Austin Blues Jams: Be A Part of the Live Music Capital of the World

Austin is known for it’s abundance of live music shows, particularly blues shows.  On any given night concert goers can find numerous small clubs hosting world class musicians with little or no cover.  And on any given night, if you know where to look, you can even play with them.

Austin is one of the few places this rich in opportunities for novice performers and intermediate to advanced players.  A non-professional musicians could play four to five nights a week in Austin with no regular band mates and without having to really know any songs as long as they can play a few different 12-bar-blues variations.

Depending on where you venture you may find jams that mostly consist of amateurs getting together to have fun or sharpen their chops before playing some more serious gigs, or seasoned veterans (some of whom would put Van Halen to shame) who just want to have some fun friends and fellow working musicians on their night off.

I’ve made a map showing the locations and times of the most prominent Austin blues jams.  More information on these jams can be found at The Austin Blues Society Web site, although it is somewhat out of date.

To give you an idea of the caliber of players you may find at these jams — both Leland Parks (host of Blue Mondays at Maggie Mae’s and the Austin Blues Society monthly jam) and Jackie Newhouse played bass for Stevie Ray Vaughan in the bands The Cobras and Double Trouble respectively.  In addition to that, Derek O’Brien of the Antone’s house band happens to have been one of Albert Collins’ favorite guitar players.

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