Alabama: 10 Quirky Places for Live Music- Beach Bars, Honkytonks, and Juke Joints.
If sharing music is part of your family vacation plan then Alabama will not disappoint. The state supports live music 24/7/365 with bluegrass, jazz, and blues to country, pop, and rock. From the state that is the home of the popular band – Alabama, and also the home of Hank Williams as well as Jimmy Buffet it’s safe to say music is in the soil, wind, and water in Alabama. Here’s the scoop.
The Alabama Tourism Department has compiled a list of more than 100 places to hear live music in the in state. The following short lis
t includes unique venues - juke joints, honkytonks and neighborhood hangouts guaranteed to pride a sense of place worth sharing.
Gulf Shores: Lulu's - Old-school “Crazy Sista” hospitality.
This beach style hangout and restaurant nestled on the shore of the Alabama Intracoastal Waterway is a popular destination for fans of live music. Owned by Lucy Buffett, Jimmy Buffett's sister, this is the place to eat a "cheeseburger in paradise" while listening to live music on each evening and as a vacation bonus Sunday afternoons as well. Bonus points:
In addition to music, tykes can scramble on the sand dune, build castles on LuLu’s beach or cool off in the Fountain for Youth, while older kids & petite divas have the option of a glitter-tattoo or cute hair wrap. Add an energy burn before dinner on the Mountain of Youth ropes course. (Lulu’s 200 East 25th Ave. Gulf Shores, AL. Tel: 251.967.lulu (5858) or www.lulusathomeport.com) Anniston: Peerless Saloon & Grille - Oldest Little Rockin' Saloon in the state.
Peerless is located in historic downtown Anniston and is listed on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1899, was home to a brothel and still has a turn-of-the-century bar. Visitors can hear live music Thursday through Saturday nights. Jam night is Thursday while local and regional bands play Friday and Saturday nights. (Peerless Saloon 13 West 10th Street Anniston, AL. Tel: (256) 237-1899 or www.peerlesssaloon.com) Bessemer: Gip's Place - An authentic juke joint.
Hear live blues performed in the backyard of Henry Gipson's home that sits beside the big curve along the. Gipson is a gravedigger by day and a musician at night. For more than 50 years some of the best blues musicians have been performing in Gip's backyard. There is no exact schedule, only most Saturday nights, which is part of the charm of this juke joint. (Gip’s Place 3100 block of Avenue C, Bessemer, AL)Birmingham: The Bottletree Restaurant - A live music venue and eclectic arts haven.
Just look for the crazy looking bottle trees on the front porch and the side patio. Live music in an almost surreal atmosphere, what could be better for a one-of-a-kind musical experience? This spot also serves as the location of the TV music program "We Have Signal." Bands perform on a small stage with velvet art hanging on the walls. (The Bottletree 3719 Third Ave. S. Birmingham, AL. Tel: (205) 533-6288 or www.thebottletree.com)Birmingham: The Garage — Antiques and live music.
Named by GQ magazine as one of the "World's Best Places To Fly To," The Garage has a delightful split personality. By day, its lush, enchanting courtyard brimming with eclectic antique decorations for sale is a prime spot for antiquing. At night, a friendly neighborhood pub comes to life, often with live music. (The Garage 2304 10th Terrace S. Birmingham, AL. Tel: (205) 252- 1515 or www.garagecafe.us)Colbert County: Rattlesnake Saloon — Music under the stars.
Once a Native American Bluff now sits the Rattlesnake Saloon built in the shadows of a cave just past the Seven Springs Lodge in Tuscumbia in Colbert County. Bands perform Thursday-Sunday11 a.m. to 10 p.m. During the warm weather months, the outdoor stage is the venue for live country music performances and often guests arrive on horseback and leave their horses tethered to the hitching posts near one of the seven natural springs. (Rattlesnake Saloon 1292 Mt. Mills Rd, Tuscumbia, AL. Tel: (256) 370-7218)Loachapoka: Fred's Pickin' Parlor —Imagine sweet home Alabama.
Loachapoka is known for “Syrup Sopping Day” which only comes once a year, but in addition to the Sop the hamlet is also now known for music thanks to Fred Lord, owner of Fred’s Feed and Seed – a man who has been playing music his entire life. And his feed store just outside Auburn is the location for live music jam sessions on Thursdays and live local bands on Friday and Saturday nights. (Fred's Pickin' Parlor 6434 Stage Road, Loachapoka, AL. Tel: (334) 502-6602)Mobile: Blues Tavern — Authentic American music.
Considered Mobile's only Blues Room, the Blues Tavern offers live music every Wednesday through Sunday. Visitors can listen to blues music most of the time and other music on occasion. (Blues Tavern 2818 Government Blvd. Mobile, AL. Tel: (251) 479- 7621or www.bluestavern.com) Montgomery: Sous-La-Terre — An underground jazz club.
Montgomery jazz and blues keyboard musician Henry Pugh has been playing for the late night crowd for years in this underground jazz club on Commerce Street. Look for the stairs leading to the basement to enter the club that opens weekends at midnight. LaSalle Bleu operates at the same location, on the ground floor and is open most Thursdays. Opens for live jazz and blues music every Friday and Saturday at 11 p.m. 82 Commerce Street downtown. (Sous-La-Terre 82 Commerce Street Montgomery, AL 36104. Tel: (334) 265-2069) Orange Beach: Flora-Bama – The last great roadhouse.
The Flora-Bama has been a cultural landmark on Alabama's beaches since 1964. It's located right on the Florida and Alabama line on Highway 292 & 182, and is touted as being America's "Last Great Roadhouse" complete with a slightly Southern redneck atmosphere and vintage tacky décor. This honky tonk was made famous by Jimmy Buffett’s song, “Bama Breeze.” There’s music seven nights a week, as many as five bands can perform at the same time on the weekend. Bonus points:
But the real not-to-be missed signature event is the Annual Interstate Mullet Toss in April when competitors toss fresh mullet from Florida into Alabama. (Flora-Bama 17401 Perdido Key Dr. Pensacola, FL 32507. Tel: (251) 980- 5118 or www.florabama.com) Content by Alabama Tourism with additions from FTF staff. Images provided by Alabama Tourism, Fred's Feed Store, and Lulu’s in Gulf Shores. Copyright 2012.