Antone's anniversary bash to include Jackie Venson, C.J. Chenier, Denny Freeman tribute
Antone's has been doing limited-capacity shows since late last year, gradually ramping up as pandemic restrictions have eased. Now the downtown venue has announced its most significant re-entry events yet: a series of shows in June and July to celebrate the iconic blues club's 46th anniversary.
Austin rising star Jackie Venson will kick things off with a two-night weekend stand June 18-19. Other shows booked for the run include Louisiana greats Walter "Wolfman" Washington on June 25 and C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band on July 3; Houston rapper Lil' Keke on July 2; and Chicago blues legend John Primer on July 10.
Longtime fixtures of the local blues community also will play a big part. Lou Ann Barton will open Primer's show, and Lavelle White celebrates her 92nd birthday with a July 11 bash. Canadian transplant Sue Foley is booked for July 16, and guitar legend Jimmie Vaughan brings his Tilt-a-Whirl Band to the club on July 17.
It all leads up to a July 24 "Twang Bang" memorial bash for guitarist Denny Freeman, who died of cancer in April at age 76. Among those taking part will be Bill Carter, Kathy Valentine, Joe Sublett, Tommy McLain, C.C. Adcock, Speedy Sparks, Rodney Craig, Sarah Brown, Derek O'Brien, Eve Monsees, Keller Brothers and the Texas Horns.
More acts may be added in the coming weeks. Tickets are available via the venue's website. This year's anniversary series is dedicated to several members of the extended Antone's community who recently died: Freeman, Riley Osbourn, Lloyd Price, Paul Oscher, Lloyd Price, Gene Taylor, Eleanor Sutherland and Mary Wilson.
RELATED: Our 2019 interview with Mary Wilson