Blues on the Green Returns with Gary Clark Jr.’s All-Star Revue
Four free summer shows kick off next Tuesday
By Rachel Rascoe,
10:15AM, Mon. Jul. 19, 2021
After a two-year absence from Zilker Park, iconic free concert series Blues on the Green returns.
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.
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.