In any given week in St. Louis, there are up to 300 chances to treat your ears to some phenomenal musicianship. Whether it’s Stevie Ray Vaughn-esque shredding in the Soulard neighborhood, cool vocal stylings at a hip suburban bistro, or the joyful jamming of a Grateful Dead tribute band in the Loop, the live music scene is rocking visitors and locals every single night.
“The St. Louis music scene is very diverse—there are just so many genres of music being played here,” says Penny Moon, a local musician. Moon points out that diversity can be traced to our rich history in the blues. St. Louis has always been one of the world’s top five indigenous blues music cities, and now we have a National Blues Museum. The blues genre alone accounts for nearly 50 acts a week performing at public and private functions; understandably as the town has always been the true crossroads, tying Chicago to the Mississippi Delta, Memphis to the West.
If you’re staying downtown, there are many rollicking live music venues you can count on. At 700 Broadway is the treasure that is BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups, which usually features several acts a night. Across the street, Beale on Broadway has not only blues but also rockabilly, soul and R&B. Just at the end of the block is the popular Broadway Oyster Bar, which always has great live music, too.
Ballpark Village hosts amazing concerts year-round and is home to a popular dueling piano bar. Then of course there’s Jazz at the Bistro in Grand Center, which brings in national acts like Brandford Marsalis in addition to local crooner Erin Bode.
Finally, how about going to Blueberry Hill to see St. Louis legend Chuck Berry, who still performs once a month—after all, he is the true king of rock and roll. If you don’t believe me, just ask him.
And those are just the opening notes to a symphony of music options. Here are some sources to plan your memory-inducing St. Louis evening of great live music: the Riverfront Times, the St. Louis Music Press, and a list of the 50 best music venues from St. Louis Magazine. For your convention or meeting, definitely kick it up a notch at your event with a live band. There are more than 100 bands to choose from on these three sites: St. Louis Blues.net, St. Louis Bands and Hire a Band StLouis.
Written by Kevin M. Mitchell