Best Of Dallas

The 10 Best Blues Venues in Dallas-Fort Worth

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5. The Free Man

A list of the best blues venues in North Texas would be criminally incomplete without at least one Deep Ellum venue. With its nearly 100-year history that includes the works of such legends as Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson, this neighborhood is the cradle of Dallas blues. No other club carries on that tradition nowadays better than The Free Man. Every week, you can catch The Free Loaders, led by bar owner John Jay Meyers, play their Cajun-fried blues and the Stevie James Trio wail away on electrified standards. And those are just the recurring blues nights. Jeff Gage

2626 Commerce St., Dallas,
4. Hat Tricks

A small sports bar in Lewisville is the only place you'll find a local blues legend hosting an open-mic blues jam every Thursday night. Lance Lopez not only hosts the shows but also jams on stage with a variety of special guests, like five-time Grammy Award winner Tim Alexander and Mark Austin of the Texas Blues Butchers, vocalist Kayla Rose Mary Reeves of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Ana Popovic. CM

101 E. Corporate Dr., Lewsville,
3. The Goat

The Goat is dedicated to the blues. Every Monday night, Tony & Perry offer a blues jam, and Aaron Burton plays delta blues and acoustic blues every Tuesday night. Located off Gaston Avenue, this neighborhood dive bar also offers karaoke and a host of blues greats, including guitar slingers like Lucky Peterson, Wes Jeans and Texas Slim who set the stage on fire with their blues. CM

7248 Gaston Ave., Dallas,
2. Poor David's Pub

This blues venue played host to KNON's 30th Anniversary party, providing a variety of blues masters from up-and-comer Jason Elmore to Dallas legend Mike Morgan. For almost four decades, Poor David's Pub has showcased a slew of legends like singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Doc Watson and Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist Robert Cray. Follow South Lamar Street just off I-30 for a couple of blocks to find this home of the blues in Dallas.   CM

1313 S. Lamar Blvd., Dallas,
1. R.L.'s Blues Palace #2

Parking in a strip mall next door to this blues palace is often a must attending the blues club off Grand Avenue in Dallas. R.L. Griffin is a Dallas Legend. He's an entertainer who draws crowds from all over the country. He channels a Muddy Waters vibe at times, and offers a host of alums that proves "palace" is a well-earned reputation. The "Hen" dance is often showcased here, along with Griffen's R.L.'s Blues Palace Show Band. Only opened a couple nights a week for a few hours each, R.L.'s is a throwback to the blues' juke joints of yesteryear unlike any other in North Texas. CM

3100 Grand Ave., Dallas
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Dallas Observer Music Staff