Visiting Memphis, Tennessee is fun for so many reasons! One of the biggest draws of this city is music, and the Blues should be one of the top reasons you have for visiting. Memphis is home to some incredible Blues clubs, and the depth of the music in these places will astound you. Feel the heart and soul of Memphis by going to one of the ten best Blues clubs in the city. Whether you’re planning a fun night out from your Memphis vacation rental or want to take someone out on a date they’ll remember forever, plan to go to one of these places. Remember to wear some shoes that you can dance in!
1. B.B. King’s Blues Club
As the home of American Blues music, Memphis also houses the original B.B. King’s Blues Club. This place features live music every night of the week and a full food and bar menu that will have you enjoying your time here. House band, The B.B. King’s Blues Club All Star Band, plays some great rhythm and blues favorites and specializes in Memphis music. The establishment is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Memphis, so you’ll be within walking distance to anywhere else the night takes you. Let some of the best local Blues acts keep you entertained throughout the night at B.B. King’s Blues Club.
2. Mollie Fontaine Lounge
Located in an old, Victorian-style home, Mollie Fontaine Lounge is a trendy place to go to hear some live music and enjoy a meal. The quirky building is rumored to be haunted by ghosts, but listen to the piano playing in the background as you dine on some delicious food and you’ll forget all about the potential spirits around you. Customers love the charming pictures on the wallpapered walls, and the eclectic vibe of the place itself. Check out the live music in the living room area and you’ll be taken away by the blues performers.
3. King’s Palace Café Tap Room
This place may just look like an American pub, but pull up a seat and listen to the live blues music and you’ll notice the place transform. It’s one of the only places left in Memphis that still allows smoking, so be prepared when you walk in. You might think it’s just another dive bar, but when the music starts, you’ll see why so many locals love coming here, aside from the great selection of beer on tap. Unlike the other commercial bars on Beale Street, this one in unpretentious and welcoming to visitors and locals alike.
4. Blues City Cafe
Stop in at this bar and you’ll get more than just great food and solid drinks. Blues City Café offers nightly live music in their separate music room attached to their restaurant. Grab a huge portion of Memphis-style BBQ and a beer before being serenaded by some great local Blues bands and artists like Earl “The Pearl” Banks, Blind Mississippi Morris, and Brandon Cunning Trio. If the names are any indication, these musicians are sure to provide some jazzy tunes.
5. Silky O’Sullivan’s
An Irish pub that plays Blues music? That may sound impossible to find, but Silky O’Sullivan’s does exactly that. Along with offering up some live music on their outdoor patio, they also serve up some tasty BBQ ribs, brisket, and shrimp po’ boys. The live music is often accompanied by dueling pianos, so you’re sure to enjoy some authentic Blues music at this establishment.
6. Rum Boogie Cafe
As the name suggests, you’ll find tons of rum-based drinks on the menu here. The place offers plenty of seating, and you’ll find autographed guitars hanging from the ceiling which create a great ambiance. The Blues bands that play here usually rock the house and the sound system at Rum Boogie Café allows customers to hear the music from just about anywhere. The place even has an upstairs balcony where you can hang out and enjoy the live music below.
7. Wild Bill’s
Tucked away off the main streets of Memphis is where you’ll find Wild Bill’s. Although they usually charge a cover, this place is also BYOB and offers some cheap southern eats. Their house band and other live music acts perform throughout the night and keep the customers dancing well into the evening. Make sure you carry more than just your credit cards with you, as this place is cash only.
8. Club 152 on Beale
With three levels to this establishment, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for throughout the night. On Sundays and Thursdays you can find Blues music on the first floor and other musical acts on the other two floors into the evening. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, too, so you won’t have to cram into a small space with your friends. The bar staff is friendly and the food is solid, as well.
9. CC’s Blues Club
A hidden gem in North Memphis, CC’s Blues Club is as unpretentious as they come. They offer nightly music, ranging from Blues to Hip Hop and everything in between. What’s even better? The place is BYOB, so you can truly bring in any kind of beverage you want. There is a cover, but since you’ll be saving a lot on drinks, the cover won’t seem too inconvenient. Make sure to get here early on the weekends, as CC’s fills up quickly and you’ll encounter a line to get in.
10. Mr. Handy’s Blues Hall
This small dive bar packs a big punch when it comes to their Blues music offerings. Although there’s sometimes a $5 cover charge, if you get there on the early side you should have no trouble finding a table for the rest of the night. Mr. Handy’s Blues Hall features some great local craft brews, an incredible gumbo, and a friendly bar staff. The Blues performers are second to none, and they know how to keep the crowd entertained. Don’t pass up this place on your trip to Memphis!