By Brittany Battista●Photograph courtesy of The Bluebird Cafe●August 1, 2019
5 Can’t-Miss Nashville Songwriter Nights and Residencies
The whole city of Nashville, it seems, is set to live music. Beyond the Opry stage, live music pours out of every bar on Broadway, up Music Row and clear across the city. Singer-songwriters flock to Nashville every day to follow the footsteps of the city’s most renowned country legends, hoping of breaking onto the bustling music scene.
Long before their debut on the Opry circle, many of the Opry’s legendary members got their start at local listening venues that host the next generation of Nashville stars today. When you come to see us at the Opry, make sure to also check out a local listening room where you can continue to experience the magic of Music City dreams every night.
Located in the heart of Midtown, Winners Bar & Grill is home to one of country’s best-known songwriter showcases in the country, Whiskey Jam. Whiskey Jam is held every Monday and Thursday on the same stage it started on eight years ago. From Chris Stapleton to Old Dominion to Thomas Rhett, many of country music's biggest names have appeared here. Some stars even show up unannounced to perform or watch the show, just as Opry members Luke Combs and Dierks Bentley have. Whiskey Jam is founded on the idea of “good music, good friends, good party," and the lively atmosphere attracts the likes of locals and visitors alike. The best part? It’s free.
Listen to the masterminds behind country music chart-toppers like “Strawberry Wine” and “Jesus Take the Wheel” at one of Nashville's most intimate singer-songwriter showcases inside The Bluebird Cafe. The Bluebird Cafe seats less than 100 people and can be found in a small strip mall in the neighborhood of Green Hills. Among the live shows hosted here daily, the club’s signature program, In the Round, is a sacred listening experience unlike other thanks to The Bluebird’s “Shhh Policy.” Artists including Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Opry member Garth Brooks have performed and attended shows here. Tickets go quick online, but patrons who brave the line out front have opportunity to enjoy a show from a limited number of bar and pew seats.
Founded by six bluegrass pickers more than four decades ago, Station Inn is home to some of Nashville's most authentic bluegrass performances. Station Inn brings good music and great fun to Nashville by welcoming some of the most respected names in bluegrass, some even dropping by after their performance on the Grand Ole Opry. Opry greats Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss, and Alan Jackson represent the venerable talent this venue has hosted. Station Inn is located in The Gulch, and its Bluegrass Jam, which highlights a mixture of newcomers and local legends, is held every Sunday night at 8 p.m. free of charge.
Calling all Western Swing fans! 3rd and Lindsley hosts a Monday night residency with Grammy Award-winning swing band The Time Jumpers, featuring Opry member Vince Gill. For over 25 years, 3rd and Lindsley has ensured a platform for aspiring artists in the community to showcase their talents. Lady Antebellum performed its first-ever show here, and Opry member group Little Big Town played this SoBro stage regularly before the band made it big.
Since 2006, The Listening Room Cafe has been a steadfast oasis for the aspiring singer-songwriter community in Nashville. The Listening Room is known for its bona fide singer-songwriter programming, which has attracted performers like Carly Pearce, Mitchell Tenpenny, and Opry member Keith Urban. Live, original music can be heard here nearly every night of the week. Song Suffragettes, which regularly draws a large crowd, is held every Monday at The Listening Room Cafe at 6 p.m. Don’t miss your chance to see some of country music’s newest and brightest female singer-songwriters perform.