The South is rich in musical culture and history, bringing us some of the most influential artists of the past hundred years. Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, R.E.M., and more all shaped the way our music is today. So if you’re visiting the region for the first or hundredth time, stop by one of the south’s best music venues for the chance to see who’s going to be the “next big thing.”
Awendaw Green, Awendaw, South Carolina
Set in the Francis Marion National Forest 20 miles from downtown Charleston, Awendaw Green at Sewee Outpost is one of the most unique music venues in South Carolina. Their monthly Barn Jams give local bands the chance to play in front of friends with food and bring your own booze.
Blue Moon Saloon, Lafayette, Louisiana
Deep in Cajun country, Lafayette-based Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse is a music venue, guesthouse, and all-around local icon. Set in a 1900s home, Blue Moon hosts acts from all sorts of genres but excels in zydeco, blues, roots, and honky-tonk. You may come for a show but stay for the atmosphere.
Orange Peel, Asheville, North Carolina
Calling itself a “social aid and pleasure club,” The Orange Peel is Asheville‘s premier spot for live music. The venue hosted The Commodores and other beloved acts in the 1960s before it became vacant. Thankfully, it was revived in the new millennium, bringing in artists like The Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire, and Bob Dylan.
Eddie’s Attic, Atlanta, Georgia
Perhaps no venue in Atlanta has become a launching pad for up-and-coming artists more than Eddie’s Attic in Decatur. Opened in 1992 by Eddie Owen, big names like John Mayer, The Indigo Girls, and Shawn Mullins have graced the stage. Owen no longer books the acts, but his legend lives on with its open mic nights.
Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Country music fans should recognize the name Ryman Auditorium as synonymous with “The Grand Ole Opry.” The broadcasts of the show were recorded here until the 1970s when a bigger venue was sought, but the downtown Nashville auditorium continues to stage performances by Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Patti Griffin, and Mumford and Sons.
Bluebird Cafe, Nashville, Tennessee
Bluebird Cafe is Nashville‘s listening room for well-known and on the rise musicians and songwriters. The cozy 90 seat cafe hosts every venue of acts, like Garth Brooks, The Indigo Girls, and the cast of the show Nashville.
Preservation Hall, New Orleans, Louisiana
Founded in 1961, Preservation Hall is one of New Orleans‘ oldest venues. The small hall was created to ensure the legacy of jazz and no act does so more than the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Shows are performed daily and available to all ages.