If you’re looking for the blues in and around Atlanta, you are lucky. There are many places to hear the blues! This article only aims to list a few places that consistently offer great blues nearly all the time, so that you can always plan to go there or take a guest there, and have a very good chance of hearing someone great!
1. Blind Willie’s – Blind Willie’s is the place to hear the great living Atlanta blues legends, as well as amazing acts from around the country. Atlanta’s Sweet Betty, Tommy Brown, Houserocker Johnson and Sandra Hall perform here regularly. BIg Bill Morganfield is a frequent guest, as is Francine Reed. The food is good, the crowd is friendly, and you just can’t go wrong with Blind Willie’s.
2. Northside Tavern- Northside Tavern is another great place for local favorites. Uncle Sugar plays here most Sundays, with the amazing Eddie Tignor, in his 80’s and still going strong. Mudcat sings and spins tales as another regular. Most of the local musicians, like The Breeze Kings, Deacon Brandon Reeves, and Ike Stubblefield, play at Northside Tavern often. It’s a great place for birthday bashes for Atlanta’s legendary players (Eddie Tignor’s 85th Birthday Bash is July 23rd.) And Lola hosts a blues jam every Monday. Northside Tavern is open with live music 7 nights a week year-round, so you can always go there!
3. Fat Matt’s Rib Shack – Fat Matt’s offers blues every day at noon and in the evenings. Regulars include Ross Pead, Fedora Blues, Bill Sheffield, Deacon Brandon Reeves, and most of the rest of the best blues musicians in the area. The barbeque is delicious, too.
4. Zuffy’s Place – Zuffy’s has live music, usually blues, from Tuesday-Saturday evenings. Regulars include The Mike Veal Band, Donna Hopkins and Friends, and Open Mike with Lola on Tuesdays. Wonderful Cajun food, too.
5. The Local at Sidelines- The Local, in Marietta, is a fairly new venue for the metro area, but they are fast establishing themselves as a cool place for blues jams, concerts, and CD release parties. The big stage is a plus! Fedora Blues just had their CD release party there this month. Liz Melendez plays here often, and there are regular blues jams with the Cazanovas.
Many other clubs deserve mention in and around the area. But these five will get you started! Watch the Thursday column to learn about more clubs and events around town, and check out the Keep the Blues Alive page on Facebook for breaking local blues news.