Texas music and the Austin scene have lost one of the greats with the passing of Guitarist Denny Freeman. We’ve lost a sweet soul and a kind and gracious human being, on top of being one of the best and most creative players I’ve ever heard or played with. Denny could take a solo places you would never think of and he made it look easy which it damn sure wasn’t.
Here’s a video clip from the east side (the real east side) of Austin at the Sahara Lounge June 8, 2013. The whole song is pretty great but Denny’s solo at 3:30 is classic Denny Freeman. The lineup is my own self, Denny, Cindy Cashdollar, Scrappy, Johnny Morocco and Jimmy Mcfeely—enjoy!
For me, so many of my greatest memories of the 70’s in Austin are connected with Denny. He lived up at the end of my street on Jewel where a two block section of South Sixth (where I lived a half block down) dead ends. It was so great to wake up and stroll down the street to Denny’s house, sit on the porch drinking coffee and listening to 45’s and then start drinkin’ and getting ready for the next night’s musical adventures at Antone’s, the Rome Inn, The Continental Club, Soap Creek, The Armadillo, Blondie’s, The Aus-Tex Lounge, The Austin Opera House and on and on. Within walking distance were Tony Garnier, SRV, Alex Napier and Leroy Preston just to name a few of that neighborhood’s South Austin denizens. He loved to ride in my 1950 Buick and we would make the rounds to pick up Keith and/or Jimmie and go get a bite at Virginia’s where I can still see her classic handwritten sign: “If you’re in a hurry please don’t wait, I’d hate to be the one to make you late.” Other days might be a trip to Hernandez Cafe on east 6th for the best enchiladas in Austin and Keith’s favorite Menudo.
You were and are deeply loved Denny, and you’ve left a big hole in the soul of Austin music. We miss you and love you forever-God rest your sweet soul! I know you’re up there now with Stevie and Clifford and Brenda and so many more. Shine on sweet Prince!
April 27th, 2021