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Inside Gary Clark Jr.’s Juke-Joint Couture, Touring Essentials

Guitar master shows off his must-have items on the road

gary clark jr., gary clark, gary clark jr. rolling stone, gary clark jr. style

Gary Clark Jr. discusses various items that define his personal style, and the things he never leaves home without.

Frank Maddocks

Gary Clark Jr. is on a high the day after playing Carnegie Hall, although he has one regret. "I wanted to re-create Stevie Ray Vaughan's Live at Carnegie Hall album cover!" he says in his New York hotel room. Photography is one way Clark passes the time on the road, mostly taking photos of his two-year-old son, Zion, "because I'm obsessed." Clark's Fuji camera is one of his many must-have items on tour. He also brings plenty of John Varvatos clothing, prized watches and a portable studio for use after he and his wife, Nicole Trunfio, put Zion to bed. "I'll make a beat and send it to the band," Clark says. "Then I might play a game of NBA 2K." He's looking forward to downtime at his new 50-acre ranch outside his native Austin, where he plans to fill a horse stable and build an "artists' compound." Lately, he's been making music with Leon Bridges and rapper Big K.R.I.T., and planning a new album. Says Clark, "2017 is go time."

Gary Clark Jr.

Josh Goleman

Clark With His Trusty 1953 Gibson ES-125

"I've had that one since I was 19 or 20, Old Faithful. I played it onstage for these last solo shows. I got it at Austin Vintage Guitar. It's simple. You can't manipulate it too much. It's just a guitar with one P-90 pickup, a knob for tone, volume. It sounds good plugged in for T-Bone Walker stuff. But it just sounds good by itself. So in the hotel room, I can get some sound without pissing off the neighbors."

Fuji X100T camera

Josh Goleman

Fuji X100T Camera

"I pretty much use it just for taking pictures of my kid, or landscapes. Hotel rooms, outside the hotel, walking down the street."

Road studio: Akai MPC controller, hard drive and MIDI keyboard

Josh Goleman

Mobile Studio

"I make beats and grab samples and use that to make bass lines add key parts and play and practice. That's kinda my new thing. That's how 'The Healing' came about and a couple other tracks from the latest album. Like 'Bright Lights' was done on a drum machine, so that always something I like to try."

Josh Goleman for Rolling Stone

Passport

"I had to get a new passport becuase I was running out of pages. I was at Heathrow and my passport looked like shit. It was all beat up. The customs agent said, 'This is atrocious. Next time you've gotta get a new passport. There's no way we're gonna let you come back to this country with a passport in this condition! Absolutely atrocious!' I was like, 'Dang, sorry for traveling.'"

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