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In a city known for the blues, there are no shortages of after-hours bars and clubs to keep you occupied until the sun comes up. Mississippi has produced more famous blues musicians (B.B. King, Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson) than any other state, and Jackson has a generous club scene showcasing this American musical forms. While the city doesn’t jump as much as it did in the blues’ heyday, you can still catch occasional performances in town by blues greats, as well as performances of rock, country and other music.
Live music clubs in Jackson open and close with some frequency. Pick up an issue of the Jackson Free Press for a schedule of upcoming shows. Hal and Mal’s is a big brewpub and music venue in the center of the city that consistently has good acts. Burgers and Blues is primarily a restaurant, but it has live music as well, and Underground 119 is a swank basement lounge just steps from the Mississippi Governor’s mansion that showcases all kinds of music, including blues, jazz and bluegrass.
Hardcore blues fans will want to make the trek to Bentonia, 20 miles northwest of Jackson and home to the Blue Front Café, a classic juke joint where cinderblock walls rattle with gritty, soulful sounds most weekends. It’s one of the last true jukes left, so get there before it’s gone.