Gary Clark, Jr., shown here at La Zona Rosa in Austin, Texas, earned more raves at the South by Southwest Music Conference in 2012.

Tony Nelson, Special to the Star Tribune

Clark dishes on Obama, Jay Z and the Stones

  • November 15, 2013 - 2:52 PM

Here’s what Gary Clark Jr. had to say about three of his most high-profile gigs of late.

On playing for Obama (at a White House tribute to the blues): “He explained that he’s from Chicago, so the blues is important to him. He thanked me for keeping it alive and seemed very appreciative. And he showed he knew his stuff later when he got up and sang ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ with everyone.”

On playing for Jay Z (at the Made in America festival, subject of a new Showtime documentary): “He was really cool, and so was the event itself. It obviously wasn’t a blues fest crowd. It’s fun when you kind of see the audience sort of all tilt their head and say, ‘What’s this? Blues?!’ But they really enjoyed it in the end.”

On playing with the Stones (including a Jimmy Reed tribute concert with Ron Wood and Mick Taylor last weekend): “What do you say? Obviously, it’s a thrill. This thing with [Wood and Taylor] was especially fantastic, because I’m a huge Jimmy Reed fan. He’s the reason I ever put on a harmonica rack and play a hollow-body guitar. I could play his stuff all night — especially with those guys.”

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