Watch This: A Tribute to Denny Freeman in His Own Words
A sweet pocket-doc to celebrate the late guitarist’s birthday
By Kevin Curtin,
11:40AM, Mon. Aug. 8, 2022
On what would have been his 78th birthday, we’re pleased to present a mini doc on Denny Freeman, the graceful guitarist whose soulful presence in Austin music resounded through five decades. The video’s set to a never-before-heard narration of Freeman discussing his life in music.
The blues-revival instigator – who shared dual guitar duties with Stevie Ray Vaughan in Paul Ray & the Cobras, anchored the Antone’s house band that backed up a who’s-who of genre legends in the Eighties, and contributed his artistic essence to the works of Taj Mahal and Bob Dylan – was a deep well of musicality, eclipsing blues with a style also informed by R&B, jazz, and rock & roll. Freeman passed away on April 25, 2021 after a swift encounter with cancer. Prior to his illness, he’d sat down with the Austin popular culture and music history organization AusPop for an interview as part of an oral history project. Via the Society for the Preservation of Texas Music, Austin production house Arts+Labor used the recording of that interview as the basis for a visually dynamic short in which Freeman is essentially narrating his own musical life story.
“I feel really fortunate to be a musician. I got the opportunity to play with people I never dreamed I would play with and I’ll be eternally grateful for that,” Freeman reflects in the doc, while live footage of him performing with Dylan rolls. “It hasn’t been easy, but that’s okay.”
You can see the video below. Happy birthday Denny.
Produced by the Society for the Preservation of Texas Music with the Austin Museum of Popular Culture and Arts+Labor
Jeremy Steinberger / Director, Editor
Cody Ground /Creative Director
Alan Berg, Leea Mechling / Producers
Bruce Sheehan, Kameryn Griesser / Associate Producers
Cait Ellison, Kelsey Riddle, Megan Stillman / Production Assistants