Best Of Dallas

The 10 Best Blues Venues in Dallas-Fort Worth

Texas music bleeds the blues, but finding a place to enjoy them in the Dallas-Fort Worth area seems nearly impossible these days. The blues have gone so far underground that Google Maps has a hard time locating the clubs on the map. So until a blues lover with deep pockets opens up a five-day-a-week blues club or city leaders finally recognize Dallas' musical heritage with an annual free blues festival, we've scouted out the 10 best music venues flying the flag for the Texas blues in DFW.
10. Stumpy's Blues Bar

For 19 years, this blues bar has been a fixture on Division Street in Arlington. It offers classic rock, blues, jazz and pop, and sometimes a combination of genres. Boasting a full bar, pool tables, darts and usable ashtrays, it's a nice place to kick back and catch a show. Christian McPhate

501 E. Division St., Arlington, stumpysbluesbar.com
9. Granada Theater

This historic Dallas theater has been showcasing music off Lower Greenville for more than a decade. Originally built to showcase the Golden Age of Hollywood movies, now every genre of artist can be found shredding onstage. Upgraded lights and sound system do add to the experience, but it's the historic feel of the place that really sets the mood. Blues is regularly sprinkled throughout the lists of events, like when Jonathan Tyler rang in the New Year there last witner. Like the Kessler, it's a historic place that's perfect for any genre and essential for the blues. CM

3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas, granadatheater.com
8. House of Blues

With its voodoo spiritual images, red velvet curtains and upper balcony setting, this isn't just a house of blues; it's a church. Watching the late, legendary B.B. King praying with his guitar was a unique experience, as he shared guitar picks as if he were anointing fans with holy water. Elwood Blues spearheaded the original house with a little help from "Brother" Zee Blues, offering a host of memorable shows by the Blues Brothers. Although the House of Blues shares the stage with other genres, it's still the perfect place to share the blues with the legends before they're gone. CM

2200 N. Lamar St., Dallas, houseofblues.com/dallas
7. Live Oak

The Live Oak in Fort Worth is a converted Lions Club hall with a big, elevated stage, a modern sound system and first-rate lighting. The club’s in-house sound man, Joshua Jones, is one of the best in the Metroplex — and plays the rooms acoustics like a violin. Though not strictly a blues club, The Live Oak often plays hosts to local and touring blues acts — and if you if you’d rather ditch the smoky dive bar atmosphere (Live Oak is smoke free) for better sound and service, this is the place for you. Steve Watkins


1311 Lipscomb St., Fort Worth, theliveoak.com
6. The Kessler

Gene Autry once owned this historic concert venue. It's been hit by a tornado, rose from the ashes, became holy and then fell from grace. It's now open to the public, offering memorable shows by some legendary artists. It's known as "the best 'listening room' in Dallas." It's a reputation well earned. Located off Davis Street in Dallas, the Kessler offers the perfect acoustics for a bluesman to wail, and even the headliner doesn't play the blues you're liable to find a young bluesman like Charley Crockett opening for them. CM

1230 W. Davis St., Dallas, thekessler.org


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Dallas Observer Music Staff