How to Find Great Live Music in Unexpected Places

It’s true the main reason I’m here is to reminisce, report on and give a few inside secrets about experiencing some of the most inspired music vacation adventures my twisted little mind can think up. BUT today, I’ll let you in on the absolute best, well-kept secret to discovering the most memorable “I’ve got to tell you about the time I saw…” life moments out there. Are you ready?

Listen Local.

That’s right, I said it. Get out and find your local happening venues where “the next big thing” might be perfecting their craft right now.

My husband still hasn’t lived down the time he was “not interested” in taking me to see Gavin DeGraw at a local bar literally weeks before I Don’t Want To Be hit big.

With local in mind, let me tell you about a few of my favorite talent troves here in my hometown and underrated music incubator, Huntsville, Alabama.

Humphrey’s Bar & Grill

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Humphrey’s Bar & Grill courtyard, photo courtesy of AL.com

Why I like it here: Comfort. From casual music appreciator to full-on aficionado, you’re going to feel right at home here. The food is tasty and the environment is super-relaxed with an outdoor space that’s beyond inviting on any cool afternoon. They keep the line-up fresh with numerous genres represented and if you’re not necessarily a night owl, they often have live music at varied times throughout the afternoon and evening.

 

Tangled String Studios

© Marrow by glass jar photography

Photo courtesy of Tangled String Studios

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Fireball Mail, photo courtesy of Tangled String Studios

Why I like it here: Immersion. If you’re anything like me, you might sometimes find yourself closing your eyes and absorbing the music; really FEELING it. You know, like savoring a bottle of an excellent vintage wine. If so, this is the place for you! By day, Tangled String is a working studio where luthier legend-in-the-making, Danny Davis creates some of the most beautiful stringed instruments you’ve ever laid eyes or ears on. By night, it’s the coziest of concert venues (think VH1 Storytellers) AND it seems to be frequented by many like-minded “absorbers.”

 

A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard

Lumberyard Courtyard from above

A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard courtyard, photo courtesy of A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard

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Chelvis & Da Bean, photo courtesy of A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard

Why I like it here: Variety. A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard serves up a veritable smorgasbord of musical options for any taste. They’ll even throw you an occasional curveball with groups like Harlequin Jazz Band. With his impressive history in the music industry, owner Doug Smith is serving as Huntsville’s curator of cool music. When you get to Huntsville, go check out what he’s lined up for you. Trust me…and Doug.

Tomorrow’s idol could be the guy you’re talking politics over while he jams at your corner bar. Keep your ears and mind open! It wasn’t so very long ago that Huntsville’s local joints were drumming up crowds for the likes of Jason Isbell, Alabama Shakes, Drive-By Truckers, The SteelDrivers, and others.

Finally, if you simply MUST find an exotic location to attend your next show and absolutely have to get away to get your groove on, I’ve got some pretty cool spots in my neck of the woods. You’re welcome to come and visit…anytime.

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