Antone's 28th Anniversary

Live Shot

Barbara Lynn & Derek O'Brien
Barbara Lynn & Derek O'Brien (Photo By Gary Miller)

Antone's 28th Anniversary

Antone's, July 13-19 From the looks of things, only Clifford Antone had the stamina to go all nine days of his namesake's 28th birthday bash. Some of us managed half of that, yet were still in the majority of blooze hounds left barking by the time Beaumont's Barbara Lynn took the club's stage early Saturday evening. The 61-year-old southpaw guitarist put on her brightest smile in the face of an "intimate" audience and proceeded to get equally familiar. From the opening epidural of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," through Lynn's Top 40 radio immortal "You'll Lose a Good Thing," down to surf-kissed closer and Clifford request "What'd I Say," the guitarist strummed up a groove straight out of the Fifties drive-in jukebox in the sky. Backed by Antone's all-stars Derek O'Brien, Tommy Shannon, Frosty "George" Smith, and anniversary junior MVP Matt Farrell on keys, Lynn's 60 magic minutes were the candles being blown out on Clifford's cake. A year ago, that marker would've had a file baked into it. This year, Antone followed Lynn with Hubert Sumlin, a guitarist the birthday boy introduced as one of the most important musicians since the invention of sound. If Howlin' Wolf's Chicago-based keeper of the "Killing Floor" has slowed in his seventh decade, Antone's devotion to him has not. It was Sumlin, along with Muddy Waters' rhythm section, that had been the center of attention earlier in the week. Tuesday, Antone's former mistress, Bay Area dweller Angela Strehli, took a gulp of whiskey, two Elmore James, and after an hour, left a call for current club queen bee Lou Ann Barton, who ended the evening like a bite of lime after a shot of Patrón. In between, Derek O'Brien and Jimmie Vaughan grinned like Cheshire (Strat) cats during Kim Wilson's blow out, then Sumlin's. By all accounts, the next night -- Wednesday -- bowed on similar bluesings, Strehli and W.C. Clark reuniting for some righteous Southern Feeling, followed by James Cotton's harp lessons. Sue Foley, another Antone's Texpatriate, had taken a few of those at the side of Strehli Tuesday, but her 90-minute lover's call Monday night was that of an A student. Ditto for Los Lonely Boys the night before, and Doyle Bramhall II, who followed Foley and his dad's performance two nights earlier with a Charlie Sexton sit in, some Stevie Wonder, and his terrific "Green Light Girl." Good thing someone flashed "Go" at anniversary grand hostess/house photographer Susan Antone and her brother all those lifetimes ago. Home is where the blues are.

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