Gary Clark, Jr.

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Gary Clark, Jr.
Gary Clark, Jr. 2013.jpg
Clark performing at the North Coast Music Festival in Chicago in 2013
Background information
Born (1984-02-15) February 15, 1984 (age 31)
Origin Austin, Texas, United States
Genres Blues rock, soul, R&B, blues, hard rock, rock 'n' roll
Years active 1996–present
Labels Hotwire Unlimited
Warner Bros. Records
Notable instruments
Epiphone Casino
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson ES-335
Fender Telecaster
Gibson SG

Gary Clark, Jr. (born February 15, 1984) is an American guitarist and actor based in Austin, Texas.[1][2][3] Clark shared the stage with various legends of rock and roll,[4] and has stated that he is "influenced by blues, jazz, soul [and] country, as well as hip hop".[5] Clark's musical trademarks are his distorted guitar sound and smooth vocal style.

Musical career[edit]

Gary Clark Jr. began playing guitar at the age of twelve. Born and raised in Austin, Clark played small gigs throughout his teens, until he met promoter Clifford Antone, proprietor of the Austin music club Antone's. Antone's was the launch pad from which Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan redefined blues at the time.[6] Soon after meeting Clifford, Clark began to play with an array of musical icons, including Jimmie Vaughan. Vaughan and others in the Austin music community helped Clark along his musical path, facilitating his ascent in the Texas rock and roll scene.[7] Clark's music demonstrates how the blues have shaped virtually every medium of music over the past century, from hip-hop to country.[6]

Rolling Stone declared Clark "Best Young Gun" in its April 2011, "Best of Rock" issue.[8]

Clark sang on the bonus track cover of "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5 on Sheryl Crow's album 100 Miles from Memphis.[9][10]

More recently, Clark recorded with Alicia Keys on two different songs in New York, NY.

On August 28, 2012, Alicia Keys revealed via Twitter that Clark's new album and major-label debut called Blak and Blu would be released on October 22, 2012.[11] Later that day, the news appeared on Clark's official website.[12]

Clark worked with the Foo Fighters on the track "What Did I Do? / God as My Witness" on their 2014 album Sonic Highways at KLRU-TV Studio 6A in Austin, TX.

Live appearances[edit]

Clark performed at the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival alongside B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Jeff Beck, and ZZ Top.[7][13][14] He joined Doyle Bramhall II and Sheryl Crow on stage for their performance with Eric Clapton, and also debuted several original songs.[15][16]

In June 2011, Clark played at the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee,[17] at the Miller Lite On Tap Lounge. On June 10, 2012, Clark again played at Bonnaroo, and his performance was streamed live online via the Bonnaroo MusicFest Channel on YouTube.

In February 2012, Clark performed alongside blues legends at the Red, White and Blues event at the White House. The event, aired on PBS, also included B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy, among others. Clark played "Catfish Blues" and "In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down)", as well as contributing to performances of "Let the Good Times Roll", "Beat Up Old Guitar", "Five Long Years" and "Sweet Home Chicago".[18][19][20]

In June 2012, Clark guested with the Dave Matthews Band playing "Can't Stop" and "All Along the Watchtower" at dates in Virginia Beach and Indianapolis.

On October 21 and 22, 2012, Clark appeared as the opening act at the Bridge School Benefit Concert, Bridge XXVI.

On December 8, 2012, Clark appeared at The Rolling Stones' first US-gig of their 50th anniversary tour at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, NY to perform the Don Nix song "Going Down" with the band.[21] On December 15, 2012 he joined them onstage again to play the same song, along with John Mayer, during the last date of the Stones' mini-tour at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.[22]

On June 12, 2013, Clark was the guest performer with the Rolling Stones at Boston's TD Garden. Clark joined the Stones in playing the Freddie King tune 'Going Down'.

On June 30, 2013, Clark appeared on the Avalon stage at the Glastonbury Festival. His performance was declared 'the most electric performance of the festival, knocking the legendary appearance of The Rolling Stones (the previous night) well into second place'.

On October 25, 2013, he appeared on long-running British music show Later... with Jools Holland.[23]

On February 9, 2014, Clark performed The Beatles song While My Guitar Gently Weeps, along with Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh for The Beatles: the Night that Changed America.

On February 16, 2014, Clark performed in during the NBA Allstar Game Halftime with Trombone Shorty, Earth Wind and Fire, Doctor John, and Janelle Monáe.

On May 29, 2014, Gary Clark Jr performed solo at Rock In Rio in Lisbon. After yet been invited to participate in one of the songs of the legendary band The Rolling Stones during this festival day.

Clark performed guitar, as a guest, on an episode of the PBS cable television show "Austin City Limits" (ACL), with the band "Foo Fighters", that aired on 7 February 2015. He and the Foo Fighters were accompanied, on stage, by another guest guitarist, Jimmie Vaughan, a native of Dallas, TX.

On May 24, 2015, Clark opened for the Rolling Stones at Petco Park in San Diego.

In popular culture[edit]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Kirk Watson, the Mayor of Austin, proclaimed May 3, 2001 to be Gary Clark Jr. Day. Clark was seventeen years old at the time.[2][4][27] Clark won the Austin Music Award for Best Blues and Electric Guitarist, on three different occasions.[7]

Clark was SPIN magazine's breakout artist for the month of November 2011.[28]

Rolling Stone magazine ranked Clark's Bright Lights EP (named for the title track, an homage to Jimmy Reed and his song of the same name), number 40 on its list of its top 50 albums of 2011.[29]

"Bright Lights" can be heard in the video game Max Payne 3, the premiere episode of House of Lies, as well as in the movie Think Like a Man near the end when the guys are in the bar before reconciling with their respective ladies, and "Don't Owe You a Thang" can be heard in Need for Speed: The Run

Kirk Hammett from Metallica introduced Clark onstage before his performance at the Orion Festival in Atlantic City, NJ.

While playing music festivals such as Coachella, JazzFest, Memphis Beale St., Hangout, High Sierra, Sasquatch, Mountain Jam, Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Hard Rock Calling, Newport Folk Festival, Orion Music Festival, Osheaga, Lollapalooza, and ACL Music Festival, Clark was awarded SPIN Magazine's Golden Corndog award for performing in more major North American Music Festivals in 2012 than any other musician on the planet.[30]

Clark swept the 31st annual Austin Music Awards for 2012-2013, collecting eight awards, he earned the following: Band of the Year, Musician of the Year, Song of the Year - "Ain't Messin Round" (from Blak and Blu), Album of the Year - Blak and Blu, Electric Guitarist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Blues/Soul/Funk Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year.

For his song "Ain't Messin Round", Clark was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 2013. On January 26, 2014, Clark won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B performance at the 56th annual Grammy Awards Ceremony for his song "Please Come Home."

In 2014 and 2015, Clark won a Blues Music Award in the 'Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year' category.[31][32]


Clark uses Epiphone Casino, Gibson ES-330, Gibson SG, and Fender Telecaster electric guitars and Epiphone Masterbilt and Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitars.[33][34][35][36]

Clark uses .011-.049 D'Addario Strings EXL 115[37]

Clark uses a Fender Vibro-King amp purchased from Zapata who currently tours with him and plays rhythm guitar[38]


Clark performed at Alicia Keys' Keep a Child Alive Black Ball benefit, in an effort to raise money for children with AIDS in Africa.[39] The two performed the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" as a tribute to George Harrison.[40]

Personal life[edit]

On 5 November 2014 it was announced Gary Clark Jr is engaged to his long time girlfriend model Nicole Trunfio.[41] Their first child together, Zion, was born the following year.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Peak positions
  • Released: 2004
  • Label: Hotwire Unlimited
 –  –  –  –  –  –  –
Worry No More
  • Released: January 10, 2008
  • Label: Hotwire Unlimited
 –  –  –  –  –  –  –
Blak and Blu 6 34 93 37 6 6 44

Live albums[edit]

Title Peak positions Notes
Gary Clark, Jr. Live
  • Released: 23 September 2014
  • Label: Warner Bros.
 – 95 159 94 159 Tracklist
  1. Catfish Blues
  2. Next Door Neighbor Blues
  3. Travis County
  4. When My Train Pulls In
  5. Don’t Owe You A Thang
  6. Three O’Clock Blues
  7. Things Are Changin'
  8. Numb
  9. Ain’t Messin 'Round
  10. If Trouble Was Money
  11. Third Stone From The Sun / If You Love Me Like You Say
  12. Please Come Home
  13. Blak and Blu
  14. Bright Lights
  15. When The Sun Goes Down


  • 2010 - Gary Clark Jr. EP - Hotwire Unlimited
  1. Intro (1:37)
  2. Bright Lights (5:12)
  3. Don't Owe You a Thang (3:33)
  4. Please Come Home (5:04)
  5. The Life (4:38)
  6. Things are Changing (3:49)
  7. Outro (4:49)
  8. Breakdown (4:16)
  • 2011 - The Bright Lights EP - Warner Bros. - released 30 November 2010
  1. Bright Lights (5:24)
  2. Don't Owe You A Thang (3:35)
  3. Things Are Changin' (Live) [Solo Acoustic] (4:31)
  4. When My Train Pulls In (Live) [Solo Acoustic] (8:13)
  • 2012 - Gary Clark Jr. Presents Hotwire Unlimited Raw Cuts Vol. 1 - Hotwire Unlimited/Warner Bros. - released 30 April 2012 [U.K. vinyl 45rpm]
  1. Side A Third Stone From The Sun / If You Love Me Like You Say (Live In Charlottesville, VA) (12:32)
  2. Side B Bright Lights (Live In London, England) (10:55)
  • 2012 - The Bright Lights EP Australian Tour Edition - Warner Bros.
  1. Bright Lights (5:24)
  2. Don't Owe You A Thang (3:35)
  3. Things Are Changin' (Live) [Solo Acoustic] (4:31)
  4. When My Train Pulls In (Live) [Solo Acoustic] (8:13)
  5. Third Stone From the Sun / If You Love Me Like You Say - (Live In Charlottesville, VA) (12:32)
  6. Bright Lights (Live In London, UK) (10:55)
  • 2013 - Gary Clark Jr. Presents Hotwire Unlimited Raw Cuts Vol. 2 - Warner Bros. - released 21 April 2013 [U.K. vinyl Side A - 33 rpm, Side B - 45rpm]
  1. Side A When My Train Pulls In (Live at The DO512 Lounge in Austin, TX) (16:22)
  2. Side B When My Train Pulls In (Album Version) (7:45)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  3. ^ "Gibson Guitar, Lifestyle, Gary Clark Jr. Gets Lowdown and Funky, December 21, 2007". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  4. ^ a b Holcomb, Christopher (2009-05-01). "Texas Monthly Article, "Singin the Blues," May 2009". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  5. ^ Classic Rock Magazine, Issue 175, p72
  6. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  7. ^ a b c "Crossroads Guitar Festival, Artist Information, Gary Clark, Jr". 2001-05-03. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  8. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. Hits the Road for the Bonnaroo Buzz Tour on May 17th". Yahoo Business/Finance. 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  9. ^ "100 Miles from Memphis CD". Best Buy. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  10. ^ "Continental Club Austin, TX". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  11. ^ "@aliciakeys". Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Listen To New Music & See Gary On Tour!". Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Crossroads Guitar Festival". Crossroads Guitar Festival. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  14. ^ "Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune Article: July 3, 2010". 2010-07-03. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  15. ^ "Music Review: Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival". The New York Times. June 27, 2010. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  16. ^ "Premier Guitar, "Reporting from Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival" Photo Gallery". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  17. ^ [3][dead link]
  18. ^ "The Songs | In Performance at the White House". PBS. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  19. ^ "Epi at the Big House". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  20. ^ "Epiphone and Gary Clark Jr at the White House". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  21. ^ "The Rolling Stones live at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA, December 8, 2012 by IORR". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  22. ^ "The Rolling Stones live at the Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, USA, December 15, 2012 by IORR". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  23. ^ "BBC Two - Later... with Jools Holland, Series 43 Live, Episode 6, Gary Clark, Jr. - Numb". BBC. 
  24. ^ "From Stage to Screen with Gary Clark, Jr.". Austin Chronicle. January 18, 2008. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  25. ^ a b "Gary Clark Jr.". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  26. ^ Hyslop, Tom. "Gary Clark, Jr., 21st century blues rising from Austin" (PDF). Blues Review. 
  27. ^ "Current Article, "You Gotta Check Out: Gary Clark, Jr.," September 2, 2009". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  28. ^ Barshad, Amos (2011-10-27). "Breaking Out: Gary Clark Jr. | SPIN | Profiles | Spotlight". SPIN. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  29. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2011: Gary Clark Jr., 'The Bright Lights EP'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  30. ^ SPIN Magazine, April 2012 Issue
  31. ^ "2014 Blues Music Awards Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  32. ^ "2015 Blues Music Awards Winners". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  33. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. - Bright Lights". YouTube. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  34. ^ "Gary Clark Jr in March 2012 Issue of Guitar World". Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  35. ^ "Epiphone Casino". Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  36. ^ "GARY CLARK JR. - "When My Train Pulls In" (Live in Griffith Park, CA) #JAMINTHEVAN". YouTube. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  37. ^ "Gary Clark Jr.". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  38. ^ "Interview: Austin's Gary Clark Jr. Discusses Influences, Gear and His "Schizophrenic" Style". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  39. ^ "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. November 4, 2011. Retrieved 2015-05-18. }
  40. ^ "Alicia Keys & Gary Clark Jr - Black Ball Performance [Live". YouTube. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  41. ^ "Nicole Trunfio pregnant with her first child". Mail Online. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  42. ^ a b c d "Gary Clark Jr. discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  43. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  44. ^ "Chart Log UK : 04.10.2014". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 

External links[edit]