Back before "country music" was big hair and sequined jackets, banjo rolls and fiddle cries echoed through the mountains, telling tales of trains and love gone wrong. It was REAL music. Music with heart. Music with soul.
Up here, we take pride in our tunes. Sure, we've got the bluegrass that made our area famous...but we've also got classical, jazz, blues, and rock, often played within a few blocks of each other. Our Blue Plum Festival brings tens of thousands to congregate around downtown stages, and venues like the Down Home have springboarded the careers of Kenny Chesney and Alison Krauss. It's the kind of city where Bela Fleck might drop in unannounced to steal the show...or where a kid nobody knows can become tomorrow's biggest star.
You can get live music information from each of these locations or get up-to-date music information for the Tri-Cities area at www.TriCitiesNights.com.
The Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee State University
From the landmark Johnson City Sessions in 1928 to today’s vibrant bluegrass program at East Tennessee State University, visitors exploring the Americana music scene and its roots, will want to visit the ETSU Archives of Appalachia. There, you can become well-acquainted with bluegrass and its effect on the music scene and Northeast Tennessee. The Archives offer visual images of key figures in bluegrass and early country music; listening stations for sampling musical selections; videos, songbooks, and reference material collections. While you’re there, ask about catching a live performance by one of ETSU’s many student bluegrass bands. Hours: 9:00am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday with the exception of ETSU holidays.
Acoustic Coffee House
A favorite among local performers, Acoustic Coffeehouse features open-mic nights every week, and bigger acts on the weekends at "Next Door," the adjacent concert venue. And it's not just coffee. Acoustic offers a wide selection of beer, burritos and sandwiches.
A quaint listening room and regional favorite, Down Home helped to launch the careers of famous musicians like Alison Krauss and Kenny Chesney. Down Home features special performances every weekend and hosts up-and-coming artists during the week.
Café One 11
With some of the area’s finest neo-Asian cuisine, Café One 11 also features an extensive wine list and hosts jazz and modern acts throughout the year.
The home of local television show, Homemade Jam, the Casbah features local, regional and national acts on a weekly basis.
Located in Johnson City's downtown district, Capone's hosts various national music acts throughout the year. The venue also features a billiards hall and a dance club.
This intimate venue, located in downtown Johnson City, hosts local bluegrass, rock, and indie acts weekly. Halo also features an outdoor patio, comfortable for food, drinks or listening to music during the warmer months.
Located in Johnson City’s downtown district, Heather’s Hideaway features indie, punk and emo bands weekly.
A dance club otherwise, this spacious venue hosts several national acts throughout the year.
Stir Fry Café
Featuring a trendy atmosphere and some of the area’s best Thai and Oriental cuisine, Stir Fry hosts musical acts on a weekly basis.