The Best Places To Hear The Blues In Kansas City

Jason Vivone and The Billy Bats performing at The Phoenix, Kansas City ©
Jason Vivone and The Billy Bats performing at The Phoenix, Kansas City ©
Photo of Brendan Scully
8 January 2016

In the heart of the Midwest is Kansas City, a cultural and business centre full of history and energy. One of the best parts of visiting Kansas City is experiencing the live music it has to offer, especially the blues. Here are some of the best spots to check out in town for some good old fashioned blues tunes.

Jason Vivone and The Billy Bats performing at The Phoenix, Kansas City | ©

The Phoenix

On 8th Street in the heart of downtown Kansas City is The Phoenix, an original KC staple that delivers with true blues vibes and energy every time. With its well-known performers and tradition for always showing visitors a good time, it’s hard to beat the atmosphere at The Phoenix. This place prides itself in showcasing local talent, and why wouldn’t they? For decades The Phoenix has been rotating out spectacular musical guests on a consistent basis. Make sure to come in early to hold a table and enjoy a great night of live blues.

302 W 8th St, Kansas City, MO 64105, United States
+1 816-221-5299

BB's Lawnside BBQ

Restaurant, American, BBQ, $$$
B.B.'s Lawnside BBQ serves great jambalaya
B.B.'s Lawnside BBQ serves great jambalaya | © Naviniea/Flickr
BB’s Lawnside BBQ is known for successfully combining two traditions of Kansas City: blues and barbecue. Open for lunch and dinner, BB’s sports a laid back atmosphere with world class entertainment. Its perfect size makes it the ideal live music venue, as you get great acoustics but at the same time really feel you are part of the action. Come here for some bumpin’ blues available for your enjoyment almost every night of the week.

Knuckleheads Saloon

Music Venue
On Rochester Street is the Knuckleheads Saloon, arguably the liveliest place to hear the blues in Kansas City. This music venue has four separate stages – an outdoor venue, indoor stages and a lounge that functions as a venue for blues-oriented church services on Wednesday nights. Come here for thrilling live music from Wednesday through Sunday. The venue hosts several hundred performers a year, all with their own individual styles and ties to Kansas City. If you’re looking for a laid-back session with no charge as well, come to the weekend open-jams at Knuckleheads, which allow amateur musicians to play and experience music making with seasoned professionals.

Kansas City Juke House

Restaurant, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub
The Kansas City Juke House is a new addition to the 18th and Vine Jazz district that’s making a name for itself. Opened by brothers Benny and Calvin Shelby, this spot features live music four times a week. The Juke House seats 215 people comfortably in a prime location right next to the iconic American Jazz Museum. Even though the Juke House is a fairly new establishment compared to the traditional venues of the city, its popularity is quickly rising its status to a new “must visit” in the Kansas City music community.

The Chesterfield Club

Take a trip back to the 1920s at The Chesterfield Club, where swing and blues music are constantly playing and prohibition era cocktails are the speciality. This Power and Light District spot cranks out some great live music, especially on their Wednesday Swing and Blues night. Come here for a fun glimpse into Kansas City’s history and a smooth and groovy experience you soon won’t forget.

1400 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64105, United States
+1 816-474-4545
By Brendan Scully

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