So, you tried to make a living as a full-time bass player in Kenosha, Wisconsin. How did you do? If the answer is “poorly,” then it’s time to hear some harsh news. You’re just not in the right location for musicians. As the old saying goes, sometimes you have to go where the work is.
Scattered across the United States are cities that have hotter music scenes. With that comes a higher demand for musical talent. If you want to make it big, or just live comfortably from your talents, then take that leap of faith.
Here are the four best cities for musicians with big dreams.
Let’s begin our journey at Music City, USA. Nashville is world famous for its legendary music venues. The Ryman Auditorium, located downtown, is the home of the “Grand Ole Opry” radio show. The Basement on 8th Avenue is the place for underground shows featuring hard rock and metal acts like Metallica. If you want a quieter venue, the Bluebird Café in Green Hills hosts acoustic and jazz artists who are just starting or keeping on.
Athens has its share of venues that cater to big and small acts. The Georgia Theater, on North Lumpkin Street, is a must-stop for large scale rock and country acts. The Classic Center, on North Thomas, boasts an orchestral set-up and plays host to live music and stand-up comedy. If you want intimate, try the 40 Watt Club, on West Washington for the full concert-club experience.
Austin is a cultural oasis inhabited by the smallest, loudest venues, which is why so many millennials seek out houses for sale in Austin. At the heart of the city is the Carousel Lounge which hosts all sorts of local acts both strange and alluring. The Hole in the Wall is a watering hole for the University of Texas crowd that once featured distinguished artists like David Byrne and Leonard Cohen. For something a little more country than rock n’ roll, there’s the 50 year old Broken Spoke. The Broken Spoke is a two-step dance hall graced by country greats Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.
You can thank Oregon’s thriving art industry for keeping Portland weird. The classic Aladdin Theater is must-play concert venue with vintage class. There are also a host of indie punk bars such as The Know Bar on Albert Street. Blast off inside a futuristic log cabin with the Doug Fir Lounge on East Burnside Street. If you have always dreamed of playing an outdoor concert, craft-beer brewer McMenamins gives you that opportunity. McMenamins’ Edgefield provides a spacious field for outdoor concerts complete with event staging, lighting, and sound set-up.
Portland is also home to CD Baby, the best independent music store on the web. Bypass the trouble of wooing big time music labels and get started selling you music online by becoming a member of CD Baby’s growing online music community. Leave it to a place like Portland where you can transcend regional boundaries and reach out to listeners around the world.
What are your favorite cities with vibrant music scenes?
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