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Southern Feeling

Photo by Susan Antone
Years before Austin’s blues revolution of the mid-1970s took hold and even before cowboys became cosmic, a game of connect the dots was being played in the band Southern Feeling. Fronted by vocalist Angela Strehli and bassist W.C. Clark and featuring players such as guitarists Derek O’Brien and Denny Freeman and drummer Rodney Craig, Southern Feeling predated the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Double Trouble by a good five years, playing long-forgotten Austin venues like Buffalo Gap, the South Door, and Alexander’s along with their contemporaries in Storm. Strehli had been doing time with notable acts like Sunnyland (with Lewis Cowdrey) and James Polk & the Brothers, where her passionate soul met steamy blues. Clark paid heavy dues performing early on with T.D. Bell & the Cadillacs, Blues Boy Hubbard & the Jets, and with the mighty Joe Tex before taking a local gig filling in on bass with Storm. Southern Feeling’s sound was based largely on the contemporary soul sound of singers like Al Green and George McRae, but the occasional original like Strehli’s “Your Sweetness” often crept in. The band visited the Bay Area but returned and dissolved around 1974, all the players going on to better things. Strehli’s solo career took off, O’Brien stepped up as one of the premier Antone’s guitarists, Freeman and Craig joined Paul Ray & the Cobras, and Clark decided to try his luck with Jimmie Vaughan’s upstart younger brother, guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. – Margaret Moser

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Last Updated: March 9, 2009

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From the Archives:
One, Two, Tres, Cuatro (Music Column December 30, 2011)

The other music Halls of Fame have had their say – time to focus locally on the Austin Texas Music Hall of Fame
Blue Monday (Music Story December 29, 2000)

Twenty-five Years and Counting, the Tradition Lives On
ALL SOUTHERN FEELING ARCHIVES