Speak up...who has the best blues town?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Angry Old Man, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Angry Old Man

    Angry Old Man Member

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    Where ever your from or where ever you've been say your piece.
    Where's the best blues being played at now?


    I am from St. Louis and frankly think we have one of the best if not the best blues in America. (San Fran, and Austin may disagree)

    Chicago has for a long time been know as the Blues capital, but I go there a lot being close and 90% of the blues I hear there is Tourist blues. Young-ish white boys that may play ok but have not got a true Blues sound or set list.

    Really on the great migration to the north(chicago/Detroit) the first stop was St. Louis. Many* of the good blues guys stopped right here and were very good in their own right. Just didn't have Chess next door.

    However to mention a few names--Albert King, Little Milton, etc.

    Until recently we had bunches of the 70+ generation still making great music here. Some such as Henry Townsend played into his 90's and even played with Robert Johnson here in St. Louis in the 30's.

    This town is a guitar players town. I have literaly seen hundreds of excellent players who played real blues learned mainly from the masters here in the 60-80's.
    A lot of the best blues singers are still 3rd generation mississippi and Arkansas guys, but we have some newer guys(like a hotshot 18yr old thats been playing out since he was 13) that are under 50 that sound good.

    We also have atleast 30+ clubs easily that has blues every weekend and quite a few all week.
    One cool point is many are clubs that have been clubs and taverns that were built in the 1800's and have served alcohol since prohibition.

    I have also lived in Dallas, and Atlanta and they both have a couple good spots but nowhere near the blues community we have here.

    *Honorable mention: Goes to Northside Tavern in Atlanta

    Tell me about your town?
     
  2. KmCyPreSs

    KmCyPreSs Supporting Member

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    I'd love to check out the St. Louis scene. Ive heard through the grapevine Austin is where its at. Seattle has a terrible blues scene and I think the music scene in general is pretty bad here. Long Beach, CA doesn't have a "big city" blues but I think the new indie blues is very happenin' - Long Beach may be the most underrated music area in the western US. They just lack the venue presence.
     
  3. crzyfngers

    crzyfngers Member

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    i'd like to say austin but i've never been to any clubs in st. louis. next time i go i won't be in such a hurry to leave.
     
  4. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    LA and vicinity has a lot of excellent players, but the venue situation is pretty weak these days.
     
  5. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    I'm also from St. Louis although not originally. There's a ton of blues being played here, althoughI would say that most of it is pretty much the same as you'd get anywhere else. Not the type of talent that really sets a scene apart in my opinion.
     
  6. rwijaya

    rwijaya Supporting Member

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    +1. Tons of great blues players here in LA. but the venues are very very weak. the problem is, because there is also tons of mediocre players that most of the time drove the audience away.

    best venues every monday night is cadillac zack sugar mill in tarzana, ca. just ton of great players played there every week.
     
  7. Scott Miller

    Scott Miller Member

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    Roosevelt Sykes and St. Louis Jimmy... that's enough of a legacy right there. The legacy out here in SF is Oakland; Jimmy McCracklin, Jimmy Nelson, Suanders King. We had some great blues way back when.

    As for the present day, what I like about the SF bay area is that we have a pretty good selection of bass players and drummers who get it. Being a front man, I have a good selection to choose from.

    Also, being a somewhat newbie-ish player, the established national-act type players are very accessible and generous.

    Venues come and go.

    The audience is still kind of not very hip; not many of them have heard of St. Louis Jimmy, but Robben Ford is God. Such is life.
     
  8. rwijaya

    rwijaya Supporting Member

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    you left out chris cain from your area? and junior watson? are san jose is not included in SF bay area? or that already considered different area?
     
  9. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    The Seattle area has a lot of excellent blues bands, but very few venues that pay well. We did have the 2012 International Blues Challenge winner this year in the Wired Band, and the Washington Blues Society does a good job of keeping it all alive. Still, I don't see how Seattle or any other town is going to hold a candle to the likes of Chicago, New Orleans, Memphis, NYC, or other top spots.
     
  10. TimSt.L

    TimSt.L Member

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    How is the blues scene in Memphis nowadays? Im a native of St.Louis but always thought of Memphis as having a pretty tough blues scene.
     
  11. Angry Old Man

    Angry Old Man Member

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    I lived in LA in 91-92' and heard of the being blues around, but I had no one to show me the ropes. Long Beach at the time was no place to be out riding around getting lost at the time I was there.
    Mostly hung out at the big cowboy joint in Orange county, because all the guys from work went there.
     
  12. Angry Old Man

    Angry Old Man Member

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    I go back to the 70's and know a lot of small places that "rock" weekends but are not high visability.

    There's 10 bars just in the Soulard area that has very good bands. Out in west county and other places, not so much.

    Couple of really good places on MLK that still serves "set ups" and no booze themselves that is hot as hell, but the neighborhoods are really rough.

    Edit: we've lost a lot of guys the last 10 yrs
     
  13. RBfan

    RBfan Member

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    Should pass that along to Buddy Guy, what a 'tourist'...
     
  14. GeorgiaGuitars

    GeorgiaGuitars Member

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    He's the other 10% of the puzzle.
     
  15. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    You'd think that as big as the Phoenix metro area is (4 million) that we would have one full time blues club. Nope.
     
  16. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    I would not call Austin a good blues town.
     
  17. AnotherAvatar

    AnotherAvatar Senior Member

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    We have blues jams in Eugene, Oregon 5 days a week. You could probably play every night if you wanted to drive out of town a little bit.
     
  18. Schroedinger

    Schroedinger Member

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    I lived in Austin, then I lived in Memphis. I like Austin's blues scene a lot better. Now I live in Atlanta, from what I've seen it's OK. Probably not among the "best", but pretty good.
     
  19. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    I'm in Dallas and we have loads and loads of great blues players here. I can't really compare it to other cities in terms of "What's the scene like?" just b/c I haven't been all over specifically looking at the blues scenes. I can say that, on any given night, you can go to at LEAST two really smoking blues gigs in the DFW area. My only disappointment with the DFW scene is that one of those is probably a blues jam. That's nothing against the musicians/clubs; it is what it is. I'd rather go hear a Jim Suhler or Jason Elmore or Texas Slim rock it all damn night instead of them having to stand aside after three songs or whatever. The jams are fun too - hope that doesn't come across the wrong way.
     
  20. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Member

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    I think Chicago has had the most consistent blues scene over the years (and I mean 50's through now) Give me Kingston Mines at 2am on many nights, or a smokin band playing at Buddy Guys, and watch Buddy get up with them and tear the place apart!

    but, I had an an opportunity to sample what was happening is St Louis (in the late 90's) and I came away VERY impressed...

    Dont remember the name of the roadhouse there, but it was standing under a superhighway ramp, in the "wrong" part of town, with some of the best down home food to eat, and great, great, great music!

    As a New Englander, I do know that you could find some fine blues around Boston (Roomful of Blues and all progeny (like Duke Robbilard and Ronnie Earl), James Montgomery, Luther Johnson, Shirley Lewis, i could keep going on, but I am sure it never, never, ever had the depth and breadth of the Chicago scene.....

    Austin, IMO, is/was a Rockin blues scene, led by Thunderbirds, SRV and great acts like Arc Angels and Storyville that followed.......
     

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