It's music to our ears to learn of the multitudinous offerings of West Tennessee music venues. Though the list runs as long as Beale Street's blues bars and Jackson's honkytonk dives, here are a few favorite (and sometimes free) venues to check out.
The Levitt Shell in Memphis, the iconic music venue where Elvis Presley first played the venue's first rock n' roll show, hosts approximately 50 free concerts a year with a wide range of genres and artists. Enjoy a blend of music like Black Umfolosi one night and Opera Memphis the next. Films are also shown at the open-air venue. Pack a picnic and make a full night of the experience. Sometimes there are food trucks as well at the events.
New Daisy Theatre - Memphis
The historic New Daisy Theatre was built in 1942 on Memphis' Beale Street and operated first as a movie theater and then transitioned in the 1980s as a music venue with the capacity of 1,000 persons, making it one of the preeminent venues of its kind in the nation. In 2015, a $1.2 million restoration took place to create multiple VIP viewing areas, three bars, new restrooms, and a Funktion One multi-purpose Live Concert/Dance Sound System, the first of its kind in North America. The venue hosts a variety of artists like Moon Taxi, Matt and Kim, Chief Keef, Ministry and more.
Rum Boogie Cafe - Memphis
"Eat. Drink. Boogie. Repeat." That's the motto at Rum Boogie Cafe in Memphis, located on Beale Street. It's not hard to do with the comfort foods, refreshing beverages and Memphis blues played every night. Rum Boogie also has more than 200 autographed guitars from artists like Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Scotty Moore, Bon Jovi, Carl Perkins and Booker T and the MGs. Take in the memorabilia and the music all night long.
AMP at the Market - Jackson
Jackson's Amphitheater at the Market (AMP) hosts regional musical talent, celebrating the rich music history of the area. The AMP hosts 11 free concerts a season, encouraging guests to pack a picnic or visit one of the food concessions while listening to music under the stars.
The Ned McWherter West Tennessee Cultural Arts - Jackson
Jackson, Tennessee residents affectionately call this "The Ned" and take in intimate performances and musicals. Performers range from A.J. Croce to Melinda Doolittle, Kellye Cash & The West Tennessee Strangers and Guy Penrod. The 440-seat theater also has two art galleries.
The Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center - Huntingdon
In Huntingdon, the Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center has presented 442 events to 123,000 attendees in the Hal Holbrook Theatre. It has hosted artists like Jason Isbell, Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and many more. The Dixie Players are also the resident theatrical troupe that puts on plays throughout the year.