Monday, March 19, 2012
Blues club in pretty blue, SXSW Day 3
We have been to Antone's many times, and think of it as a concrete floor where it's always hot and sweaty (even in Winter) and overcrowded. Not necessarily bad things, but it is what it is. On this day, it looked like they had it all dressed up for the Prom or something. They took down all the pictures and posters hanging on the wall, the Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Doug Sahm, the old framed antiques showing unrecognizably young versions of the regular house band, and the big picture of Clifford Antone himself. They did keep that blue neon that just says BLUES, and it looked really good with all the added hanging Japanese paper lampshades. The other thing they did was to actually run the air conditioner enough to cool the place down. We easily found a little turf by the stage monitors where it remained uncrowded and we could sit down between sets. I wasn't the least bit tired after 4 hours of music.
This was the Pandora.com party, and started out with CHAPPO (feathered clothing, confetti, sonic and visual experimentation), Field Report (singer/songwriter, very good), and LP (woman with a big rock voice, think "Annie Lennox").
Then there was Gary Clark Jr., who was born and raised in this town and has been slinging guitar in these clubs since he was a kid. He's finally become an overnight success, just played for President Obama at the White House sharing the stage with Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy and many more, then a couple days after that played at the big Hubert Sumlin memorial bash with the likes of Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. He is someone you should definitely try to see, esp. if you love a mean, rockin' bluesy guitar.
Finally there was (were?) The Dunwells (Leeds UK), and they were my discovery of the day. Contemporary folk, I suppose, wonderful harmony vocals. The sound was beautiful in Antone's this time, and the party was so pleasant it just made my day.
After Antone's we headed down to Home Slice Pizza, where they were having their music party. Saw Family of the Year and Dan Mangan (pictured below). Very good stuff. We ended our day on a high note. (noooo, not that kind of 'high'). Ticket cost for today = $0.