It wouldn’t be Texas — or more specifically Dallas-Fort Worth — without some toe-tapping live music in a dark, smoky bar, or in a dusky public park on a warm night with fireflies rising from the grass. Texas is the home of country and the blues, but that’s not all — you can hear life-changing music of many stripes in this city if you know where to look.
Jazz and Blues
The most obvious place to start is Deep Ellum, the neighborhood most closely associated with Dallas-Fort Worth’s deep history with jazz and blues. Deep Ellum rose to prominence in the 20s and 30s with jazz, known as the neighborhood where people could see Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson and Lead Belly Leadbetter play all night long. The Deep Ellum neighborhood is dripping with history and culture, from the bars and venues that have stood for 30 years to the graffiti lining the walls that residents treasure for the character it adds.
Today, bars like the Twilite Lounge keep that tradition alive, pairing great drinks and great company with even better live music.
Outside of Deep Ellum, fans of music and music history will love the The Balcony Club, where music from the artists of our past returns to the present, from the pop music of the early 1900s to smoky blues. The University of North Texas’s much-lauded jazz band also makes regular appearances, ensuring that visitors hear the very best in jazz the city has to offer.
Why stop there? Hop on over to the Fort Worth area and check out the Scat Jazz Lounge located in the heart of Sundance Square. Set in the basement of the historic Woolworth building, the Scat Jazz Lounge carries on the New York tradition of coolest, off the beaten path of underground entertainment.
Dallas-Fort Worth also has a proud and vibrant community of classical music, from the Dallas Opera, which puts on performances of incredibly high caliber, to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which can trace its roots in the city all the way back to 1900.
In Fort Worth, you can enjoy the sounds of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at the Bass Performance Hall, a classic European style concert hall.
Of course, it wouldn’t be worth talking about music in Texas without talking about country, which is why it’s crucial to check out Adair’s Saloon. Part of Texas’s proud honky-tonk tradition, Adair’s has hosted the Dixie Chicks, Jack Ingram and more — rumor has it that a guy named Elvis Presley even poked his head in the door in 1955. And new up-and-coming names are playing Adair’s all the time — seven nights a week, in fact.
If you’re not sure exactly what kind of musical experience you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the Common Table. It doesn’t tie itself down to any specific musical genres, but promises a night of delicious food, cool drinks and some of the best music in town.
It’s possible — maybe — to spend your whole life in Dallas-Fort Worth and not indulge in the incredible music culture it has to offer, but why would you?
And let’s not forget about Billy Bob’s! Home of some of the best country music entertainment in Texas with featured events such as Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church. Billy Bob’s has over 100,000 square feet of interior space and 20 acres of parking for entertainment and events. They feature 30 individual bar stations, live music with country music’s biggest stars, Live Pro Bull Riding, and a Texas size dance floor.