Austin Gets the Blues: Blue Monday at Antone's
The Home of the Blues Hosts Some of Austin's Finest Talent
For the past several months, Antone’s on East Riverside has been hosting a free happy hour every Monday night from 6-8 PM. Appropriately named “Blue Monday,” the show features some of the finest talent Austin has to offer. It is a tradition that began almost forty years ago, when the old Antone’s first opened its doors on 6th Street and judging from the packed house every Monday night, it is still going strong. The multi talented house band includes such luminaries as Tommy Taylor, Scott Nelson, Riley Osbourn, and Derek O’Brien, and plays with a series of special guests that has included the great Malford Milligan, "Godfather of Austin Blues" W.C. Clark, and Austin legend Marcia Ball.
The new Antone’s is now two stories, but still manages to keep the intimate setting of its other locations. As W.C. Clark said during a recent appearance, it’s a place where the audience can “pull off your shoes and stay a spell.” Happy Hours like this are the reason many of us live in Austin, a city where you can walk into a club after work and listen to a group of world-class musicians. W.C. Clark is a favorite special guest on Blue Monday and with good reason. Listening to his sultry vocals and fine picking are a beautiful way to start the week, especially on songs like “Baby, You Don’t Have to Go,” and “If You Love Me Like You Say.” The band also launched into a swinging version of “Blue Monday,” that enticed several couples to get up and dance. Their rendition of “Superstition” was one of the best out there with Derek O’Brien wailing on guitar.
Audience members are also often treated to a surprise guest or two who may jump onstage to jam with the band. Marcia Ball happened to be in the audience during W.C.’ s performance and hopped on stage to rock the keys and belt out a mean version of “I Don’t Want No Man,” and “Bring it on Home to Me.” Always a consummate professional, Marcia was the special guest at last week’s Blue Monday, where she performed a killer set of songs including Odetta’s “Blues Everywhere I Go,” “I’m Just a Prisoner,” and the stunning “Sending Me Angels.” Riley Osbourn also shone on his sultry version of the stroll.
The next Blue Monday, on November 25th, will feature special guest Cindy Cashdollar and promises to be a great night of music. With the recent news that Antone’s will be relocating downtown, fans will want to be sure to catch a show at the East Riverside location before the venue moves in 2014.
Photos: Ethan Ham