Antone's Twenty-first Anniversary (SRV)
Antone's
July 10 -- 20, 1996
17" x 22" (43.18cm x 55.88cm)

The subject honored on an anniversary an anniversary must meet one stringent criterion -- that person must be deceased.

The summer of 1996 saw the club in financial straits again, and it was serious this time; every indication was that this might be the club's last anniversary, which was true so far as the Guadalupe incarnation was concerned.

Clifford wanted Albert Collins on the poster, but as this might be the last one, I lobbied hard for Stevie Ray Vaughan. Stevie was really what Antone’s had been about -- a cultural transfer agent and an incubator for blues musicians that transcended both race and generation. The club provided a meeting and playing ground for the blues greats of Chicago and elsewhere to impart their skills and experiences to the growing number of young blues musicians in Austin - an apprenticeship of the blues, if you will. No one took advantage of this opportunity more or personified it better than SRV.

I chose this image and modified his countenance a bit, to make him appear slightly beatific. The playing card motif is joined in both upper corners, a blackjack -- signifying two decades and a year. The bordering presages another motif --heavy and dark metal.

Also honored: JUNIOR WALKER, EURAL DEWITTY, ALBERT COLLINS, LUTHER TUCKER, and SUNNYLAND SLIM.

  

This is the first Antone’s anniversary poster to honor a local musician, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Also honored by decree if not image are: Junior Walker, Eural Dewitty, Albert Collins, Luther Tucker, and Sunnyland Slim. All but Albert Collins and Luther Tucker had died the previous year, Albert and Luther had died in 1983. The venue was once again washing against financial shoals, which just fueled that much more enthusiasm into the performances during this show. The club endured, and is now located at it’s fourth location back downtown. The crown-jewel of Austin’s “Warehouse” entertainment district, it is now located at 5th and Lavaca.

After Lou Ann Barton left, the Triple Threat Review wound down one notch to become Double Trouble. The band was drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon - often joined by Reese Wynans on the keyboards. The Montreux Jazz Festival did for the band what the Newport Jazz Festival had done for Muddy Waters; it garnered media coverage that introduced their music to a wider audience. An on-off -on again-off again dance with David Bowie to front for his 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour came to nothing but got the attention of John Hammond Sr., who recorded Texas Flood that same year. That garnered two Grammy nominations, and was followed the next year by Can’t Stand the Weather. In 1985 Soul to Soul was released, with In Step coming in 1986. After 4 years, 4 albums and 4 tours, the pace caught up with Stevie in one moment on a London stage when he collapsed. After the tour ended he checked himself into a rehab program.

The Twenty-first Anniversary show was the last one seen at the Guadalupe and 29th St venue. Accumulating physical problems at the site were forcing relocation, but there was still one more big anniversary show to do. Once again Sugar Bear mc’ed the show. The local acts that were included were stellar – Toni Price, Storyville (with the great Malford Milligan), Miss Lavelle White, Ugly Americans (with Bob Schneider), the Moellers, and the incredible Guy Forsyth and his band. The Antone’s regulars were there, Derek O’Brien, Sue Foley, George Rains, Kaz Kazanoff, Riley Osborn and Sarah Brown. Also those whose careers began at the club, such as Angela Strehli, Lou Ann Barton, Kim Wilson, Denny Freeman, Jake Andrews and Bill Carter, as well as other Austin musicians who had developed there -- Charlie Sexton, W. C. Clark, Will Sexton, Speedy Sparks, John X. Reed, Marcia Ball, David Grissom and Ian Moore, among others. Of course featured, as always at an Antone’s anniversary, the ever-dwindling number of blues greats of the last generation, Pinetop Perkins, Jimmy Rogers, Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Earl King, Snooky Pryor, Lazy Lester, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and the inimitable, Hubert Sumlin.

These groups and the individual musicians within them, played their own sets and then together in ever changing groups changing constantly in creative and eclectic combinations. This was a true celebration of the blues and the house that has made that music a home in this city for over two decades.


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