The Austin Chronicle

Gary Clark Jr. Nabs a Grammy

By Chase Hoffberger, January 27, 2014, 11:47am, Earache!

Anybody who caught the song teasers last night during the Grammys telecast knew “Ain’t Messin ‘Round” deserved Best Rock Song of 2013, but by then Gary Clark Jr. was playing with house money. Earlier in the day, the local guitar phenom won his first Grammy: Best Traditional R&B Song for Blak and Blu favorite “Please Come Home.”

Clark was classically cool in his acceptance speech, thanking his parents before his girlfriend and band, while also demonstrating a small hint of that propensity for improvisation.

“I was told I should prepare a speech, and was like, ‘Nah, I’m not going to.’ Now I wish I had,” he said.

Clark also gave a holler to Eve Monsees, one of the owners at Antone’s Records and Clark’s classmate at Austin High.

“I wouldn’t be playing guitar – I wouldn’t be playing music if it weren’t for her,” he said. “She took me to my first gig, and it all started from there.”

Clark wasn’t the only Austinite to take home some hardware – “gold sippy cups,” as Best Rap/Sung Collaboration winner Jay-Z called them – last night. Texas master craftsman Guy Clark, profiled in Nashville last summer, won Best Folk Album (his first Grammy), and Sisters Shauna and Sarah Dodds won Best Recording Package for their work on Reckless Kelly’s Long Night Moon.

Sunday spelled letdown for homegrown folk singer Sarah Jarosz, whose "Build Me Up From Bones" lost out to Steve Martin & Edie Brickell’s "Love Has Come for You" for Best American Roots Song. Those bummed about her loss should fill out a Music Poll Ballot for the Austin Music Awards so her work’s validated locally.

Anybody else who lost out last night probably fell at the four feet of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who took home awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance (“Thrift Shop”), Best Rap Song (also “Thrift Shop”), and Best Rap Album (The Heist). The Seattle duo also played First Dance to a 33-couple wedding ceremony officiated by Queen Latifah and highlighted by Madonna, because sometimes the Grammys are what you dream of when the Nyquil isn’t working.

Austin inserted itself twice more during the program, for sad reason. During the In Memoriam segment, the slideshow posted pictures of recently departed locals Steven Fromholz and Larry Monroe. No doubt they both would have approved of Gary Clark Jr.’s win.

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