Antone's Home of the Blues


Texas Platters

Antone's Home of the Blues


Clifford Antone is alive and well. So, too, are Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Luther Tucker, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Doug Sahm, vintage footage of all a precious portal into Antone's everlasting blues. "I didn't choose it," swears the big teddy bear, Antone. "It chose me. I never had any control over it!" Antone's Home of the Blues proves that as sure as Muddy Waters' holiness. Seeing Antone cry at the elbow of Pinetop Perkins, playing the piano like a Mississippi schoolboy, bears witness to religion being inseparable from music – and vice versa – at some critical juncture. Clifford onstage with Albert Collins; Clifford sharing barbecue and history with Kim Wilson, Angela Strehli, and Derek O'Brien; and Clifford swooning stageside while Hubert Sumlin plays Antone's all testify to one God. Clifford talking about the nanny that sang him gospel songs: "That's where I got the soul I have today." Soul is what Clifford Antone moved heaven, earth, and even the music business with, and Dan Karlok's 90-minute documentary from 2004 hits DVD with a timing singular to at least two of those three. From the same vicinity materializes a parade of the faithful: B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Willie "Big Eye" Smith, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, Jimmie Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall, Billy Gibbons, Marcia Ball, Bill Bentley, Paul Ray, Joe Ely, Lou Ann Barton. Marquees shout: Albert King, John Lee Hooker, Otis Rush, Junior Wells, the Fabulous Thunderbirds (where lurks Keith Ferguson), Bobby "Blue" Bland, Sue Foley. Statue to: Willie Dixon. Herein beats Clifford Antone's heart. "It's been my life," he says, "it's been my family, my wife. It's been everything, you know?" How could we not? (Release party: Friday, June 9, 5-8pm, Antone's Records, with Eve Monsees & the Exiles, Gary Primich, Gary Clark Jr., food, refreshments, and more.)

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