Mississippi After Dark – Best Blues Bars
If you are an ardent blues fan, nightlife in Mississippi might be just the thing for you. The state has plenty of blues bars to choose from, hosting seasoned musicians and up-and-coming talents.
Besides the music, the atmosphere at Mississippi’s blues bars is warm and welcoming. So, you will feel at home, whether you are looking to dance the night away or enjoy your favorite drink.
Here are a few of the best blues bars in the Magnolia State.
The Red’s Lounge is a legendary blues club in Clarksdale, MS, in the “Deep South.” The lounge hosts various musical acts and is one of Mississippi’s most historic venues for African-American culture.
In addition to its great music, the Red’s Lounge also functions as a restaurant serving authentic Southern cuisine. Patrons can listen to live music while enjoying fried chicken and catfish dishes.
Local delta players like Big George Brock, Jimmy Duck Holmes, Sam Carr, and Big Jack Johnson have performed at the Red Lounge. The place has also attracted big names like Watermelon Slim, Eric Sardinas, and Johnny Rawls.
Ground Zero Blues Club
Located in downtown Clarksdale, Ground Zero has become one of Mississippi’s top destinations for live blues music. The club is co-owned by famous actors Morgan Freeman, Howard Stovall, and Eric Meier.
Ground Zero boasts an impressive sound system, a state-of-the-art lighting system, and a custom-designed stage where artists can perform at their best. It can seat up to 200 people at a time, making it the perfect venue for concerts.
Besides treating visitors to the best blues hits, Ground Zero also serves Southern delicacies at its on-site restaurant. And if you would like to enjoy the blues experience 24 hours a day, you can rent out a space in one of its seven upstairs apartments.
Club Ebony is arguably one of Mississippi’s most famous and longest-standing blues clubs. It has been a mainstay in the Indianola music scene since 1945 and has hosted some of the biggest names in blues music, including the legendary B.B King, Albert King, Count Basie, and Bobby Bland.
Initially built by Jonny Jones, an Indianola entrepreneur, the club was once part of the Chitlin Circuit, a group of African-American-owned nightclubs promoting African American artists’ growth.
While at Club Ebony, you can easily spot the B.B King Museum. A visit to this museum allows you to learn the history of delta blues music and see artifacts from some of the most influential artists in the genre.
The Walnut Street Blues Bar
Located at 128 S. Walnut Street in Greenville, MS, the Walnut Street Blues Bar is another popular destination for anyone looking to have a good time. This laid-back bar features a spacious outdoor patio and plenty of comfortable seating where you can relax over a few drinks with your friends.
The bartenders at Walnut are known for their friendly service, and the drinks are always reasonably priced. The menu offers a variety of tasty dishes, including sandwiches, burgers, salads, and snacks.
Once in a while, the bar also hosts special weekend events and theme nights featuring local blues musicians. They operate every day from 5 pm to 2 am.
Smoots Grocery Lounge
Smoots Grocery Lounge is located at 319N. Broadway Street in Natchez, MS. It is one of the oldest juke joints in Natchez and has been a favorite hangout of locals and visitors since its establishment in 1939.
Smoots’ décor features old photographs, jars of candy, and other memorabilia that are sure to ignite the memories of yesteryears for patrons. The food, especially their smoked chicken, will delight you. Be sure not to miss outstanding performances by the local bands at the lounge.