In 1975, it seemed unlikely that the largely neglected stretch of Austin’s Sixth Street would become a blues music haven; much less, at the hands of a 25-year-old music enthusiast who’d been stockpiling gear in the back of his sandwich shop.
But on July 15 of that year, Clifford Antone opened a club that changed the Austin music scene, and blues culture, forever. The blues consumed Clifford - he often said that he didn’t choose the blues but, rather, it chose him - and it showed. Antone’s quickly became Austin’s home of the blues, welcoming legends from Stevie Ray Vaughn and B.B. King to Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin.
Over the years, the club moved locations several times to keep up with Austin’s shifting landscape. But the soul of Antone’s never faded: Clifford lived and breathed the club, and remained fiercely loyal to the vast family of artists he’d cultivated and mentored over the years. Following his untimely death in 2006 Cliff’s sister and longtime collaborator, Susan, has kept the club and its spirit alive. In 2014 Susan tapped Gary Clark Jr., who began playing at Antone’s at age 14, to become a partner in the venue, along with local entrepreneur Will Bridges. The group set their sights on the current East 5th Street space. The rest is (continued) history.
The club, which celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2020, has maintained Clifford and Susan’s commitment to the origins of blues while also raising up new artists in the space. Stop by to for the weekly “Blue Monday” series showcasing local blues icons, and regular shows featuring acts ranging from well-known artists to up-and-comers.
For more information visit www.antonesnightclub.com