Blues Musicians - Want Your Gigs Listed On This Calendar?

Dallas/Ft Worth/N Texas Blues Musicians - Want to see your weekly gigs listed on this calendar and have them read live on the air on KNON's BIG TEXAS BLUES program?

Email (no texts, messages to this blog or Facebook posts accepted) your gigs for the upcoming week NO LATER THAN Tuesday Evening to:

Please include the following:
Your name * Band Name (if Applicable) * If it is full band gig, solo or duo * Name of Venue * City Venue is located in * Time your show starts and ends

Remember - this is a BLUES calendar posted on a BLUES blog and read on a BLUES radio show, so please only include BLUES gigs. Also, only include shows within the Dallas/Ft Worth/N Texas area.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Clifford Antone Passes

I am still reeling from the news yesterday of the death of Clifford Antone. I was in my car on the way to my gig when Joanna Iz from Southwest Blues called to tell me. I instantly felt like a lead weight had been dropped to the bottom of my stomach, where it has sat ever since. I've probably eaten 20 Tums today, but I still just feel incredibly nauseous. I can't help but feel that it is the end of a golden era in Texas Blues.

It's funny how your mind works. I had the toughest time gripping the reality of it as I drove, but I suddenly realized I was wearing the exact outfit I had on the last time I saw him. (Those of you who know my love of clothes shopping and vast wardrobe will understand how highly unlikely an occurrence that was.)

It was last summer during Antone's 30th Anniversary week, when Andrea Dawson and I drove down for the "Chick" show and then came right back the same night so I could do the radio show the next morning. We went to see all the fabulous Antone's Women appearing that night - Lou Ann Barton, Marcia Ball, Angela Strehli, Sister Sarah Brown, and Sue Foley. (Okay, Okay. I also went to look at Derek O'Brien - I love me some looking at- and listening to, of course! - Derek O'Brien!!) We were especially eager to see our friend Cheryl Arena on stage performing with Candye Kane, which eventually led to Candye coming to Dallas last year to headline my radio anniversary show.

The cool thing was after Candye's set, Clifford called Cheryl back on stage and made a big deal about her. I think he was just blown away (pun intended) by her harmonica talent. Luckily, I got a picture of them together. The man was just like that all the time - always listening, always recognizing and encouraging talent.

It never dawned on me that night that the next time I went to Antone's, Clifford would be gone. During my formative years in the blues (the early 90's) I was driving to Austin 2 or 3 times a month to go to Antone's. I never bothered to check ahead - Clifford always had someone or something amazing going on. And he was always there, standing to the side of the stage, helping artists on and off, soaking it all in, and occasionally jumping on stage and strapping on a bass for an impromptu jam. I'll never forget the night during on of his anniversary week celebrations -the year Derek was away on his , shall we say, government paid vacation. I was really blue that O'Brien wasn't there to be a part of it, but what I didn't know is that Clifford had helped arrange for his early release, driven a long round trip to get him, and much to my happy amazement, brought him straight to the Antone's stage still in his prison issue finest. I consider my time spent at Antone's my Blues education, and I will be eternally grateful to Cliff for making it all happen so this 30 something white woman rock and roller could discover the American treasure we call the Blues.

I love Dallas, and think we have one of the finest blues scenes in the world today, but those Antone's Austin blues are the very backbone of what I do and who I am. I can't imagine my life without them.

Thank you Clifford Antone, for your unwavering love and devotion to the blues. I know when you walked in to that big blues jam in the sky, all your many, many friends that had gone on before you held you your bass and welcomed you to the band.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

This year, I am making my goal for the American Heart Association $5600 -- because my friend Cliff Antone died a few months ago -- at 56. I know with your generosity AND help to FORWARD this email on and on, I will make my goal -- which coincidentally is 56 days away from today (Sept. 2). Cliff was of course the owner of the legendary blues/rock club Antone's in Austin, TX.

We are ALL at risk, and we ALL know someone who has been affected by heart disease and/or stroke.

You can help me reach my goal by making a donation online. Click on the link below and you will be taken to my personal donation page where you can make a secure online credit card donation. The American Heart Association's online fundraising website has a minimum donation amount of $25.00. If you prefer to donate less, you can do so by sending a check directly to me.

Your donation will help fight our nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers—heart disease and stroke. You are making a difference. Thank you for your support.

Please visit my page:

AND please feel free to forward to your friends!