Opening Bell Coffee 1409 S. Lamar St. #12
Thanks to boring and generic singer-songwriters, open mic night has gotten a bad reputation. Sure, they're typically a place where boring cover artists play and newbies try to figure the whole "music" thing out, but you'll sometimes be lucky enough to hear someone break new ground. Artists use open mic nights to work through new material, and the Tuesday night shows at Opening Bell Coffee are consistently among the best in the city. It's likely that some of the talent you'll see grinding it out on the stage here will soon be playing in much bigger venues.
The Free Man 2626 Commerce St.
The Free Man has live music just about every night, up to about fifteen free shows per week. On Wednesday, though, you can experience one of the area's most talented blues guitarists in his element without plunking down a dime. Starting at around 10 p.m., the Stevie James Trio plays blues riffs and experimental work that is the perfect cure for your southern blues jones. Get there early, and you'll catch La Pompe, an always-fun "gypsy jazz" act that keeps things up tempo with their catchy French-inspired jazz and swing sound.