Get the blues at these music venues in Calgary

With an around-town lineup of blues performances and a four-day shaker at Shaw Millennium Park, Calgary International Blues Festival runs from July 27 to August 2. This annual bluesy blowout also serves to remind Calgary music fans they can enjoy a regular medicinal dose of the blues at the following clubs, pubs and restaurants.

The Blues Can

1429 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T4

Live blues is the order of every evening at this Inglewood music spot. Local and touring artists perform umpteen shades of the blues as well as sneaking in some country licks. The Sunday-night blues jam features a wild and ever-changing array of musicians. The entertainment is complemented with a Southern-style food menu featuring dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya and po’ boy platters.

Bookers BBQ Grill & Crabshack

316 3rd St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2S4

While Bookers serves some seriously succulent smoked meats and seafood, the down-home restaurant also presents party-appropriate live blues music. Starting at 10 pm Friday and Saturday evenings, local blues acts perform free of charge. Located in a beautifully refurbished brick warehouse inches from Chinatown, Bookers’ just feels bluesy.

Mikey's Juke Joint & Eatery

1901 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3C 0K3

Mike Clark of Mikey’s Juke Joint is an award-winning jazz and blues guitarist who has recorded with many of the continent’s best players. With an easygoing kitchen-party vibe, his restaurant and club in Sunalta features an assortment of roots-music performers, including plenty of blues players. The Mexi-Cajun menu is also a draw.

Ironwood Stage & Grill (2006) Ltd

1229 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0S9

Featuring one of Calgary’s biggest club stages, Ironwood focuses on live roots music performances, and its steady flow of local and touring acts happens to include some stellar blues performers. Check the club’s performance calendar for gigs and open-mic evenings. As its name suggests, the musical entertainment comes with an internationally inspired menu that features entrees such as ratatouille, chicken Tuscanini and jambalaya.

Vintage Chophouse and Tavern

320 11 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0C5

This elegant yet casual steakhouse is highly regarded for its meat-and-seafood menu and knockout wine list. A great spot to loosen up in style, the restaurant’s lounge presents live, local jazz and blues musicians every Friday and Saturday.

Elbow River Casino

218 18 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1L1

At the east end of 17th Avenue Southwest, Bayou Stage in the Elbow River Casino presents a variety of musical genres from smooth jazz and rock to country blues. The music is free, local and live on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Hexters Pub & Games Room

6404 Bowness Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3B 0E7

The musical pride of Calgary’s Bowness neighbourhood, Hexter’s Pub is a cheerful sports bar and music spot. A combination of DJs and live rock and blues performers take the stage Friday and Saturday evenings. Additionally, on Sunday afternoons the Big Rock Blues Jam with host Gary Martin is all about the blues.

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