When Clifford Antone died a few weeks ago, the blues world lost a giant of man who created a nightclub that found it's niche in Austin Texas and has lasted over thirty years.
At least Clifford can relish the fact in knowing that his life's mission was fully realized. Because if you watch the dvd Antone's Home Of The Blues, you'll not only get a history lesson, but a glimpse into a personality whose heart was in the right place and sought only the greater good.
Antone's Home Of The Blues is everything you want it to be. There is the inevitable concert footage shots of blues greats Lou Ann Barton, Kim Wilson, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins and many others. Of course there is the interviews providing insights into many personalities. A blues fan will surely get a chuckle out of hearing Antone's story about Stevie Ray Vaughan playing with blues legend Albert King. And from the small amount of footage given, Vaughan was a serious burner who eventually become a big star in the blues industry. A man who never turned his back on those who came before him.
The film traces Antone's roots: From his Port Arthur upbringing, New Orleans influences, the club's beginnings, the musicians he helped. Blues is a storybook and the club of Antones is a big enough chapter or maybe a big novel itself.
Clifford wasn't a capitalist looking to make a quick buck. He was a believer in this music and made it his life's passion to spread its gospel. Whether he was bringing musicians to his club, helping with their medical bills or buying them new instruments, Antone became a son/father figure to the legends he promoted and they in turn loved him for his enthusiasm.
This dvd can be watched several times over. Austin, TX can be proud of a gentleman who stood for the working class and created an institution that spawned nightly performances of legendary figures who left their marks. Some of these names are dead. There is always the cds. They wont be around to collect the money. Another sad story for another time.
People who have been to Antones or who have never been to Antones will want to get this dvd. Too bad Clifford didn't live to see this release. Although his ghost can laugh knowing that when people want a lesson of blues in Texas, this is a great place to start.