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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Rebirth of Blues-Blues seeping into metroplex, indicating rebirth of old genre

Hole in the Wall, located on Harry Hines in Dallas, is a place to grab a burger, relax and let the blues take over.  Photo by Chris Webb/The Collegian
Hole in the Wall, located on Harry Hines in Dallas, is a place to grab a burger, relax and let the blues take over. Photo by Chris Webb/The Collegian

By Chris Webb/nw news editor

(Final in a four-part series on the rebirth of the blues)

Hole in the Wall, located on Harry Hines in Dallas, is a place to grab a burger, relax and let the blues take over.  Photo by Chris Webb/The Collegian
Hole in the Wall, located on Harry Hines in Dallas, is a place to grab a burger, relax and let the blues take over. Photo by Chris Webb/The Collegian

The DFW area is filled with a vibrant array of blues clubs, jams and restaurants featuring blues artists. The selections below are not necessarily the best around, but they are a fair representation of the diversity of the blues scene in the DFW area. Whether one is looking for a hip place for a fancy date, a large concert hall to catch a favorite musician or just a cool club to hang out and hear some good music, this sampling of venues has something for everyone.

House of Blues in Dallas

This is not a club. This is a concert venue, like the outlet store of the blues. This latest location in Dallas is the eleventh HOB in the chain. It has everything a concert junkie could want; a giant concert hall, a restaurant (focus on Southern foods), an extremely upscale members-only lounge (yearly admission starts around $2,250), an eclectic and lavish atmosphere that garners as much attention as the band and, of course, a bar. The doors have been open for less than a year, and already this venue reigns king, but some blues purists may find it too mainstream.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
Show pricing varies drastically depending on the act.
Age limitations vary by show, but most are all ages.
Supposedly smoke-free, but that’s not always the case.
Located at 2200 N. Lamar St., Dallas.

Tin Spirits
Formerly known as the Main Street Blues Room, Tin Spirits has local blues acts scheduled just about every night of the week. This is a great place for fans of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s work (yes, I’m talking about cover bands). Eric Tipton and Jackie Don Loe are also becoming regulars here. This is a very ritzy place. Great for a date, good seafood but very expensive, and don’t bother showing up on weekends without a reservation.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
Valet parking.
No indoor smoking.
Full bar.
Mostly all ages, except for a private 21 and over room.
Closed Sunday and Monday.
Located at Located at 814 S. Main St., Grapevine.
Contact 817-310-3211.

Tio Carlos Tex-Mex
This one probably isn’t on too many blues hangout lists. No big names ever show up here. The hours vary, depending on how many people show up, but the food is not bad and it’s cheap. But what really put Tio’s on this list are the open jams. Every Sunday night is an open jam, and absolutely anyone can sit in and play. You don’t have to sign up, just show up. Even if you’re not that great yet, drop by. It’s a great place to start, even though some serious musicians share the stage (more of a corner of the restaurant). Bands are occasionally scheduled on other days.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
No smoking.
Inexpensive food and drink specials.
Located at 4070 N. Belt Line Road, Irving.
Contact 972-252-7200.

Nate’s Seafood & Steakhouse
Nate’s has some of the best Cajun in town, with big local talent playing a few feet from your table. Jackie Don Loe, Lou Hampton and Hash Brown are all regular acts that are sure to impress. Great crawfish at $5 a pound doesn’t hurt either. Live music most nights of the week. Loe has an open jam Sunday nights at 6:30 as well.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
Located at 14951 Midway Road, Addison.
Contact 972-701-9622.

Hole In the Wall
The name says it all. This place is an absolute pit. If something breaks, no one fixes it. The pool table tilts hard left; the back porch looks like a garage sale; and the bathrooms … well, just avoid those if possible. At least the burgers are amazing, but what really puts this place on the map is the talent. Bikers and businessmen mingle with the common interest of great music. Open jams are regular here, but they aren’t all that “open.” Those who usually sit in to play are serious pros. Lucky Peterson has even been known to drop by. This place will literally fall apart around you, but anyone who loves the blues shouldn’t miss it.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
21 and up!
Located at 11654 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas.
Contact 972-247-2253.

Ovation
Ovation looks pretty plain on the outside, but step through the doors unprepared and you will be running back out to grab a tie and some nice slacks. Ovation is very upscale. The meals are far from cheap, but the chef’s work receives national attention. No matter how good the food is though, people usually end up with a cold plate because everyone’s attention is stolen by the stage. The acts scheduled here are nothing short of top notch. Buddy Whittington performs here almost weekly. For some, this place is a drive (located next to Ridglea Theatre), but if you pick the right night, you’ll never want to leave.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
All ages.
Located at 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth.
Contact 817-732-8900.

The Bluebird 
This place has some serious history. The Bluebird has been around since the early 1920s and used to see performances by names that make people gasp, like Robert Johnson, Big Joe Turner and even Little Richard. The place closed down during the 1980s, but in September 2005, the doors reopened, and the soulful tunes of the blues hum out the front door every Friday and Saturday night. This is still a hotspot for legends; acts such as Ray Reed and Louisiana Red are common with only a $5 cover charge. This place definitely isn’t the nicest around, but that’s part of its flavor. Rough area, be careful.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
Located at 5636 Wellesley Ave., Fort Worth.
Contact 817-732-1522.

Muddy Waters
Named after the man who brought the blues and the electric guitar together, Muddy Waters is one of those small little bars with big time music. The inside is dark, crowded and covered in a haze of smoke. Once the music starts playing though, you forget all about that. This is where the local guitar gods come to jam, even Hash Brown (King of the Dallas blues jam) drops in every now and then to play.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
Located at 1518 Greenville Ave., Dallas.
Contact 214-823-1518.

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