Boston’s Best Live Blues

April 12, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

There’s just something about raw, live blues music that universally resonates with the soul. It’s a shared electricity that unites us together, celebrating the trials and tribulations of love, loss and the human experience via haunting vocal melodies and painfully plucked guitar notes from the hands of master bluesmen. Whether it’s classic delta blues or a hard rocking reinvention of the style from any number of today’s rising up and comers, here are some prime Boston-area hot spots to catch catch live blues at its very best.
100903487 Bostons Best Live Blues

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com


Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club
17 Holland St. @ Davis Square
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 776 2004
www.johnnyds.com

Hours: Mon – 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., Tues to Fri – 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sat to Sun – 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
See calendar of events

Locally owned by the DeLellis family since 1969, Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club belongs to the Boston area’s elite when it comes to classic, respected venues for live blues and jazz. After the sad demise of Allston’s legendary Harper’s Ferry venue on Halloween night in 2011, Johnny D’s Uptown stands tall as one of the last remaining voices for old school Bostonian blues culture, even garnering the prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive award from the Memphis Blues Foundation. Whether it’s the venue’s varied, vegetarian-friendly menu or the constantly changing live music lineup featuring open blues jams on Sundays, Johnny D’s is still the place to be for blues in Boston.

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Photo Credit: Beehive


The Beehive
541 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 0216
(617) 423-0069
www.beehiveboston.com

Hours: Daily – 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
See calendar of events

Speaking of those “Sunday night blues,” The Beehive in Boston offers just that on a weekly basis; a core group of varied, talented blues musicians joined by revolving guests for a proper, “sit down and jam” style session. Led by 25-year musical veteran keyboardist and producer Bruce Bears, The Beehive’s Blues On Sunday series is just one of the many musical theme nights offered-with no cover charge required. The Beehive is a deeply respected club, whose varied booking taste also includes artists from the jazz and R&B scenes, as well. Seeking out a nice, chill night of good food and great music? Look no further than The Beehive.

Related: Best Dive Bars in Boston

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com


Regatta Bar
One Bennett Street @ The Charles Hotel
Cambridge, MA
(617) 395 7757
www.regattabarjazz.com

Hours: Varies by event
See calendar of events

Although best known for its reputation as one of Boston’s finest upscale jazz joints, the Regatta Bar inside Cambridge’s Charles Hotel also features its fair share of blues fare, as well, with live events taking place inside the 225 seat hall, located on the hotel’s third floor. A winner of multiple awards and honors, the Regatta Bar offers all ages admission, although the management requests that all children under the age of 13 are accompanied by an adult.

nightlife music blues bars scullers jazz club Bostons Best Live Blues

Photo Credit: scullersjazz.com


Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Road @ The Doubletree Hotel
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 562 4111
www.scullersjazz.com

Hours: Varies by event
See calendar of events

Similar to the Regatta Bar, this fancy-pants destination may not exactly be the place if you’re pinching pennies or scanning the dive bar scene, but for those seeking a high-class night out on the town, Scullers provides a number of dinner, show and stay packages for lovebirds seeking to woo their mate (or potential mate) with a dressed up date night of music and culture, overlooking the Charles River. In fact, Scullers has recently been voted as a critic’s favorite for best first date spot–probably due to the Harry Connick Jr., Jamie Cullam, Michael Bublé and Tony Bennett performances, we’d wager.

Related: Boston Date Night Ideas

nightlife music blues bars the acton jazz cafe Bostons Best Live Blues

Photo Credit: actonjazzcafe.com

Acton Jazz Cafe
452 Great Road
Acton MA 01720
(978) 263-6161
www.actonjazzcafe.com

Hours: Varies by event
See calendar of events

Firmly and refreshingly candid in its appreciation for music’s place in the local community, the Acton Jazz Cafe addresses a number of important points in its mission statement, not the least of which is the venue’s dedication to creative, personal growth amongst their patrons, staff, and musical guests. Featuring a packed live schedule chock full of the area’s finest blues, jazz and even dance acts, The Acton Jazz Cafe is a refreshingly intimate way to enjoy live music within a venue whose proprietors truly understand the medium.

George Pacheco has been writing professionally about arts and entertainment for over a decade. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, George currently resides in a humble New England home with his wife, cat and massive music and film collection. His work can be found at Examiner.com.


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