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Antone's marks 37 years with tribute to Sumlin

Joe Gross
jgross@statesman.com

Antone's celebrates 37 years of being Antone's with a superstar tribute to Howlin' Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin, who died last year at the age of 80.

Sumlin, one of the undeniable greats in his genre, had been a fixture on and off at Antone's for years, staring in 1976. Sumlin played with Pinetop Perkins and recorded the 1998 album "Legends" with the vaunted piano player.

He is, in short, the sort of fellow whose memory commands a who's who of Austin's blues and blues-rock history to assemble at Antone's for a tribute show.

Heading up this crew is Doyle Bramhall II (whose father, Doyle Bramhall, drummed for Lightnin' Hopkins and also passed last year). Bramhall has done time in The Fabulous Thunderbirds, the Arc Angels and as Eric Clapton's guitarist.

Marcia Ball and guitarist Derek O'Brien are perfect examples of the old Antone's scene that Sumlin's work helped inspire. And then there's the brilliant Denny Freeman, who was part of the wave of blues players who streamed to Austin from Dallas in the early 1970s, along with the Vaughan brothers and Doyle Bramhall Sr. (See how it all fits together?) Freeman also did time in the second Antone's house band and played with Bob Dylan's band from 2005 to 2009 (before being replaced by Charlie Sexton, who left in 2002). Other participating musicians include Larry Fulcher, George Rains and the often-brilliant LeRoi Brothers guitarist Casper Rawls, another pal of Sumlin's. This isn't just a tribute to Antone's and Sumlin. It's a tribute to Texas.

Antone's 37th Annivesary Kickoff Party