The Austin Chronicle

Page Two

It started off as "The Blues

By Nick Barbaro, August 9, 1996, Columns

is Dead." That was the working title for this issue, but, well, in the immortal paraphrase of Mark Twain, reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. Not that that doesn't make a good, catchy title, but the fact is, Austin blues is alive and well, as you can read in Margaret Moser's story, beginning on p.44. And praise be, Antone's is alive and well, too -- still the Home of the Blues, in a House of Blues era. Still, there's an unmistakable air of... well, change.

To a large degree, Austin is still known as Stevie Ray Vaughan's hometown. He, and the
T-Birds, and Paul Ray, W.C. Clark, Lou Ann, Angela, and the Antone's house band -- they were the Austin blues scene for so long, that maybe it's been hard to see -- in a forest-for-the-trees kind of way -- just how pervasive their cultural influence has been: in music, certainly, but also, in a broader sense, in fostering a sense of community, in nurturing a fierce pride for this idiosyncratic city of ours.

Moser covers about a quarter-century of our city's blues tradition in her article. There have been at least a couple of major generational breaks in there, and the passing of the torch has been going on for so long that it doesn't really matter any more who lit it. But the Antone's spirit lives on, and not only down on Guadalupe but throughout the city. It's a reminder that, while "scenes" come and go -- almost by definition -- the music and the spirit that they engender can live on for generations.

And speaking of scenes, this week's "Screens" section features a couple of looks behind the curtain at the very active Austin film scene, occasioned by the ongoing Quentin Tarantino personal film fest/benefit for the Austin Film Society and the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund. Elizabeth Peters and Andy Langer provide behind-the-scenes accounts of the filming of Richard Linklater's upcoming film subUrbia, while an interview with Quentin Tarantino by Marjorie Baumgarten rounds out the section. Wonder if Tarantino has been to Antone's yet.... n

Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.