Clear a path if you know what’s good for you, because Gary Clark Jr. is straight up King Konging the 2012 festival circuit. While the PR blast touting Clark’s appearance at “every major American music festival” was a tiny bit hyperbolic, it’s mostly accurate: Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Sasquatch all gave Clark a ring this year to get him on the bill.
Why are so many trained eyes pointed in Clark’s direction? Well, he’s been lauded for evoking Hendrix on the guitar, and many consider him the leading force in the Austin rock scene (where he’s been around for over a decade). That’s the same Austin entrenched in centuries of blues history, the same Austin that hosts SXSW, the House of Blues and other legendary mainstays on which they hang their hat as the self-appointed “Live Music Capital of the World.” In other words, Clark isn’t the Guitar God of Wichita, Kansas – he’s paid his dues and completed his rise surrounded by one of the richest rock histories in the world.
Now, the festival circuit will introduce Clark to a bulk of new fans. Though his 2012 tour dates are festival-exclusive at this point, we’re keeping one eye pointed his way for 2012 summer headlining tour dates, which were promised “shortly.” Also because, when the King Kong of Festivals comes to town with his axe, we plan on seeking cover.
On 4/21 (the second of two Coachella weekends), Clark will release Gary Clark Jr. Presents HWUL Cuts Vol. I, a live album that will appear only in physical stores in support of Record Store Day.
Gary Clark Jr.’s 2012 festival dates:
4/14 Indio, CA Coachella
4/21 Indio, CA Coachella
4/27 Lafayette, LA Festival International De Louisiane
4/29 New Orleans, LA NOLA Jazz & Heritage Festival
5/05 Memphis, TN Beale St. Music Festival
5/19 Gulf Shores, AL Hangout Festival
5/28 George, WA Sasquatch!
6/01 Hunter Mountain, NY Hunter Mountain Festival
6/02 Ozark, AR Wakarusa Music Festival
6/10 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo
6/24 Atlantic City, NJ Orion Festival
6/30 Rothbury, MI Electric Forest Festival
8/03 Montreal Osheaga Festival
Watch Gary Clark Jr. perform “White Lights” at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010: