perform at WMG’s The Warner Sound event at SXSW on Wed, Mar 14th, at La Zona Rosa, along with many others. This showcase will be a night filled with amazing music and many surprises. Details will be announced shortly.
At present, Gary is working on his WB debut album to be recorded immediately following the March dates with a view to release the record later in the year.
Feb 13 Crocodile Seattle, WA
Feb 14 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, OR
Feb 15 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA
Mar 9 Warehouse Live Houston, TX
Mar 10 Sam’s Burger Joint San Antonio, TX
Mar 11 Lola’s Ft. Worth, TX
Mar 14 La Zona Rosa Austin, TX
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist extraordinaire Gary Clark Jr. will play a handful of select shows in December in support of his critically heralded debut EP for Warner Bros. Records The Bright Lights, which is out now.
Confirmed Gary Clark Jr. tour dates are as follows:
Mon Dec 12 TT The Bears Boston, MA
Tue Dec 13 Mercury Lounge New York, NY
Wed Dec 14 TBA
Fri Dec 16 David Letterman (air date)
Fri Dec 16 World CafÃ© “Free At Noon” Live Philadelphia, PA
Fri Dec 16 8 x 10 Club Baltimore, MD
Sun Dec 17 Red Palace Washington, D.C.
Clark’s international visibility has skyrocketed in recent months based purely on word-of-mouth buzz and his intensely soulful and eclectic live performances in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and South America, most recently with friend and fan Eric Clapton in front of a combined audience of over 75,000 for three massive performances in Brazil. A photo from that show recently graced the pages of Rolling Stone’s “Random Notes.”
Clark’s allure as a live performer not only stems from watching his artistry in action, but also the unpredictability of his live show. The tone is different each night, whether he’s delivering an aggressive rock set, a dreamy trip into a cerebral stratosphere of psychedelia, or a spontaneous burst of classic soul. It all depends on the room, the audience, and his own mood. Each show has its own personality, yet they all fit together seamlessly. Reason enough to catch Gary Clark Jr. live because chances are; you’re going to be surprised.
The Bright Lights EP was released this past August and will provide the listener with just a taste of what this Austin, TX, native has in store for his full-length Warner Bros. Records debut full-length planned for release sometime next year. To date, The Bright Lights EP has garnered consistently enthusiastic reviews including a rave four-star review in Rolling Stone and the first EP in the magazine’s history to ever command a full-page, lead review. The accolades don’t stop there:
“Owing as much to Kurt Cobain and the Ramones as Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker, indebted to hip-hop and psychedelia, his shape-shifting calling card EP is grounded in tradition while standing on the brink of change.” – Rolling Stone “Buy These Now” column
“Austin resident Gary Clark Jr., who may be the city’s next big music star flashed his blend of blues, soul and rock, mixing fluid, muscular guitar with rootsy bark or a falsetto croon” – The Wall Street Journal
“Warner Bros. has a virtuosic new act in Gary Clark Jr. This is blues-based rock with an eye toward a groove, and Clark effortlessly wields his guitar into and out of solos. – The Los Angeles Times
For those who have yet to hear Gary Clark Jr. perform live, be sure and tune in to World CafÃ© “Free At Noon” concert series live on WXPN on Fri Nov 16th, at noon ET. For further info and a listing of stations in your area, go to World Cafe Live, NPR Music or http://xpn.org/concerts-events/free-at-noon
Don’t miss Gary Clark Jr. live. Check out his new video for the title track, “Bright Lights” here.