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Live music in Nashville | © rawartistsmedia / Flickr
Live music in Nashville | © rawartistsmedia / Flickr

Nashville's Best Secret Music Venues

Picture of Leena Kollar
Updated: 10 February 2017

Nashville has a large amount of prominent live music venues, and there are even a few lesser-known places to catch a good show. These might not be the most popular spots, but they host great talent just the same.

Acme Feed & Seed

With 22,000 square feet (2,042.8 square meters) and three floors of space, Acme Feed & Seed is a store, a honky-tonk, and a live music venue. The first floor is where you’ll find the Acme Farm Store, which sells Nashville-based artisan goods, along with communal tables where you can enjoy one of the 28 beers on tap. The second floor is a lounge that has a photo booth, lounge seating, televisions for watching sporting events, and a sushi bar. The third floor is where you can catch a great show at The Hatchery at Acme. Catch a breath of fresh air on the rooftop bar, which overlooks downtown Nashville; it also hosts dance parties and yoga classes.

Acme Feed & Seed, 101 Broadway, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 915 0888

Ri’chard’s Cafe

The small and intimate ambiance at Ri’chard’s Cafe, located outside of Nashville, makes it a perfect place to listen to live music. Emerging artists are welcomed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and featured artists take the stage on the weekends. The café also hosts open mic nights and has songwriters perform on Sundays during brunch. Enjoy watching performers while you choose a meal from the menu, which has Cajun, Creole, and American food options.

Ri’chards Cafe, 4420 Whites Creek Pike, Whites Creek, TN, USA, +1 615 299 9590

The Family Wash

With a small stage set up next to several tables, The Family Wash bar and restaurant has been the place to hear live music in East Nashville for more than a decade. The atmosphere is intimate and laid-back, allowing performers to get up close and personal with guests. Many shows are free of charge, but there might be a tip hat that gets passed around. If you’ve still got money left after tipping the performer, there’s an all-day menu that has breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, as well as a few options for children.

The Family Wash, 626A Main St., Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 645 9930

@my_politic just breaking our hearts tonight. These guys are better than GOOD! Check them out!! #familywash #musicmonday #mypolitic

A photo posted by The Family Wash/Garage Coffee (@familywash) on

Fond Object Records

Fond Object Records isn’t just a record store. It’s a record store and boutique that sells new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, books, and magazines. There’s also a selection of furniture, collectibles, and vintage clothing, as well as a jewelry boutique. Fond Object Records also has an outdoor performance venue and a rescue petting zoo. The East Nashville shop is a multi-use space that welcomes emerging artists and touring bands. Because of the size of the store, only a few performers are booked each month.

Fond Object Records, 1313 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 499 4498

Soulshine Pizza Factory

If you like pizza and live music, you’ll find both at the Soulshine Pizza Factory. Enjoy a slice of stone-baked pizza or a calzone as you sit and listen to jam bands, Southern rock musicians, blues bands, and other musical artists. Sunday nights are the Soulshine Sunday Night Blues & Groove Jam. There’s also Monday Night Trivia and the Rock ‘n Roll Basement Presents. The venue is available for private events and has catering services available too.

Soulshine Pizza Factory, 1907 Division St., Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 401 9859

Another mild winters day here in Nashville! #soulshinepizza #nashville

A photo posted by Soulshine Pizza Factory (@soulshinepizza) on

Queen Ave

Located on Queen Avenue, this multi-purpose space in East Nashville books local musicians, as well as touring bands, in genres like hip-hop, indie rock, electronic dance, and other unconventional sounds. The lobby is open during all events and serves as a pop-up shop and art gallery. The owners of the venue plan on expanding it so that it will also have music classes, comedy shows, and fashion shows. Currently, the space is available for audio/video showcases.

Queen Ave, 178 Queen Ave., Nashville, TN, USA

The East Room

You’ll find some fascinating events at The East Room. In addition to weekly Sunday night comedy shows, the space hosts vegan Mexican buffets, dance parties, plus indie rock and punk band performances. Every Tuesday night is open mic comedy night, with bands booked in between.

The East Room, 2412 Gallatin Ave., Nashville, TN, USA, +1 347 559 6031