An Insider’s Guide to H Town Live Music

It can be entertaining to listen to favorite jams on Spotify or watch The Voice, but does it spark joy like listening to music live at one of Houston’s many terrific venues?! No!  In fact, a UK study found that attending a gig results in twice the “feeling of well-being” as doing Yoga, potentially expanding a music lover’s life expectancy by several years! 

Let’s Grow, Girl! partnered with Eddie “Edge” Ferranti, senior editor of the Houston Music Review, to compile a list of live music venues in Houston.  We then braved the heat and humidity to visit many on the list to get a first-hand look. It was hard, hot, and thirsty work but someone had to do it!

The venue list below is grouped together by part of town.  There is something for everyone. So grab your live music-loving gal pals and get out there and enjoy what Houston’s clubs and patios have to offer!

Heights

Cottonwood
Vibe —  Choose between the airy inside bar area or the expansive outside area with picnic tables adjacent to the stage; laid back vibe; bring your dog!
Who —  People with dogs and families; young and old
Genre —  Americana/Blues/Country
Details — Good Texas pub fare; 40 beers on tap; tip jar for musicians; call for band schedule

Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar
Vibe —  Eclectic; outside area; inside stage
Who — Dog-friendly; mixed groups
Genre —  Many including acoustic, punk, indy to rock and everything in between
Details —  Thursday steak night and free Blues; Friday and Saturday cover $7-10; Sunday burgers and bloodies with shows 4-7pm

The Heights Theater
Vibe — Touring acts; excellent sound and sightlines; originally an Art Deco movie house in the 1920s; the kitchen offers a selection of bites like a cheeseboard and a hummus plate
Who —  All ages
Genre —  Varies
Details —  see website for schedule; prices start at $22; bar and kitchen opens at 6:00 p.m., stage doors at 7:00 p.m. and showtime is 8:00 p.m; Bob Schneider never disappoints!

The Heights Theater
Walker Lukens at The Heights Theater

Re:HAB Bar on the Bayou
Vibe —  Inside stage and bar; outdoor beer garden both covered and uncovered with fire pit
Who — Regulars who like it loud
Genre — Honky-Tonk, Blues, Rock
Details —  tip jar for musicians; honky-tonk Hump Night every Wednesday featuring The Mitch Jacobs Band from 8:00 till 11:00; Friday and Saturdays band takes the stage at 9 pm

Shady Acres Saloon
Vibe —  Laidback honky-tonk; picnic tables on ½ acre under pecan trees; grub provided by food trucks (see website for schedule); bands perform on the Pearl Porch outside stage
Who —  family, dog, and country fans
Genre —  Country
Details —  tip jar; Friday and Saturday shows at about 8 pm

Shady Acres Saloon
Hardluck Revival at Shady Acres Saloon

Montrose

Cactus Music
Vibe —  Independent music store
Who —  Music lovers and buyers
Genre — Varies
Details — Touring musicians stop in for a free gig; St Arnolds supplies free pints; check the website for days and times

Goode Company Armadillo Palace
Vibe —  Dining, dance, and entertainment complex including outside and inside stages and inside dance hall
Who —  Country music fans
Genre — Up and coming Texas country
Details —  free weekday shows; Friday and Saturday 9 pm shows; tickets starting at $8; BBQ, Mexican, and Cajun kitchen provides the grub

La Grange
Vibe —  Casual patio bar
Who —  Younger crowd; happy hour type
Genre —  Acoustic singer/songwriter; Reggae
Details —  Wednesday steak night acoustic 7:30 pm; Sunday brunch reggae 12-3pm; Coastal Mexican food; 3 bars

Goodnight Charlie’s
Vibe —  Upscale honky-tonk with terrific tacos
Who — Younger crowd
Genre —  Country Western; Classic country staples
Details —  Check the website for upcoming performances; Wednesday steak night 4-10pm; last Tuesday of the month Mariachi night with Raul Medina 8-11pm

Goodnight Charlie's

McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Vibe —  Intimate club and Irish pub
Who —  Varies based on the artist
Genre —  Singer/Songwriters; touring acts
Details — Book tickets online approx. $20; great food; shows most nights at 7 pm and 9:30 pm

Mc Gonigel’s Mucky Duck
Shelley King at the Mucky Duck

The Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club
Vibe —  Unpretentious & laid back; 40 to 60-year-olds cutting up the dance floor; hole in the wall
Who —  Local and national touring bands
Genre — Blues and Zydeco
Details —  tip jar; live Blues six nights a week at 9:30 pm; Zydeco on Sundays at 8 pm

Downtown/EaDo

MKT Bar at the Phoenicia
Vibe —  Small intimate global gastropub adjoining Phoenicia specialty foods
Who —  Depends on the artist but typically ranges from 20 to 40-year-olds, including families for Sunday brunch
Genre —  Singer/Songwriters, Blues, Jazz
Details —  tip jar for musicians; Thursdays 7-10pm; Fridays 8-11pm; Sunday brunch 12-3pm

The Rustic
Vibe —  Massive; backyard feels with farm-to-table grub and live music under a retractable roof
Who —  Families; all ages
Genre —  Country, rock, alternative, R&B Blues, local and national touring acts
Details —  Free live music 7 days a week including Saturday and Sunday brunch; see the schedule for details; a second location coming to Uptown this fall; parking garage under Discovery Green validated for 3 hours

Truck Yard
Vibe —  Sprawling shaded garden and adult playground with an outdoor stage
Who —  Younger crowd
Genre — Americana, Country, Covers, Alt Rock
Details — Live music Thursday 7 pm, Friday and Saturday 6 pm and 10 pm, Sunday 3 pm; food trucks on rotation

Highway 6/I10

JP Hops House
Vibe —  Laid back; “good feeling” pub; 2,000’ outdoor deck
Who —  Mature music lovers
Genre —  Americana, Singer/Songwriter
Details —  Hard Times Soup and Music Kitchen night Wednesdays 7 pm; Friday and Saturday show times vary; tip jar

Spring Branch

The Americana
Vibe —  Laid back; neighborhood music venue promoting American culture through music and art
Who — Older crowd
Genre —  Singer/Songwriter
Details — tip jar; Mondays Bluegrass Jam 6:30; Tuesdays Songwriter Night 8 pm; Thursdays through Saturdays check the schedule for time and artist

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