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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > Mar 209 > THE GUITAR INTERVIEW GARY CLARK JR

THE GUITAR INTERVIEW GARY CLARK JR

Almost a decade on from an incendiary Crossroads Guitar Festival performance that announced him as the saviour of blues guitar, Gary Clark Jr remains an artist who refuses to conform to expectations. On the eve of the arrival of his third major-label studio record, This Land, the Grammywinning Texan tells us a tale of broken hands, bafling bagpipes and his newfound love for the Gibson SG…
Clark’s new triple-P-90 SG is a collaboration with Gibson, who said: “Well, we’ve never done that before…”
PHOTOGRAPHY RYAN HAFFENDEN
The Fulltone Octafuzz has been Clark’s sidekick for years, and both it and the Zendrive featured heavily on his new album, This Land

Gary Clark Jr is back in his hometown of Austin, Texas for a sold-out three-night stint at the Moody Theater, and as we catch up with the guitarist in the afternoon before his opening hometown gig, if he’s feeling the pressure of playing in front of nearly 9,000 of his compatriots, he’s certainly not showing it. “It’s nice to be back in Austin,” the 34-year-old relects, nonchalantly. “I don’t get back here a lot, so it’s great to hang out, y’know?” Clark earned his blues-guitar stripes in the clubs and bars of Austin’s famous blues scene, following in the legendary footsteps of the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Winter and many others. But while Clark has become the modern standard-bearer for Austin’s blues spawning ground, his family name has long been part of the city’s musical irmament, thanks to his cousin WC Clark, the ‘godfather of Austin blues’ and one-time bandmate of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Though surprisingly, Clark Jr wasn’t even aware the two were related until he was already far down his musical path.

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