As a teenager, Gary Clark Jr. was already sitting in with blues greats like Hubert Sumlin and Pinetop Perkins, and according to the guitarist, he owes these invaluable experiences to Antone’s, a legendary blues club in his hometown of Austin. “Antone’s is my foundation,” he told The Austin Chronicle. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it hadn’t been for Antone’s.”
Clark even helped to reopen the club in a new location last year, so it was only fitting that when he taped his upcoming episode of Live From the Artists Den – a long-running public television show that captures artists performing at specially selected venues – he did so at Antone’s. Above, watch a preview clip of Clark playing “Cold Blooded,” a track from his latest album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, which shows off his smooth falsetto and stinging guitar work. The full episode, the fourth installment of the show’s 10th season, premieres on PBS April 29th.
“The Gary episode is so exciting and emotional on a variety of levels,” show founder and producer Mark Lieberman told Rolling Stone in a statement. “He performed at a B.B. King Grammy tribute in L.A. the night before and got home just in time, arriving at Antone’s right before we opened the doors. We were freaking out, but it all came together in the end. Some of the people who were in that room that night were there for his very first performance at Antone’s when he was 14. The amount of energy was profound, to the point where Gary even got choked up during our interview after the show. I’m very proud of this episode. He’s an incredible talent and a special human being.”
“What made this so special was we filmed it at my club, Antone’s, which my partners and I restored last year into a world-class venue,” Clark himself adds. “It made total sense to bring it full circle.”
Clark recently played Coachella, making time to marry model Nicole Trunfio in-between weekends of the fest. The singer-songwriter and guitarist will tour the United States and Europe throughout the summer.