The 50 Best Blues Clubs in the Best Music Cities in America





The blues is truly an American art form. Originating in the Deep South, the blues has greatly influenced jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll.

The genre goes all the way back to the start of the 20th century. Extant recordings date back to the 1920s.

While there are some amazing blues albums, the genre is best experienced live. You need to be there when blues masters apply their craft. Our affinity for live blues music inspired us to create a list of the 50 best blues clubs in America, organized by the best music cities in America.

The following venues just don’t book blues artists, they keep the blues alive. All of them excel at creating a place for blues artists to perform and catering to those who appreciate the genre.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the blues or a veteran aficionado. You should definitely check out the following 50 clubs.


Atlanta


Atlanta has played a major role in country music, southern rock, punk rock (the city hosted the Sex Pistols' first U.S. gig), and hip hop.  Blues pianist Big Maceo Merriweather was born in the A-T-L.

 

Northside Tavern


You may have seen the world-famous Northside Tavern in the new MacGyver television show or in the movies Barbershop 3, We Are Kings, and Anchor Man 2.  One of the best dive bars in America, the Northside Tavern offers live blues and jazz seven nights a week.  Even better, their drinks are cheap.


Back Stage Pass:
Every Sunday night Northside Tavern hosts the blues band Uncle Sugar.  They'll play until 2am when Monday is a federal holiday.


Image of Northside Tavern courtesy of venue's Facebook page.


Blind Willie's

 

Blind Willie's bills itself as “booze, blues, & Cajun food.”  What more does one need?  This award-winning venue on Highland Avenue is usually closed on Sundays.  If they're open, then they've booked live music acts.  Founders Eric King and Roger Gregory opened Blind Willie's in 1986.

Back Stage Pass:
Blind Willie's has some very cool merchandize.  We love their "It Ain't Easy Bein' Sleazy" t-shirts.

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Austin


Austin officially calls itself “The Live Music Capital of the World.”  It's home to South by Southwest, the Austin City Limits television show, and the Austin City Limits Music Festival.  Famous blues harmonicist Gary Primich called Austin home.

 

Skylark Lounge

 

The Skylark is part dive bar and part music venue, but it's all fun.  The Skylark attracts a bunch of legendary blues artists, but that's not all.  Monday is comedy night and Tuesday is open mic night for songwriters.  Skylark has an outdoor patio and a game room with darts and pool.

Back Stage Pass:
The Skylark has the city's best “Happy Hour Lounge Act” (Austin Chronicle Critic's pick, 2013).  Margaret Wright performs every Thursday and Friday night from 6pm to 8pm.


Courtesy of venue's Facebook page.


One-2-One Bar

 

Gregg and Destinee Ware opened the One-2-One Bar in 2004.  The venue was originally located in downtown Austin but is now on South Lamar Boulevard, in a bigger building.  Come here to enjoy libations and great live blues.  The venue books artists from other genres too, as long as they're good.

Back Stage Pass:
One-2-One Bar loves musicians.  The venue encourages everyone to support the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.

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Baltimore


Baltimore is best known for its affinity for classical musical and musical theatre.  It's also the birthplace of legendary guitarist Frank Zappa.

 

Cat's Eye Pub

 

You'll find Cat's Eye Pub in Baltimore's historic Fell's Point.  The venue is opened seven days a week and presents patrons with the “best live music in Baltimore.”  That includes blues and other types of tunes.  Cat's Eye Pub's bartenders can serve you one of their 32 draughts or anything else you want. 

Back Stage Pass:
Cat's Eye Pub throws a huge party every St. Patrick's Day.  In 2017, Dogs Among the Bushes played authentic Irish tunes all day and well into the night. 


Ursula Ricks Project performing at Cat's Eye Pub.  Image courtesy of venue's Facebook page.


Bertha's

 

Also in Fell's Point, Bertha's has a sprightly bar that deals great live music—generally of the blues and jazz variety.  This highly-acclaimed establishment, established in 1972, also serves delicious seafood.  You've got to try their crab cakes.

Back Stage Pass:
After you've tried their crab cakes, try their mussels.  Bertha's is famous for its mussels.

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Boston


Boston has a world class symphony orchestra, youth symphony orchestra, and pops orchestras.  Notable venues in Bean Town include the Citi Performing Arts Center, the Colonial Theater, the Orpheum Theatre, Symphony Hall, and our following entry.

 

Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen

 

Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen, also known as DCBK, is known for its southern comfort food, signature cocktails, and jazz.  Yet, if you peruse their calendar, you'll find top quality blues and blues-adjacent acts.  From their stylish corner entrance, to their rustic interior brick walls, DCBK is all about class.

Back Stage Pass:
It's “T&T Tuesdays” at DCBK.  What do the “T's” stand for?  They stand for tacos and tequila.

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Chicago


Chicago blues is a mix of country, city, and urban blues.  It's characterized by electric guitars and harmonicas played through PA systems.  Famous Chicago bluesmen include Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, Paul Butterfield, James Cotton, Terry Hanck, and Daniel Ivankovich.

 

Chicago B.L.U.E.S. Bar

 

You'll likely see and hear local artists at Chicago B.L.U.E.S. Bar.  Local artists like John Primer, Eddie Shaw, Eddy Clearwater, and Magic Slim.  If you can only use one word to describe B.L.U.E.S. Bar it's probably going to be “intimate.”  This venue is widely regarded as the North Side's best blues club.

Back Stage Pass:
Doors open at 8pm with live music starting at 9:30pm.  There's $5 parking at Home Depot garage located a block north of Halsted.


Buddy Guy's Legends

 

Buddy Guy's Legends has been named “Best Blues Club” on numerous occasions by several publications.  Owned and operated by Buddy Guy and his family, this Chi-Town institution books world class blues artists seven nights a week.  They also have a museum-worthy collection of blues memorabilia.

Back Stage Pass:
If you can't make it to Chicago, go to the club's webpage.  There you'll find a link to a live feed of the club's stage.


Kingston Mines

 

Kingston Mines is the largest and oldest continuously operating blues club in the Windy City.  We love their motto: “Hear Blues – Drink Booze – Talk Loud – You're Among Friends!”  Kingston Mines has won numerous awards, serves grub from Doc's Rib Joint, and has hosted sets from a bevy of blues giants.

Back Stage Pass:
Kingston Mines has two stages.


Vance Kelly & The Backstreet Candy Lickers performing at Kingston Mines.  Photo courtesy of David Armano.


The Smoke Daddy

 

The Smoke Daddy brings acts of all kinds to its stage, but blues artist usually dominate the weekends.  Live music isn't Smoke Daddy's only draw.  As their appellation suggests, they serve some of the best barbeque in Chicago and smoke all their own meats.  The Smoke Daddy opened in 1994.

Back Stage Pass:
The Smoke Daddy caters and they sell their famous barbeque sauce and bloody Mary mix online.


River Roast

 

River Roast made our list because of their amazing “Blues & Brunch.”  Every Saturday and Sunday, starting at 11am, you can enjoy delectable victuals and top-tapping blues.  Located inside the Reid and Murdoch building, chefs Tony Mantuano and John Hogan create tavern fare that's made to share.

Back Stage Pass:
If you're too busy for brunch, visit River Roast on Thursday for their “After Work Set.”  From 5:30pm to 8:30pm, you can relax, sip a cocktail, and enjoy live music.

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Cleveland


Cleveland is home to two halls of fame.  Most everyone knows about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but did you also know that C-Town is home to the Polka Hall of Fame?

 

Park View Nite Club

 

Park View Nite Club bills its establishment as “a cool place for shady people.”  The building that houses the club can trace its history all the way back to 1898.  In the 1990s, the Plonski family turned the spot into one of the best blues clubs in the nation.  No wonder Park View was featured on the Food Network.

Back Stage Pass:
The Bad Boys of Blues host a jam session every Wednesday night.  It began in 1996 and is now Cleveland's longest running blues jam.


Brother's Lounge

 

Established in 1959, and renovated in 2008, Brother's Lounge boasts three bars.  The bar in the concert hall is where you'll go to hear blues artists.  The wine bar is where you'll go for a glass of vino and lovely piano music.  The neighborhood pub area is ideal for a cold beer and a scrumptious burger.

Back Stage Pass:
Over the years, Brother's Lounge has seen numerous celebrities come through its doors including Kevin Costner, Brad Paisley, and Jennifer Garner.

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Dallas


In 1920s and 1930s, the Dallas neighborhood of Deep Ellum became a hot spot for blues.  The neighborhood hosted gigs by Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, Bessie Smith, and Blind Lemon Jefferson.

 

Balcony Club

 

The Balcony Club is all about live music and thirst-quenching brews.  The Balcony Club hosts top blues men and women as well as musicians from other genres.  Live music is scheduled seven nights a week with two bands booked Thursday through Saturday.  The Balcony Club is sleek, sexy, and cozy.

Back Stage Pass:
Balcony Club has happy hour daily between 5pm and 8pm.  During happy hour, cocktails are a $1 off.


Gerardo Jerry Cortez performing at the Balcony Club.  Image courtesy of venue's Facebook page.


Sandaga 813

 

Sandaga 813 is known as a haven for lovers of smooth jazz ‘n blues.  They also welcome deejays who spin nearly every type of music; live soul and R&B bands (on Saturday nights); and they put on a jazz jam every Tuesday night.  Besides live music, Sandaga also has barbecue, hookahs, and private cabanas.

Back Stage Pass:
Every Sunday, RC and The Gritz entertain Sandaga 813 patrons.  RC and The Gritz are Erykah Badu's band.


Poor David's Pub

 

Poor David's Pub opened in March of 1977.  Over the years, Poor David has seen sets by Lyle Lovett, Robert Cray, Los Lobos, John Lee Hooker, Leon Redbone, Michael Nesmith, Arlo Guthrie, and The Dixie Chicks.  Come here to experience blues and other types of live music.

Back Stage Pass:
Check out their website for a video tour of their venue.  It's awesome.


Babb Brothers

 

Babb Brothers asserts that they have the best barbeque and blues in Big D.  Blues artist descend on the venue every weekend.  As for barbeque, Babb Brothers' menu features brisket, sausage, and ribs—the kind where the meat falls off the bone.  And let's not forget their special sauce.

Back Stage Pass:
Live blues every Friday and Saturday night beginning at 7pm.  Their website has a complete calendar of acts.

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Detroit


Before Detroit was “Rock City,” and even before it was “Motown,” the city was all about the blues.  The great John Lee Hooker recorded for Fortune Records, the city's biggest label until the Motown era.  Jobs in Detroit attracted bluesmen from the Mississippi Delta and Memphis.  They named their new sound after their new city, Detroit blues.

 

The Raven Lounge & Restaurant

 

Do you know what they say in Detroit?  "The best blues in town is at the Raven."  After all, The Raven Lounge and Restaurant is the oldest blues social club in Michigan.  The Raven has been the social hub for Detroit's professionals and non-professionals alike.  Look for live blues Thursday through Saturday.

Back Stage Pass:
The Raven has a great menu of traditional bar food as well as a few southern dishes.  They also offer catering and carry out.

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Houston


In the 1950s, Houston was the center of Texas' R&B recording industry.  Many of the artists who recorded in Houston would later go on to play a type of blues called “Texas blues.”  This was blues music with a swing.  Famous artists who play Texas blues include ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, Edgar Winter, and Johnny Winter.

 

The Hideaway

 

Things are always happening at The Hideaway, west Houston's premier roadhouse.  Patrons can expect live music—including the blues—mouthwatering food, plenty of parking, free WiFi, and an outside deck for those who enjoy cigarettes and cigars.  Hungry?  Tuesdays and Saturdays are steak nights!

Back Stage Pass:
Every Tuesday, Rick Lee hosts “Big Ass Blues Jam.”  He's joined on stage by the Night Owls.  The jamming starts at 9:30pm. 
  

Houston BluesCity performing at The Hideaway.  Image courtesy of venue's Facebook page.

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Kansas City


In the late 1940s, greats like Pete Johnson and Big Joe Turner recorded music called “jump blues.”  Their sound laid the foundation for what would become the Kansas City blues.  Notable K.C. blues artists include Little Hatch, Cotton Candy, and Sonny Kenner.

 

The Phoenix

 

The Phoenix is found in downtown Kansas City.  The spot on which The Phoenix now sits was part of the garment district way back in 1888. The Phoenix hosts live music—blues, jazz, soul, funk, and folk—every night of the week.  They serve both lunch and dinner.  Their kitchen is open well into the evening.

Back Stage Pass:
We know this list is about the blues, but you'll have the blues if you miss their Saturday Jazz Brunch.  Get this: they have a Bloody Mary bar!


Westport Saloon

 

Westport Saloon describes itself as an “American Roots Venue.”  Add to that description, a great place to hear free live blues music (roots musicians are booked seven nights a week).  Located in the historic Westport District, this welcoming saloon has a menu of delicious southern cuisine and a great staff.

Back Stage Pass:
The Westport Saloon has a jaw-dropping selection of whiskey and tequila.


Image courtesy of venue's Facebook page. ^ top

 

 

Los Angeles


T Bone Walker brought the blues with him when he relocated to Los Angeles from Texas.  The West Coast blues, as it's now called, is dominated by strong piano lines and guitar solos.  L.A. is also the birthplace of modern bluesman Keb' Mo'.

 

Arcadia Blues Club

 

Deciding to go to the Arcadia Blues Club to listen to some of the nation's best live blues is as easy as A-B-C.  The Bobby Bluehouse Band, the best house band in the land, performs at the ABC most Friday and Saturday nights.  They are followed by the evening's headliner.  ABC also serves appetizing bar fare.

Back Stage Pass:
The Arcadia Blues Club welcomes blues fans of all ages… as long as they are supervised by an adult. 

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Louisville


Louisville has a huge indie music scene.  My Morning Jacket, Love Jones, and Squirrel Bait all hail from Louisville.  The city is also home to Will Oldham, better known as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.

 

Stevie Ray's Blues Bar

 

Locally owned and operated, Stevie Ray's Blues Bar offers music fans the best in live blues, rock, and jazz.  Fred Wooten and Michael Pollard brought Stevie Ray's to life in 1994 in a rustic building that's over a century old.  A polite staff serve a wide selection of invigorating beers, liquors, and cocktails. 

Back Stage Pass:
 Every Tuesday, Stevie Ray's Blues Bar puts on a blues jam.  It begins at 8pm and is hosted by Mike Lynch.

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Memphis


Memphis blues goes back about a century.  Even more important, the city of Memphis has produced some of the genre's biggest names including Albert King, Howlin' Wolf, and Junior Wells.  The city also produced the genre's biggest name, B.B. King.

 

Blues City Café

 

Blues City Café opened its doors in 1991 but didn't pick up its current name until 1993.  Today, it's managed by Jeff "Goose" Goss and enjoys a reputation for serving the best food (especially its barbeque ribs) and having the best entertainment on Beale Street.  If you visit Memphis you must visit Blues City.

Back Stage Pass:
The Blues City Café has enjoyed performances from B.B. King, Albert King, and Charlie Musselwhite.  They've served President Bill Clinton, Tom Cruise, Dave Chapelle, and Jerry Seinfeld.


Blind Mississippi Morris performing at the Blues City Café.  Image courtesy of the band's Facebook page.

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Milwaukee


Milwaukee is home to Summerfest, one of the world's largest music festivals, as well as Les Paul, Liberace, Steve Miller, Al Jarreau, and Violent Femmes. 

 

Mamie's Bar

 

Things are simple at Mamie's Bar.  Order a beverage of your choice, find a seat, and then enjoy great live music.  On Fridays, premium blues artists begin playing at 9:30pm.  On Tuesdays, Mamie's hosts an open jam.  All musicians are welcome to join.  You'll find this welcoming bar at 3300 W. National Avenue.

Back Stage Pass:
Mamie's Bar doesn't have a cover charge and they only accept cash.  They do have an ATM inside their establishment.


The Up and Under Pub

 

In Milwaukee's East Side, on historic Brady Street, sits a live music venue that blues fans must call on.  Every night, The Up and Under Pub welcomes to its stage awesome live acts, including those of the Blues persuasion.  If you're thirsty, imbibe one of their two dozen beers served at their antique bar.

Back Stage Pass:
The Up and Under Pub has the best open mic night in Milwaukee.  It occurs every Monday.  Their Wednesday Karaoke Night has been voted the best in city for five years running.


Garfield's 502

 

Garfield's 502 is all about atmosphere.  One of the best neighborhood bars in Milwaukee, Garfield's loves serving refreshing drinks to its diverse clientele.  They also pride themselves on being a place to engage in political discourse.  As for music, Garfield's is known for jazz but they'll book blues acts too.

Back Stage Pass:
Garfield's 502 is the epicenter of one of Milwaukee's best annual events: Garfield Avenue Blues, Jazz, Gospel & Arts Festival.  In 2017, the festival is scheduled for some time in July.

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Minneapolis


Minneapolis is the birthplace of Prince.  It's also home to First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, two of the most popular live music venues in the nation.  The city's Minnesota Orchestra is world renowned.

 

Hell's Kitchen

 

Hell's Kitchen is a labor of love for co-owners Cynthia Gerdes, Mitch Omer, and Steve Meyer.  Their restaurant is located underground in downtown.  Live music is played during weekends and brunch.  Hell's Kitchen is a light-hearted venue with locally sourced food, and a “kick ass happy hour.”

Back Stage Pass:
Hell's Kitchen ignites live music Thursday through Saturday from 6pm to 9pm.  Besides blues musicians, they also book jazz, country, and folk artists.

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Nashville


Nashville is known as “Music City, U.S.A.” mainly because it's the capital of country music.  Yet, many don't know that the city also supports thriving jazz and blues communities too.

 

Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge

 

Tootsie Bess bought her lounge back in 1960.  The “orchid” part of the name came from the color she painted the interior.  This is a Nashville institution and a magical place to hear country music.  We put it on the list because bluesmen occasionally get on the marquee.  Well, that and Tootsie's is so damn cool.

Back Stage Pass:
Country music lore says Roger Miller wrote “Dang Me” at Tootsie's.


Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge in Nashville.  Image courtesy of venue's Facebook page.

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New Orleans


New Orleans is known as the birthplace of jazz.  It has also been instrumental in rhythm and blues, funk, hip hop, and blues.  New Orleans blues includes Caribbean influences and leans heavily on the piano and saxophone. Every year, the city hosts the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, one of the most prominent music festivals in the world.

 

Blue Nile

 

The Blue Nile has a Frenchmen Street address and a reputation for hosting superb blues artists—they also book brass, funk, and soul shows.  Blue Nile has a laidback vibe, and welcomes live music fans of every ilk into its establishment.  There's plenty of room to dance and the drinks are reasonably priced.

Back Stage Pass:
Blue Nile has two performance spaces.  One is downstairs and faces the street.  The other is upstairs. 


Kermit Ruffins performing at the Blue Nile.  Photo courtesy of the Infrogmation of New Orleans.


The Spotted Cat Music Club

 

The Spotted Cat Music Club is a jazz landmark that books enough blues artists to make our list.  If you visit the Big Easy, the Spotted Cat should not only be one of the places you visit, but one of the places you visit first.  They provide wonderful concoctions, but their live music is second to none.

Back Stage Pass:
The Spotted Cat hosts up to three bands a night.  Keep in mind that they don't take reservations nor do they serve food.


The Funky Pirate

 

Blues fans will find The Funky Pirate docked at 727 Bourbon Street.  While you're there, you're likely to find Big Al Carson & The Blues Masters performing on the pirate's stage.  The Funky Pirate serves the best specialty drinks in the French Quarter.  As you imagined, the venue is decorated in pirate decor. 

Back Stage Pass:  
The Funky Pirate has an 80” hi-def televisionfor the big game and pirate movies.

 

New York City

New York City is the cultural capital of the world.  The city has been front and center in the development of jazz, punk, hip hop, disco, and salsa.  It's no wonder that the Big Apple leads all cities with six entries on our list.

 

Terra Blues

 

Terra Blues serves blues fans in Greenwich Village.  Billed as a “modern-day blues saloon,” Terra has hosted sets by Little Milton, Magic Slim, and Phillip Walker.  Before the music get electric, Terra Blues starts things off with an acoustic set.  Usually, the plugged-in blues begin at 10pm.

Back Stage Pass:  
Terra Blues has another claim to fame besides hosting great blues music.  Their drink menu contains more than 300 domestic and imported whiskies.


Arthur's Tavern

 

Established in 1937, and located in the West Village, Arthur's Tavern schedules live blues, as well as jazz, Dixieland, and rhythm and blues, every night of the week.  Arthur's Tavern also entertains patrons with a quaint piano bar.  This establishment has a unique atmosphere and no cover charge. 

Back Stage Pass:  
How's this for a distinction,Arthur's Tavern is the last continuously operating Gotham night club that regularly hosted Charlie Parker and Roy Hargrove.


Outside of Arthur's Tavern.  Image courtesy of venue's Facebook page.


Thai Rock

 

Residing in Rockaway Beach, Thai Rock opened in 2011.  They have some of the best Thai cuisine in the state, a huge selection of cocktails, and live music that's frequently of the blues variety.  Visiting Thai Rock is like being transported to Thailand.  Their interior is spectacular.  This is a great place to frequent.

Back Stage Pass:  
Thai Rock offers visitors a breathtaking vista of Jamaica Bay.


Waterfront Ale House

 

Long before we started using the word “gastropub,” Waterfront Ale House was a gastropub.  They serve all-American pub food made from quality ingredients.  Meanwhile, 80 craft bottled beers are served at their unpretentious bar.  Set in the Kips Bay area, the Waterfront is a relaxed place to enjoy the blues.

Back Stage Pass:  
First Friday Blues begins at 10:30pm on the first Friday of the month and there's no cover charge.


B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

 

B.B. King is the number one name in blues so it's only fitting that it's also the number one name in blues clubs.  B.B. King Blues Club & Grill is situated in the heart of Times Square.  Inside, you'll find Lucille's Bar & Grill.  It's obviously named after B.B. King's famous guitar.

Back Stage Pass:  
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill has hosted some of music's biggest names in music including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and ZZ Top.


55 Bar

 

One of the most famous blues venues in the Big Apple, 55 Bar is reminiscent of a dive bar from the prohibition-era.  That makes sense since they've been in business since 1919.  Located in Greenwich Village, 55 bar welcomes Blues artists—as well as jazz and funk artists—on a nightly basis.

Back Stage Pass:  
If you're there, and there's no live music, put a dime in their awesome jukebox

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Philadelphia


Philadelphia has lent its name to a subgenre of soul called Philadelphia Soul.  It was popular in the 1960s and 1970s.  The city hosted Live Aid and Live 8.  Blues singer Ethel Waters was born in the Philly area.

 

The Twisted Tail

 

Explaining The Twisted Tail is fairly straight-forward.  It's a southern-inspired bourbon house and juke joint that hosts great live music, usually the blues.  The Tail pours more than 120 whiskeys and uses a charcoal grill (with Maine charcoal).  The venue is owned by George Reilly and located in Society Hill.

Back Stage Pass:
 Juke joints were a real thing.  Created in the American South, they were an informal place where patrons could dance, drink, gamble, and listen to music.


Big Soul Chicken performing at The Twisted Tail.  Image courtesy of venue's Facebook page.


Bob & Barbara's Lounge

 

Can we get you a "Citywide Special?”  The drink was created at Bob & Barbara's Lounge.  It's a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon with a shot of Jim Beam.  On Fridays and Saturdays, a Hammond B-3 organ combo amuses audiences.  They play “liquor drinking music,” which is close enough to the blues for us.

Back Stage Pass:
Every Thursday night, Miss Lisa hosts Philly's longest running drag show.  Festivities begin at 10:00pm.

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Portland


In the 21st century, Portland has developed one of the most exciting music scenes in the nation.  Over the years, the city has produced The Kingsmen, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Quarterflash, Everclear, Dandy Warhols, The Shins, Blitzen Trapper, The Decemberists, and Elliot Smith.

 

The Blue Diamond

 

In 2013,a Portland publication placed The Blue Diamond in the top three of its “Bar of the Year” honors.  Located on Sandy Boulevard, The Blue Diamond is open every day of the week.  Every night of the week, the Diamond supports a renowned blues artist (or jazz artist).  They are open for lunch and dinner.

Back Stage Pass:  
In addition to enjoying fantastic live music, and a fine meal, you can also play video lottery at The Blue Diamond.

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Saint Louis


Saint Louis blues is a type of blues that's usually dominated by the piano although you can find examples where the guitar plays lead.  The sub-genre is related to ragtime and jump blues.  Famous blues musicians who've called St. Louis home include St. Louis Jimmy Oden, Jeremiah Johnson, and Roosevelt Sykes.

 

Broadway Oyster Bar

 

The Broadway Oyster Bar, or BOB, is the “music palace of downtown St. Louis.”  In 2015, the Missouri Restaurant Association voted the Oyster Bar restaurant of the year.  You'll be able to enjoy live blues music, as well as other genres, twice a day, every day, but Fridays.  Only one act plays on Friday.

Back Stage Pass:  
Some people believe the building housing the Broadway Oyster Bar is haunted.  Then again, the weird stuff that happens could be due to the building's age.  It was built in the 1840s.


Highway 61 Roadhouse & Kitchen

 

Highway 61 Roadhouse & Kitchen was conceived during a trip on Highway 61.  In particular, a stretch of road called “The Blues Highway.”  The roadhouse books top blues acts as well as artists from jazz, rockabilly, soul, and Zydeco.  Their menu is a mix of St. Louis, New Orleans, and Memphis based cuisine.

Back Stage Pass:
Hwy 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen serves an award-winning, homemade mac & cheese.

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San Francisco


Musically, San Francisco was the place to be in the 1960s.  Bands like Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Santana, and Jefferson Airplane played The Fillmore.  The Fillmore has since moved, but it's still an iconic music venue.

 

Boom Boom Boom

 

The perfect word to describe Boom Boom Boom is “authentic.”  As in, an authentic blues experience can be had at Boom Boom Boom in San Fran's Fillmore District.  Here, the lights are low, the décor is funky, and the sound quality is crystal clear.  This is also the place to come if you love to boogey to live music.

Back Stage Pass:
Boom Boom Boom is easy to visit.  The venue is located on two of the city's most popular bus lines: 38 Geary and 22 Fillmore.


Guitarist Scott Pemberton performing at Boom Boom Boom.  Photo, taken by Tony Dellacioppa, courtesy of venue's Facebook page.


Biscuits and Blues

 

You've got to give Biscuits and Blues a lot of thanks.  They've been preserving the blues since 1995.  To their stage flocks the best national and regional blues men and women.  In their kitchen, they whip up eminent Southern fare.  Biscuits and Blues resides in San Francisco's Theater District.

Back Stage Pass:
Every night that Biscuits and Blues is open you can join them for dinner and live blues.  You can join them for drinks and live blues too except for the early shows on Friday and Saturday.

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Seattle


Seattle is the birthplace of grunge music and Jimi Hendrix.  The Emerald City is where several popular musicals and plays debuted before reaching Broadway. 

 

Highway 99 Blues Club

 

Patterned after southern juke joints and Chicago blues clubs, Highway 99 Blues Club brings nationally renowned artists to its huge stage.  The club is positioned on Seattle's waterfront and housed in a brick building that was constructed in 1909.  Their sound system dazzles and they serve Louisiana-style grub.

Back Stage Pass:
World class blues artists dominate the weekend, but look for acts from other genres on Wednesday and Thursday.

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Washington D.C.


Washington D.C. was instrumental in the punk rock scene in the 1980s and the indie scene in the 1990s.  Nowadays, it's a major player in the EDM scene thanks to venues like the 9:30 Club.

 

Blues Alley

 

The New York Times described Blues Alley as "The nation's finest jazz and supper club.”  We'd describe it as a perfect place to appreciate live blues music and partake in a lip-smacking good meal.  Their gastronomical specialties include authentic Creole cuisine, seafood, and steak.

Back Stage Pass:
Blues Alley has discount packages for groups of 12 or more. 


Madam's Organ

 

Madam's Organ is spread over four levels and five bars.  The first floor is where you'll hear live tunes.  The second floor is home to Big Daddy's Love Lounge.  Live music greets visitors every night.  Friday and Saturday are reserved for national blues act.  They have free pool and redheads get half-off drinks.

Back Stage Pass:
Before entering, get a snapshot of Madam's Orhan's mural.  It's a cartoon-ish woman with large breasts.  The famous mural is constantly under fire from those who hate boobs. 


Mural on the outside of Madam's Organ's building.  Photo courtesy of Denis Bocquet.


Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club

 

The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club takes patrons back to a time when night club acts ruled the world.  The 500-seat art deco venue creates a memorable setting to enjoy your favorite live blues act. The acoustics are amazing and their menu employs fresh and local ingredients.  Do make reservations.

Back Stage Pass:
The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club is technically in Maryland, and not in Washington D.C.  The city of Bethesda, however, borders Washington D.C. to the northwest.


Davy Knowles performing at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.  Photo, taken by Steve Hefter, is courtesy of the venue's Facebook page.


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