Already recognised as one of this generation’s most exciting new blues talents, Austin-based guitarist Gary Clark Jr. will follow his first major UK show at this summer’s Hard Rock Calling with one of his first London headline shows at Cargo on September 17th. Gary Clarke Jr. tickets go on-sale at 9am on Friday 31st August and are available from www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
Gary Clark Jr. has made a huge impression since his first Warners EP ‘Bright Lights’ was released digitally last year. In addition to a plethora of reviews which have compared him to some of the guitar world’s most revered figures, Clark has performed for the Obamas at the White House at the White, Red and Bluesevent which also featured Mick Jagger, B.B King, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck and Booker T. Jones. In addition, Clark has collaborated with Nas and Alicia Keys, performed on David Letterman and earned another influential fan in the shape of David Lynch.
Taking up guitar at age twelve, Clark quickly found his way into the fertile Austin scene, taken under the wing of long-time club owner and artists advocate Clifford Antone and such local stalwarts as Jimmie Vaughan. Antone put the youngster on stage with such blues giants as James Cotton and Hubert Sumlin. Vaughan and others taught him about moving beyond the legends, both going back to the originators who influenced them, but also embracing the spirit of innovation that separated such groundbreakers as Cream and the Stones from the crowd.
He made the most of the support and became such a shining presence that Austin declared a “Gary Clark Jr. Day” in his honour while he was still in his teens. And by 2007 he was named the city’s best blues artist and rock guitarist at the Austin Music Awards. In fact, he’s won those same categories every year ever since.
At the same time he was tapped by writer-director John Sayles to play the role of Sonny Blake, a fictional bluesman fittingly challenging the conventions of the gritty ‘50s circuit, in the film Honeydripper.
The buzz found its way to Eric Clapton who invited Clark to play on the 2010 Crossroads Festival in Chicago, an event showcasing the most distinctive guitar talents of a variety of genres. Clark’s appearance with Doyle Bramhall II and Sheryl Crow opened a lot of ears to his talent. Clapton then took Clark along as his opening act on a tour of Brazil that autumn.
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