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
Birth nameGary Lee Clark Jr.
Born (1984-02-15) February 15, 1984 (age 34)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • drums
  • trumpet
  • keyboards
  • harmonica
Years active1996–present

Gary Lee Clark Jr.[1] (born February 15, 1984) is an American musician from Austin, Texas.[2][3][4] He is best known for his fusion of blues, rock and soul music with elements of hip hop.[5] Clark has shared the stage with many legends of rock and roll, including Eric Clapton, B. B. King and the Rolling Stones.[6]

Musical career[edit]

Gary Clark Jr. began playing guitar at the age of twelve. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, 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.[7] Soon after meeting Clifford, Clark began to play with other musical icons, including Jimmie Vaughan. Vaughan and others in the Austin music community helped Clark along his musical path.

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,[when?] Clark recorded with Alicia Keys on two different songs in New York City.[citation needed] He co-wrote the song Fire We Make with Alicia Keys, Pop Wansel and Oak Felder for the album Girl on Fire.

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]

Clark worked with the Foo Fighters on the track "What Did I Do? / God as My Witness" on their 2014 album Sonic Highways recorded at KLRU-TV Studio 6A in Austin.[12][13]

Gary Clark released his new album The Story of Sonny Boy Slim worldwide on September 11, 2015.[14]

Clark also had a guest appearance on Tech N9ne's album The Storm. The album was released on December 9, 2016. Clark provided the chorus for the song "No Gun Control".

On Childish Gambino's album "Awaken, My Love!" Clark performs the guitar solo on the track, "The Night Me and Your Mama Met".

Clark collaborated with ZZ Ward on "Ride" from the soundtrack to the 2017 Pixar film Cars 3.[15]

Clark’s cover version of the Beatles’ 1969 No. 1 hit “Come Together”, released in early 2017, has become his first charting single on any US chart, peaking at #15 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart.

Live appearances[edit]

Clark performed at the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival as part of the promotion for John Sayles' 2007 film, Honeydripper. 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.[16][17][18] He joined Doyle Bramhall II and Sheryl Crow on stage for their performance with Eric Clapton, and also debuted several original songs.[19][20]

In June 2011, Clark played at the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee,[21] 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".[22][23][24]

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 and 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, to perform the Don Nix song "Going Down" with the band.[25] 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.[26]

On May 13, 2013, Clark opened for Eric Clapton & His Band at the LG Arena, Birmingham, England, and 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, he 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' and on October 25, 2013, he appeared on long-running British music show Later... with Jools Holland.[27]

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 the NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show with Trombone Shorty, Earth Wind and Fire, Doctor John, and Janelle Monáe and on May 29, 2014, Gary Clark Jr performed solo at Rock in Rio in Lisbon. Clark performed guitar, as a guest, on an episode of the PBS cable television show Austin City Limits, with the Foo Fighters, that aired on February 7, 2015. He and the Foo Fighters were accompanied, on stage, by another guest guitarist, Jimmie Vaughan.[citation needed]

On May 24, 2015, Clark opened for The Rolling Stones at Petco Park in San Diego and on July 4, 2015, played as part of the lineup for the Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary show at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. On June 8, 2016, he performed alongside Jon Batiste and Stay Human as musical guest of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and on June 26, 2016, he performed during West Holts Stage, Glastonbury Festival, and on July 8, 2016, performed on the Preferred One Stage at the Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis.[citation needed]

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.[3][6][32] Clark won the Austin Music Award for Best Blues and Electric Guitarist, on three different occasions.[16]

Clark was Spin's breakout artist for the month of November 2011.[33]

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.[34]

"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.[35]

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.[36][37]


Gary Clark Jr. mainly uses Epiphone Casino, both P-90 and Humbucker Gibson SG, and both Fender Stratocaster and Fender Telecaster electric guitars, as well as Epiphone Masterbilt and Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitars. Clark has his own signature Blak & Blu Epiphone Casino which features Gibson USA made P-90 pickups.[38][39][40][41]

Clark uses .011-.049 D'Addario Strings EXL 115.[42]

Clark uses a Fender Vibro-King amp purchased from Zapata (who currently tours with him and plays rhythm guitar) paired with a Fender Princeton. He is known for extensive use of fuzz pedals, with his most frequently used pedal being the Fulltone Octafuzz, and regular use of a wah pedal.[43]


Clark performed at Alicia Keys' Keep a Child Alive Black Ball benefit, in an effort to raise money for children with AIDS in Africa.[44] The two performed the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" as a tribute to George Harrison.[45]

Personal life[edit]

On November 5, 2014, it was announced Clark was engaged to his longtime girlfriend model Nicole Trunfio.[46] The couple married in 2016,[47] have two children,[48] A son, named Zion Clark (born January 11, 2015), and a daughter, named Gia “Gigi” Leblane Clark (born on January 15, 2018).


Studio albums[edit]

Title Peak positions
Worry No More
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Hotwire Unlimited
  • Released: 2004
  • Label: Hotwire Unlimited
Blak and Blu
The Story of Sonny Boy Slim

Live albums[edit]

Title Peak positions Notes
Gary Clark Jr. Live
  • Released: September 23, 2014
  • Label: Warner Bros.
Track listing

  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"

Live North America 2016
  • Released: March 17, 2017
  • Label: Warner Bros.


Title and details Notes
Gary Clark Jr. EP
  • Type: EP
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: 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)

The Bright Lights EP
  • Type: EP
  • Released: November 30, 2010
  • Label: 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)

The Bright Lights EP Australian Tour Edition
  • Type: EP
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: 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)

  • 2012 – Gary Clark Jr. Presents Hotwire Unlimited Raw Cuts Vol. 1 – Hotwire Unlimited/Warner Bros. – released April 30, 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)

  • 2013 – Gary Clark Jr. Presents Hotwire Unlimited Raw Cuts Vol. 2 – Warner Bros. – released April 21, 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)


Title Year Peak chart positions Album



"Come Together" 2017 39 15 7 66 Justice League (soundtrack)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Songwriter/Composer: Clark Gary Lee Jr". BMI. Archived from the original on January 31, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 30, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
  3. ^ a b About Musicians Off the Record | Communication Studies | Moody College of Communication | The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved on 2017-04-12.
  4. ^ "Gibson Guitar, Lifestyle, Gary Clark Jr. Gets Lowdown and Funky, December 21, 2007". Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  5. ^ Classic Rock Magazine, Issue 175, p72
  6. ^ a b Holcomb, Christopher (May 1, 2009). "Texas Monthly Article, "Singin the Blues," May 2009". Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  7. ^ "". Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  8. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. Hits the Road for the Bonnaroo Buzz Tour on May 17th". Yahoo Business/Finance. May 4, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  9. ^ "100 Miles from Memphis CD". Best Buy. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  10. ^ "Continental Club Austin, TX". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  11. ^ "@aliciakeys". Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  12. ^ Foo Fighters – “What Did I Do? / God As My Witness” (Feat. Gary Clark, Jr.). Stereogum (2014-11-07). Retrieved on 2017-04-12.
  13. ^ Here's Foo Fighters' Austin, TX, Song 'What Did I Do?/God As My Witness' With Gary Clark Jr.. Billboard (2014-11-07). Retrieved on 2017-04-12.
  14. ^ The Story of Sonny Boy Slim – Gary Clark, Jr. | Release Info. AllMusic (2015-09-11). Retrieved on 2017-04-12.
  15. ^ "Cars 3 Soundtrack First Listen: ZZ Ward & Gary Clark Jr's Energetic Track, 'Ride' and Dancing With The Stars Performance," Pixar Post, April 14, 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Crossroads Guitar Festival, Artist Information, Gary Clark, Jr". May 3, 2001. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  17. ^ "Crossroads Guitar Festival". Crossroads Guitar Festival. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  18. ^ "Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune Article: July 3, 2010". July 3, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  19. ^ "Music Review: Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival". The New York Times. June 27, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  20. ^ "Premier Guitar, "Reporting from Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival" Photo Gallery". Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 19, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  22. ^ "The Songs | In Performance at the White House". PBS. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  23. ^ "Epi at the Big House". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  24. ^ "Epiphone and Gary Clark Jr at the White House". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  25. ^ "The Rolling Stones live at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA, December 8, 2012 by IORR". Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  26. ^ "The Rolling Stones live at the Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, USA, December 15, 2012 by IORR". Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  27. ^ "BBC Two – Later... with Jools Holland, Series 43 Live, Episode 6, Gary Clark Jr. – Numb". BBC.
  28. ^ "From Stage to Screen with Gary Clark Jr". Austin Chronicle. January 18, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  29. ^ a b c "Gary Clark Jr". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  30. ^ Hyslop, Tom. "Gary Clark Jr., 21st century blues rising from Austin" (PDF). Blues Review.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Current Article, "You Gotta Check Out: Gary Clark Jr.," September 2, 2009". Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  33. ^ Barshad, Amos (October 27, 2011). "Breaking Out: Gary Clark Jr. | SPIN | Profiles | Spotlight". SPIN. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  34. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2011: Gary Clark Jr., 'The Bright Lights EP'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  35. ^ SPIN Magazine, April 2012 Issue
  36. ^ "2014 Blues Music Awards Nominees and Winners". Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  37. ^ "2015 Blues Music Awards Winners". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  38. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. – Bright Lights". YouTube. January 28, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  39. ^ "Gary Clark Jr in March 2012 Issue of Guitar World". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  40. ^ "Epiphone Casino". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  41. ^ "GARY CLARK JR. – "When My Train Pulls In" (Live in Griffith Park, CA) #JAMINTHEVAN". YouTube. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  42. ^ "Gary Clark Jr". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  43. ^ Gill, Chris (April 9, 2012). "Interview: Austin's Gary Clark Jr. Discusses Influences, Gear and His "Schizophrenic" Style". Guitar World. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  44. ^ "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. November 4, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2015.}
  45. ^ "Alicia Keys & Gary Clark Jr – Black Ball Performance [Live". YouTube. November 22, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  46. ^ "Nicole Trunfio pregnant with her first child". Mail Online. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  47. ^ Croffey, Amy (2016-04-21). "Nicole Trunfio marries Gary Clark Jr. in Coachella-style wedding". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  48. ^ Soldani, Bianca (January 12, 2015). "Nicole Trunfio gives birth to first child with fiance Gary Clark Jr". The Daily Mail. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  49. ^ a b "Gary Clark Jr. – Chart History". Billboard . Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  50. ^ a b "Gary Clark Jr. discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  51. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  52. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  53. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  54. ^ "Chart Log UK : 04.10.2014". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  55. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  56. ^ Gary Clark Jr. – Mainstream Rock Songs chart history Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  57. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. Album & Song Chart History – Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  58. ^ "Gary Clark Jr. discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved January 9, 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Gary Clark Jr. at Wikimedia Commons