Outside Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium stands a sign that commemorates Bill Monroe‘s 1945 Grand Ole Opry performance. The sign reads “Birth of Bluegrass,” as it was this performance in Nashville — with Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, joined by Earl Scruggs on banjo — that is regarded as the founding of bluegrass music. Today, there is little question that Nashville is the epicenter of bluegrass (the International Bluegrass Music Association is located here for a reason, after all), and there is certainly no shortage of opportunities to reap the benefits of the city’s still-thriving bluegrass scene. Whether you’re a resident or just in town for a night, here are five places to hear bluegrass music that will remind you why Nashville is known as “Music City.”
Have you tired of the cover bands and dance music that flood out the doors of many of the bars that light up Broadway? Whether you’re already downtown or merely hoping to listen to some of the best country and bluegrass music performed live in Nashville, it is well worth your while to check out Layla’s Bluegrass Inn. Sandwiched between two honky tonk bars — The Second Fiddle and Robert’s Western World — Layla’s hosts both up-and-coming music acts and established artists (a list which over the years has included Chris Scruggs, grandson of Earl Scruggs, and legendary bluegrass artist Ralph Stanley). Layla’s never charges a cover fee, and before 6pm it is open to the under-21 set, too.