You might think that the blues is a more Southern music style than something that fits with a state like Missouri, but if you live in St. Louis you know better than that. St. Louis has its own style of blues, and if nothing else there’s a reason the city named its hockey team the Blues. The St. Louis blues are alive and well, and you can listen to it for yourself at some of the best venues in the city.
BB’s Jazz, Blues, and Soups
It’s all right there in the name. BB’s Jazz, Blues, and Soups is a cabaret-style club on South Broadway where you can listen to live performers sing the blues and play jazz. It’s also a place where you can get some of the finest homemade soups St. Louis has to offer. Their menu includes more than just soup, but you’ll kick yourself later if you skip straight to a burger or sandwich. And on top of the music and the food, BB’s also has a museum’s worth of art and memorabilia stacked up along the walls.
The Beale on Broadway
The Beale is another South Broadway music hall. In fact, it’s right across the street from BB’s. But while BB’s offers dinner and live music, the Beale skips straight to the music and doesn’t open its doors until 7 p.m. The Beale mixes national and local acts, with the bigger names starting at 10:30, and while they mostly stick with the blues they’ll sometimes switch things up with roots, rhythm and blues, and soul music.
Old Rock House
Old Rock House on South 7th Street takes its name from one of the original St. Louis blues venues. It’s a combination concert hall and cabaret, and the owners make a point of letting their customers enjoy the live music however they want. However, the menu mostly consists of pub food like pretzels, wings, and sliders. Old Rock House mostly hosts blues and roots bands, but they sometimes book local bands that play more modern music genres.
Not only is Off Broadway far from New York, it’s also a block away from South Broadway in St. Louis. Off Broadway is one of the biggest music venues in the city, at least in terms of fame and how big the bands are, but they don’t serve food and they’re only open on show nights. Off Broadway isn’t a blues venue specifically, but they tend to book bands that play folk and roots music, so you won’t have to wait for long if you decide to hold out for a blues band.
St. Louis and the blues go together like chocolate and peanut butter: you might not have thought about putting them together, but once you put them together they’re so delicious that you can’t imagine them ever being apart. The city is full of music venues where you can hear blues and roots music every evening, so if you’re in the mood for blues you should head down South Broadway and pick a music hall that sounds good.
Image via Flickr by Fred Ortlip, used under CC BY 2.0