Can’t wait to see one of SXSW’s biggest buzz exports, Gary Clark Jr, when he tours at the Big Day Out next year?
Well you’re in luck, as the Texan blues virtuoso, dubbed the ‘saviour of the blues’ has announced two showcase shows this September as he warms up for a full onslaught next year.
Clark Jr has been a favourite of blues fans in his native Austin for years prior to the release of 2011’s EP The Bright Lights, his debut with Warner Music, which catapulted the rising star out of Texas where he estimates he’s played SXSW nine or 10 times.
Clark said the EP in an interview with Austin 360, “[It] was just kind of a little taste of a couple of influences from where I’m trying to go musically. It’s good to have a solid foundation, but I like to branch out and do different things.”
“I got older and got familiar with Albert King, Freddie King, B.B, King, the blues guys, and Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Vaughan, and along with that, going back and figuring out what the roots of the music was, kind of to Lead Belly and Elizabeth Cotton, Skip James.”
And contemporary stuff, too. So, I’m a real big fan of Outkast and a lot of stuff that comes out of Atlanta, Cody Chesnutt, and things like that. So I was really inspired all at once to do all kinds of different things, and the EP is kind of a small little look into kind of where I’m going.”
But despite having little in the way of a back catalogue, Clark Jr’s skills on the guitar have attracted the very musicians he loved as a child, including BB King, Buddy Guy, and Mick Jagger who invited him to perform alongside them at a White House event for President Barack Obama.
“It was cool, I got a call, and they said I’d been invited to play this gig at the White House, and the president and first lady will be there,” Clark said.
“And you’ll get to play alongside B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, Booker T. Jones, and a bunch of other people,’ and I was like, ‘I’m in!’ It was a great honor to be there, and it was extra special for me to get to be on stage with some of my heroes.”
Tickets to Gary Clark Jr’s showcase shows are on sale now, so be quick to avoid disappointment.
Gary Clark Jr Australian Showcase Tour 2012
27 September 2012
The Tote, Melbourne
28 September, 2012
Annandale Hotel, Sydney