Buddy Guy and James Cotton

Buddy Guy and James Cotton
1985
12” x 12” (30.48cm x 30.48cm)

 

  

These two great bluesmen were down from Chicago for a very special occasion. It was a Saturday night at Antone’s, and they were feeling very good despite the oppressive heat of a central Texas mid July. Actually it was only evening, though the night had certainly been promised, and the last golden rays of the sun raced east up 29th street to where it met Guadalupe, just north of the University of Texas campus. Milto’s Italian Food and Ruby’s Barbeque caught the rays first before they spilled sideways onto the third address of “Austin’s Home of the Blues”. The place had been born into the Shakey’s Pizza family more than a decade before, but it had sheltered other endeavors for the last three years. The very latest had been A.J.’s Roadhouse, yet another music venue that had piled up in Austin over the 70s and 80s like so many mushrooms after a spring rain.

It was 1985, and Antone’s new location wasn’t even two years old yet; but the name and the musical force of nature incarnate within it were getting ready to celebrate a decade of that union. From Saturday to Saturday, for one full week, dozens of the best blues musicians from Chicago, Austin and the world at large would mount the stage in ever shifting combinations and permutations that would just simply celebrate this American cultural force with a joy and vitality that is as genuine as it gets. This anniversary celebration would be like no other for the club. The air was already electric even in this golden hour as Buddy and Cotton reminisced over plates of Ruby’s peerless barbeque.

I had journeyed there down the alley with Susan Antone and the camera which never left her side. It was a mission; the guitarist and harp player were the first to arrive and she wanted me to do a drawing of them. Something instinctive had kicked in with her and she wanted my input for these pictures. We met them coming out as we were going in. It didn’t take long, maybe ten minutes and as many shots; still stoked, they sat on a table against one of Ruby’s plywood panels. They continued swapping tales as I listened in fascination and Susan filmed. The first shot was it; I intuited that when she made it. This is the drawing made from that photograph; it is so genuine and joyous, I still feel good whenever I view it again. Look closely at their faces – the entire peerless magic of Antone’s Tenth Anniversary show beams from them, even though it had not yet begun.

This limited edition, custom-printed giclée print of Buddy Guy and James Cotton is only offered via Danny's special order email service. Drop him a line at this link, and he'll get back to you with pricing and availability. Currently (July 2005) we have a limited quantity of replica prints in stock.