Antone's: Home Of The Blues Review
By Christopher Null
I didn't spend nearly as much time as Antone's as I should have during the eight years I lived there, but it was -- and is -- a great place to go to hear the blues. It's really the only blues place in town worth a damn, and Dan Karlok's documentary about the legendary establishment is here to tell you that it may be the only blues place in the world that you should care about.
Karlok's documentary is pretty straightforward: Talking heads like Marcia Ball and Jimmie Vaughan explain why Antone's is so important, and founder Clifford Antone himself takes Karlok (and us) on a lengthy tour of Antone's history and the blues in general, road-tripping around the south to Port Arthur and Louisiana. Naturally, copious musical acts break the monotony of the talking heads.
Unfortunately, the musical numbers are still far too few and far between, and they're invariably cut into short tidbits that barely give you a taste of the blues. Too much of the film falls into that all-too-common trap of hero worship for all things Antone. It's not that I was looking for dirt to be dished about the man. I just wanted something beyond useless chatter about what a great guy he was. Clifford Antone died only two weeks before this film came out on DVD, incidentally.
Austin residents and blues aficionados will probably get a kick out of poking their head into this film for a while. Most others will wonder what the fuss is all about.
Facts and Figures
Cast & Crew
Producer: E. Colleen Saro