Blues on the Green Returns with Gary Clark Jr.’s All-Star Revue

Four free summer shows kick off next Tuesday

After a two-year absence from Zilker Park, iconic free concert series Blues on the Green returns.

Jackie Venson’s debut Austin City Limits taping on Oct. 1, 2020 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

To celebrate the event’s 30th anniversary, presenters Austin City Limits Radio announced a condensed calendar this morning. Kicking off the lineup, hometown hero Gary Clark Jr. curates a seven-act bill of Austinites on Tuesday, July 27, at 8pm. Unlike typical Blues on the Green gigs, artists lead the Grammy-winner’s two-hour “handpicked homegrown all-star revue” backed by Clark’s own band.

The selected assembly includes local staples Jackie Venson, Jimmie Vaughan, Blackillac, Kydd Jones, Eve Monsees, and the Peterson Brothers, as well as Suzanne Santo, a Cleveland-launched singer-songwriter now based in Austin. The next night, July 28, at 8pm, BOTG presents alt-pop perfectionist Mobley and psychedelic soul crew Kalu & the Electric Joint. Lineups for the final two shows of the season, August 10-11, will be revealed onstage next week.

Poster by Billy Perkins

Ties run deep across the revue lineup. Clark previously invited frequent high-energy collaborators Blackillac, accomplished rapper/producer Jones, and the Petersons onstage at ACL Fest 2019. The latter blues brother duo and nonstop guitar experimenter Venson joined the guitarist on the road for opening dates. Clark also guested on Santo’s 2020 song “Fall for That.” The oldest connection, former high school classmate Monsees (Eve & the Exiles) introduced the famed guitarist to six-string blues.

Station host and booker Andy Langer says he and Clark came up with the idea at a 2019 performance for the station. The ACL Radio personality posted on social media:

“Onstage that day, we spoke about how he’s consistently taken Austin acts out on the road as openers, and he said it’s because Jimmie Vaughan did the same for him early in his career. To be clear, rather than sell his opening slots to labels with promo budgets, he’s taking out Austin folks that don’t help him sell tickets... People like to talk about digging into rich folk’s pockets to save Austin music, but what we really need is a small army of folks like Gary, willing to be ambassadors in and outside of town, to lift up the next generations and genuinely walk the walk.”

In June 2020, Venson dropped off last summer’s televised broadcast of BOTG, citing too few spots for artists of color in the event’s history. She posted on Twitter: “I hope you still believe Black lives matter when you’re choosing your lineups for the major Austin concert events and festivals, when you’re picking out music and songs for your radio shows, when you’re doing artist spotlights.” The pandemic-year Blues on the Screen pivoted to a historic all-Black bill curated by Venson and aired on Fox 7 Austin.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Rachel Rascoe
Faster Than Sound: Alexalone, All Together
Faster Than Sound: Alexalone, All Together
Soft-spoken guitarist details world-building Polyvinyl debut – with help from bandmates

Aug. 6, 2021

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Mary Jane Coles, Empowerment Fest, and whole lotta metal top our list of recommended shows

Aug. 6, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Blues on the Green 2021, Gary Clark Jr., Jackie Venson, Kydd Jones, Eve Monsees, Jimmie Vaughan, Blackillac, Peterson Brothers, Suzanne Santo, Mobley, Kalu & the Electric Joint

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle