Memphis, Tennessee is a music lover’s paradise, with countless clubs and venues to see live acts. Blues is the most popular genre, but you can see just about everything.
It’s no surprise that this city launched countless acts, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Booker T. and the MG’s, and Three Six Mafia. You never know when you might see tomorrow’s next big thing.
For more music venue recommendations, see this list from Memphis Travel.
Editor’s Note: Obviously, a lot of places are closed during the Coronavirus pandemic. We are aware that the situation is continuously changing and all are encouraged to stay home. But we will continue to write stories to inspire you for when places are open again.
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BB King’s Blues Club
Legendary blues musician B.B. King opened his first of a chain of blues clubs in 1991 in a prime location on Memphis‘s Beale Street. Since then it’s become a popular place to see blues, jazz, and rock acts.
Before his death, King was even known to take the stage here, alongside artists like The King Beez and The BB King’s Blues Club All-Star Band. The club also has a restaurant and bar.
Learn more about the artists that made this area famous on the Beale Street Guided Walking Tour.
Here you can chow down on a burger before catching a local blues or rock band nightly. They even offer limo pickup services and host “chicken sh*t bingo.”
Hi-Tone Cafe is in the Crosstown neighborhood and is a longtime favorite venue. The mostly standing room space also has a bar and smoking lounge.
The space hosts a wide range of performers including comedy, rock, and punk. All shows are 18 and up unless otherwise stated on their website.
The historic bandstand now hosts 50 free concerts every year. Over the years acts like Gary Clark Jr., Cowboy Junkies, and Steve Poltz have taken the stage.
Minglewood Hall is a former bread factory in Midtown shares a name with “Minglewood Blues,” a famous blues song recorded by Noah Lewis and later the Grateful Dead.
The hall hosts big-name and up-and-coming acts of all genres, including country, jazz, rap, and rock. It has a full restaurant and bar called the 1884 Lounge.
Rum Boogie Cafe
Named the Blues Club of the Year in 2007, Rum Boogie Cafe is one of the many venues that line Beale Street after opening in 1985. Celebrity-signed guitars and dollar bills line the walls along the restaurant and bar, which is known for its Cajun food and rum drinks.
Blues musician James Govan began performing here with the Boogies Blues Band in 1994. Soul Street Mojo and Vince Johnson & the Plantation Allstars also perform at the bar.