23 Sep 11
Gary Clark, Jr. will open for Eric Clapton next month in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Gary’s major label debut, The Bright Lights, was released by Warner Brothers Records in August and garnered 4 Stars from Rolling Stone. The magazine also named him "the best young gun". Gary’s live performances, as well as recordings, blend rock, soul and blues, infusing fluid guitar with a guttural howl and a falsetto trill that mix together. Despite his roots, Gary definitely comes across as someone who is forging something unique in the music world.
Gary was weaned on John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and T-Bone Walker and fuses his deep blues influence with a love of classic hip-hop and contemporary soul. His voice weaves between a melodic lilt and a seasoned blues howl with his guitar licks dancing and dodging between and behind the beat as if the essence of Snoop and Dre loom in his head by way of the Mississippi Delta. The virtuosity he displays, and the tone he rings from his cherry-red Epiphone Casino guitar, put most modern rock shredders to shame.
Born and raised in Austin, Gary began playing guitar at age 12. He performed small gigs throughout his early teens before popping up on the radar of legendary promoter Clifford Antone, owner of Austin blues club Antone’s. Through Clifford’s connections, he was soon sitting in with and learning from an array of musical icons, including Jimmie Vaughan. Vaughan, and others in the Austin music community, mentored Gary along his path, facilitating his steady rise on the Texas music scene. His peers have showered him with acclaim for his galvanizing live performances. In 2001, Austin’s mayor, Kirk Watson, declared May 3rd to be “Gary Clark Jr. Day.” He was 17.
Gary went on to win the Austin Music Award for Best Blues and Electric Guitarist on three separate occasions, in addition to receiving awards from various blues magazines and associations around the country. After playing the nationally televised show Austin City Limits and touring with such artists as Jimmie Vaughan, Pinetop Perkins, and Doyle Bramhall II, Gary released two self-produced albums, and composed the original score for the film Full Count. His creative versatility and love for not just blues, but also soul, hip-hop, classic rock, and jam bands, has allowed him to transcend his own musical talents.
In 2010, Gary was the only young newcomer to be selected by Eric Clapton to perform at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, where he performed with Doyle Bramhall II and Sheryl Crow. A DVD of the show, released last November, led to his signing with Warner Brothers Records. His singular talent has also attracted a bevy of artist support, including accolades from Sheryl Crow, Citizen Cope, Damian Marley, Ron Wood, and Questlove. As the latter Tweeted after witnessing a December 2010 performance at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl: “I don’t think y’all understand the greatness that is in front of you. Gary Clark Jr. is kickin’ ass and takin’ names.”
ERIC CLAPTON & HIS BAND – SOUTH AMERICA 2011 TOUR DATES
6 October 2011 — Centro de Eventos Fiergs – Porto Alegre (BR)
9 October 2011 — HSBC Arena – Rio De Janeiro (BR) *** SUPPORT: GARY CLARK, JR. ***
10 October 2011 — HSBC Arena – Rio De Janeiro (BR) *** SUPPORT: GARY CLARK, JR. ***
12 October 2011 — Morumbi Stadium – Sao Paulo (BR) *** SUPPORT: GARY CLARK, JR. ***
14 October 2011 — River Plate Stadium – Buenos Aires (AR)
16 October 2011 — Estadio Nacional – Santiago (CL)
Check out Gary’s EPK here.