Best Blues Joints in Jackson
The City of Soul is rich in history and music
“Dust My Broom,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Smokestack Lightnin’”—if just the titles of these tunes set your toes tapping, then you need to check out the local blues scene in Jackson. The City With Soul is home to the most historic markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail, and though many of the original clubs are long gone, you'll still find places to hear the classic songs. You might not hear blues every night at these joints, but when it is on the marquee, it’s the best blues in town. Discover the city of music with your loved ones and dance the night away while making memories marked by the strum of guitars at these best blues joints in Jackson.
Walk into Underground 119 almost any night of the week and chances are you’ll catch a live band playing blues or jazz. This 21-and-over nightclub is tucked away in the basement like some secret speakeasy, and the deep leather club chairs add to that ambiance. Hit this place on a Friday or Saturday night if you’re after the energy of a packed house that still maintains a mature, chill vibe. For a quieter evening out, visit midweek and nurse a blues-themed specialty cocktail—like the Etta James or the Robert Johnson—while nibbling on authentic eats including gumbo, fried green tomatoes and some of the best shrimp and grits in the city.
There’s something magical about seeing blues music performed on a stage where the forefathers of the genre performed—and that’s exactly the experience you get when you see a blues show at the Alamo Theater. The venue is located on historic Farish Street, where greats like Dorothy Moore, Elmore James and Robert Johnson first recorded. Many of these same singers played the Alamo, too, including Otis Span and Nat King Cole. The Alamo isn’t booked as solid as it used to be, so keep checking its Facebook page to find out about upcoming shows.
Just down the street from the Alamo Theater, F. Jones Corner is dedicated to the revitalization of Jackson’s blues music scene. The venue is housed in a historic 1923 building that was once home to the Fields Café, where musicians new and old could showcase their songs. F. Jones Corner is continuing that tradition with a calendar of music that spans from bluegrass to hip hop, so check its calendar to see when blues is on the music menu. Locals say this is the place for late-night revelry after other clubs have closed, and while you usually have to pay a cover, the great music and inexpensive food and drinks are worth it.
Back in the mid-1970s, Harold and Malcolm White were brothers with a dream. They wanted to create a community-centered music venue that was half bar and half family-friendly restaurant. Their dream became a reality in 1985 when Hal & Mal’s opened in a historic brick warehouse on the outskirts of town. From the get go, they booked big acts like the Temptations, and their dedication to showcasing great music is still going strong today. If your stomach gets to rumbling while you're soaking in the blues, flag down a waiter and order some quintessential Southern food. The cuisine gets as many raves as the music, with satisfied guests swearing by the red beans and rice and the catfish po'boy that was featured on the Travel Channel show “Man v. Food Nation.”
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