Written by Jim Bille

P1110847Austin’s most famous name in the blues, Antone’s, hosted Billy Gibbons “Jungle Show” last week, two nights of some very special musicians playing some very special blues.

On his two night musical safari Gibbons included just about every Austin blues heavyweight to be found. Jimmie Vaughan, Chris Layton, Charlie Sexton, Sue Foley, and Mike “The Drifter” Flanigan all joined in as Gibbons presided over the third installment of the Jungle Show.

Kicking off with “Okie Dokie Stomp” Sue Foley, along with Layton and Flannigan got the crowd jacked up with this classic jump blues tune made famous by Gatemouth Brown. Flannigan followed up with some cool grooves on his Hammond B-3 during the second number “I’ve Got a Woman”.

P1110505bNext up was Billy Gibbons with a vintage BB King tune appropriately called “The Jungle” followed up by “Got Love if You Want It”, a tune that can be found on BFG’s solo release Perfectamundo. Some classic and more obscure blues that featured BFG included some slippery slide work on “Dust My Broom”, “44 Blues”, “Shake Your Money Maker” a fantastic take on Howlin Wolfs “Killing Floor” and ZZ Top’s signature song “La Grange”.

Billy Gibbons blues roots really sprouted on this project. He has always said his influences were bluesmen and his playing this night made that quite obvious. Another unexpected treat was listening to Gibbons on harmonica during select songs throughout the show.

Sue Foley stepped in with a couple of gems from her forthcoming release, The Ice Queen, due out in March. The first tune was “$100 Dollar Bill” followed up by “Fools Gold”. It’s worth mentioning most of the Jungle Show’s line up are featured on Foleys upcoming CD so you can probably get a feel for what this show was all about by giving it a listen.

P1110752Charlie Sexton came onboard next with an over the top version of Little Richard’s “Bama Lama Bama Loo”. The next number “Call Me Guitar Slim” was dedicated to Clifford Antone and again featured Sexton on guitar and vocals.

Jimmie Vaughan’s contribution to the Austin blues scene and beyond is immeasurable. He started his portion of the show with a couple of Fabulous Thunderbirds tunes “Roll, Roll, Roll” and “Scratch My Back”. For years now Vaughan has made “Texas Flood” part of his repertoire and along with the rest of this all-star band performed a stellar version of this blues standard. Other Vaughan numbers featured throughout the evening included “Motorhead Baby” and “Boom Bapa Boom”.

More tunes covered during this close to three hour performance included “Beauticians Blues”, ”King Bee”, “Strange Love”, “Pretty Thing”, “The Walk” and “Foxy Lady” to name a few.

To see such talent rolled up together at such an iconic venue like Antone’s is a must do for any blues lover so keep your calendar clear and buy your tickets early for next years show. Antone’s intimate club only accommodates about 400 fans so expect to get cozy as these shows will sell out quickly.