The sound of the blues is the voice of the heart sliced wide open. It is a spiritual celebration and a raunchy revelation - testimony to all it means to be human. Over time the blues has been both treasured and cast aside but it still thunders out in nightly defiance of its demise at a club called Antone's. Here blues legends, young bloods and faithful fans beat a path to the door - welcomed by a man who lives to put the spotlight on musicians.
West of the crossroads and south of a vast Texas sky, you'll find it, too. Voices transformed into lovers and preachers in the midnight hour. The musical heart and soul of a nation. There's only one Lonestar State, and there's only one Blues. And in Austin there's a place that's as close to Blues heaven as you can get without dying.
From its humble beginnings to its current place as one of the premier showcases in the world for blues – and other roots music – Antone’s became a beacon for blues legends and newcomers alike, who found in its friendly confines a place to perform their music in front of an appreciative audience and in an environment that nurtured both the music and the artist alike. Starting with its opening night guest of legendary zydeco king Clifton Chenier, Antone’s has hosted a literal “who’s who” of the blues world, with such artists as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Fats Domino, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Jimmy Reed, Buddy Guy, Eddie Taylor, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin, Luther Tucker, Jimmie Rogers and Big Walter Horton gracing the stage through the years.
In addition to the legends, Antone’s became a school for such Austin locals as Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Charlie and Will Sexton and Angela Strehli, who, drawn by the majesty and power of the blues, embraced its soul and took the music to new heights with their own interpretations of the classic sound.
Laced throughout Antone’s: Home of the Blues are rare interviews and previously unseen performance footage. Included are interviews with many of the local and national people who’ve helped nurture and support Antone’s throughout its history, as well as testimonials from a gamut of special guests ranging from B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Billy Gibbons, Buddy Guy, Joe Ely, Marcia Ball and Kim Wilson.
Antone’s: Home of the Blues was directed by Dan Karlok, an award-winning cinematographer and director, who has won two Emmy Awards for directing and producing the Asleep at the Wheel long form documentary, “Ride With Bob.” He was also nominated for a Grammy Award for the same project. In addition, his work has been honored at the MCA-1 Awards, the New York Film Festival, the Worldfest Film Festival and film festivals in Chicago, Charleston and Houston. He has also directed an episode of the NBC-TV hit series, "Law and Order."
Executive producer of the film is Lucky Tomblin, founder and owner of SilverStar Entertainment, who is a bandleader and songwriter. He founded the Fire Station recording and film studio in San Marcos, Texas, where he recorded such artists as Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Texas Tornados. In addition, he helped start the sound technology recording program at Texas State University in San Marcos.