Friday Five: Top Five Spots to Catch Live Music

By Austin Anthony

Chattanooga might be famous for its gigabit internet and outdoor scene, but it really comes alive to music, especially the live kind. Whether classical or cutting edge, traditional or contemporary, played in a dingy dive bar or in a grand concert hall, the live music experience in Chattanooga is a unique one. Astute fans are as loyal to local acts as they are enthusiastic about visiting ones, with many big name touring musicians declaring they rarely experience as rapturous a reception as in the Gig City. Chattanooga’s thriving musical scene is influenced by countless inspirations, genres and styles, creating a boiling pot of sound and creativity.

With jam sessions deep into the night and national alternative acts visiting year-round, Chattanooga is oozing with entertainment and energetic vibes. Chords and bars and riffs emanate through the streets of Chattanooga; it's hard to go anywhere without hearing the faint trace of musical notes—it's ubiquitous, really. Rhythm and music are a lifestyle in the Dynamo of Dixie, where live jazz, bluegrass bands, rock and indie beats stream out of both the most fabled and divey watering holes in the city. Whether you plan to visit the big icons like the Tivoli Theatre, or kick it at a smaller chill venue such as Chattanooga Whiskey, music should be a part of your itinerary — there's something for everyone here, and it's not just country music, either.

A plethora of venues thrive in Chattanooga, each with their own quirks, strengths and communities. As Chattanooga solidifies itself as an independent center of entertainment, culture and cuisine, live music is becoming an essential component of the Chattanooga lifestyle. To that end, here are our picks of our top five spots to catch live music.

The Feed Co Table & Tavern

Once upon a time, before the age of smart TVs, Google Fiber and bullet trains, every community had an iconic, neighborhood pub. The townsfolk mingled and conversed there, speaking of current news, political attitudes and juicy gossip. It was the epicenter of social life and happenings (outside of church of course). Twas no need for two for one cocktail specials or UFC knockout montages because of the abundance of good conversation, fresh food, festivities and unfaltering fellowship. Now eons later, The Feed Co Table & Tavern reintroduces said antiquated concept of less needless stimuli and more unadulterated fun and comradery. Shoot some pool, throw some darts, feast on the housemade specialties or maybe just relax with the unmatched comfort of a full pint and close friends. Visit the The Feed all summer long for food and drink specials as well as live music and entertainment. Feed your soul. Looking to satisfy your bluegrass roots? The Feed offers live bluegrass music every Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. Additionally, to strike a chord with other music lovers, The Feed features local and traveling artists every Friday night at 9:30 p.m. If that wasn't enough to leave your musical appetites salivating, we've compiled a list of live music events and specials for the upcoming week! You're welcome.

Tonight: Live music from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. with Lazybirds

Saturday 7/14: The Feed's own house band, The Militia, will be playing from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. 

Sunday Brunch 7/15: Sunday Brunch will feature live music from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. from local favorite, Danimal Planet

Monday 7/16: $8 1/3lb. cheeseburgers and 12oz. Sam Adams Boston Lager draft. 

Tuesdays 6 to 8: Pint Night with $3.50 featured pints from Devil's Backbone and Trivia Night hosted by Eddie Henle from 8 to 10 p.m.

Wednesdays: Ladies Night with featured cocktails and $3 house wines.

Thursdays 7:30 to 9:30: live bluegrass. 

For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.

Embargo ‘62

Embargo '62 is Chattanooga's only authentic Cuban Cantina & Rum Bar. Offering a wide variety of classic Cuban cuisine and drinks, from Cuban sandwhiches, to tropical craft cocktails, to over 75 different rums from around the world, Embargo '62 will transport you to warmer waters and colorful atmosphere. If you enjoy a cigar with your bottomless mimosas, Embargo '62 boasts a cigar humidor stocked with amazing selections. Styled with Cuban-inspired decor with an open air patio, the one of a kind restaraunt offers guests a window into the star-filled nights of Havana. The decor of the restaurant reflects their vision of ‘Cuba meets Chattanooga’ - so bamboo picnic baskets and mason jars are intermingled alongside the nostalgic Cuban artwork and rustic furniture. It’s a classic Cuban lounge with Chattanooga flare. Regarding the live music scene, Embargo ’62 showcases an eclectic mix of music artists every Saturday night. Whether you want to move your feet to upbeat salsa or snap your fingers to some smooth jazz, Embargo ’62 accommodates to a variety of musical tastes. First come first serve only, reservations are not accepted. Embargo '62 is your vacation in your own backyard. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page

Community Pie

“Pizza, beer and ice cream.” This was the simple idea that began the journey of Chattanooga's most iconic pizza joint: Community Pie. Located in the center of downtown in Miller Plaza, Community Pie is a locally owned and operated full-service restaurant and bar featuring handcrafted Neapolitan style wood-fired pizza, homemade gelato from Milk & Honey and a full bar with 40 draft beers. Musical acts here, just like the food, are carefully curated, but non-pretentious. You won’t walk in on any dance party bands. Instead, expect singer/songwriter acts or bluesier bands that pair well with a cabernet and a slice of pepperoni pizza (with extra jalapeños). Community Pie features live music every Friday night all summer long. For hours or further information, visit their website or check out their website Facebook page.

Westin Alchemy

Relax by a fire pit with cocktail in hand, enjoy diver scallops on the rooftop at sunset or dine on chef-curated dishes inside Alchemy, located on the 10th floor of the Westin hotel. The appropriately-named Alchemy offers the kind of dim, sexy atmosphere and sophisticated cocktails you might associate with Manhattan rather than our downtown area. Using only the finest seasonal ingredients, Alchemy offers a mouthwatering array of gourmet, classic American dishes that are always fresh, delicious and satisfying. The venue also offers live, local acoustic music throughout the week. Alchemy features live music Sunday to Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For further information, check out their website

Honest Pint

The Honest Pint is an Irish restaurant and pub that perfectly fuses American and Irish cuisine. It prides itself on serving actual pints, unlike some drinking establishments serving a little less than a pint, and, hence is appropriately named The Honest Pint. Go for the ambiance, enjoy a glass of Guinness, a shot of Jameson and live music and try a menu that truly offers some unique dishes that are hard to find anywhere else in town. If the name didn’t give it away, The Honest Pint is the type of place you go for a cold pint and good company. The Honest Pint is one of the most popular live music venues in Chattanooga, not only for its expansive stage and large seating area, but also for its equally extensive food and drink selection. This cozy yet upbeat bar is about as free-wheelin’ as Dylan and invites bluegrass artists every Saturday for brunch and good tunes. The Honest Pint promises a variety of entertainment every week, even a comedy show every Monday night at 9 p.m.! Even if the music isn't in tune with your tastes, you’re welcome to stop by, no cover and listen to what happens when people are given the agency of music.

Looking to quench your thirst for live music this weekend? Honest Pint is hosting a Bluegrass Brunch event from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 14. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.