Washington DC
Washington DC

Washington D.C. Blues Clubs

Moody grit and soulful jam sessions shake the streets of DC seven nights a week. From the slow southern style of crooners to the raw passion of bluesy rock artists, the blues clubs in Washington DC serve up some of the best live music around. Especially in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, where the soul of the '20s still carries on, places like Columbia Station and Madamís Organ feature up and coming talent and mouthwatering soul food. Funky décor and sultry themes are common in DCís blues bars, and Pharaohís Rock Ní Blues Bar & Grill features shrines to rock legends like Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Jerry Garcia.
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Columbia Station

2325 18th St., NW Washington DC; Tel + 1 202.462.6040
Let's face it, when something's free these days, chances are, there's a catch. And with venues, a free show usually means the band will sound worse than your grade-school jazz ensemble. But at Columbia Station, you're likely to witness some great music for the whopping price of—you guessed it—free. A great place to catch a live jazz show at no cost and down a couple pints of your favorite brew, this Washington, D.C., bar and restaurant transmits a pleasantly jovial attitude through both its food and atmosphere. Friendly service and menu options like meatloaf, pasta and Cajun-inspired dishes will keep your wallet fat and your belly full. If you find yourself in the Washington, D.C., area with some spare time but without a dime, pop into Columbian Station. A word of caution: if you want to get a good seat, make sure to arrive early—you're not the only one looking for cheap entertainment

Madam's Organ

2461 18th St., NW, Washington, D.C.; Tel. 202.667.5370
Widely popular and charmingly eccentric, this one-of-a-kind Washington, D.C., bar has become a landmark to the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Featuring live blues and rock acts seven nights a week, Madam's Organ is one of the best places to catch up-and-coming talent before it hits the main stage. The bar attracts an eclectic mix of bohemians, politicos and college students, truly living up to its moniker, "where beautiful people go to get ugly." The building's outside is decorated with an enormous mural of the bar's mascot, a sultry redhead with huge breasts. Inside, the décor is equally as puzzling—mounted animals, local artwork and old church lamps blend together to create a carnival-esque montage that seems to magnify one's alcohol intake. Rated in Playboy magazine as one of the top 25 bars in the country, Madam's Organ must be what Hendrix meant when he sang "strange and beautiful."

Pharaoh's Rock N' Blues Bar & Grill

1817 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, D.C.; Tel. 202.232.6009
In true rock & roll fashion, this Washington, D.C., bar delivers an impressive dose of live music, via owner and house band front man "Sir" Walter Robinson. Armed with a Stratocaster and plenty of mojo, Robinson plays in a style reminiscent of his idol, Jimi Hendrix, right down to the flipped guitar and black bolero hat. Though his guitar wizardry is enough to attract a devoted following of fans, the bar itself is appealing and comfortable. Posters of rock legends like Jim Morrison and Jerry Garcia remind one of a college dorm room, though the spacious interior and flat-screen TVs suggest otherwise. No cover charge and a show that will satisfy the cravings of any classic rocker, Pharaoh's Rock N' Blues Bar & Grill is a Washington, D.C., hotspot worth rollin' into.
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—Washington DC bar and club reviews by Garrett Wheeler