Tennessee has a rich history when it comes to the blues, and there are several famous blues bars (also often referred to as dive bars) across the state, where you can experience the soulful sounds of this ever-popular genre.

Blues and dive bars often go hand-in-hand with the state’s famous music scene, as they provide an unpretentious and intimate setting for both established and up-and-coming artists. These venues typically offer a unique and relaxed experience, with no-frills decor and a focus on the music. While Beale Street in Memphis is perhaps the most iconic destination for blues enthusiasts in Tennessee, you can find hundreds across the state. We are including some of the most popular and well-known. The best way to explore the scene where you’re visiting, especially if you’re looking for a hidden gem, is to ask locals for recommendations and check local event listings.

  1. Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis – This bar on Beale Street is a popular spot for live blues music, and it’s known for its extensive collection of vintage guitars and blues memorabilia that adorn the walls. You can enjoy live performances by local and touring blues bands while savouring delicious Southern cuisine.
  2. B.B. King’s Blues Club, Memphis – Named after the legendary blues guitarist B.B. King, this club is a must-visit for blues enthusiasts. It features live blues performances, and the venue often hosts talented musicians who pay tribute to the genre’s rich history.
  3. Wild Bill’s Juke Joint, Memphis¬† – Located just a short drive from downtown Memphis, Wild Bill’s Juke Joint is a no-frills, dive bar-style establishment that showcases raw and authentic blues performances. The venue is known for its laid-back atmosphere and dedication to preserving traditional blues music.
  4. Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar, Nashville – Located in downtown Nashville, this venue is known for hosting live blues and boogie-woogie performances. It’s a great place to enjoy live music and dance the night away.
  5. Bluebird Cafe, Nashville – This unique cafe is famous for its intimate singer-songwriter performances, but also occasionally features blues and roots music. It’s a historic venue where many renowned musicians have played, making it a special spot for music lovers.
  6. Robert’s Western World, Nashville: A famous honky-tonk dive bar that offers live country music and a dance floor. It’s known for its classic Nashville feel, with sawdust-covered floors and a friendly crowd.
  7. J.J.’s Bohemia, Chattanooga – While J.J.’s is more of a live music venue than a traditional dive bar, it still maintains a gritty, underground vibe. You can catch local and indie bands performing here, and it’s a great place to enjoy alternative and experimental music.
  8. Sassy Ann’s, Knoxville – ¬†A unique dive bar and dance club known for its vibrant, eclectic decor and an eclectic mix of music, from classic rock to disco. It’s a place where you can let loose and dance the night away.

So now you need to get there and experience some of these wonderful bars for youself! Click here to read more about Tennessee and view our full range of holiday options.