The Bluebird Cafe is known worldwide as a gathering place for songwriters to tell
the stories behind their music.

The Bluebird Café sounds like it should be located on a tree-lined Main Street with lace curtains in the windows, not in a strip mall with bright neon lights. But despite its curious location, once you step inside the door you know why this Nashville establishment has a worldwide reputation for great music – you can feel the vibes.

The Bluebird is a listening room. That means no phones, no talking…and if you have to be “shushed” several times you can be asked to leave. It’s a respectful silence that allows musicians to tell their stories and sing their songs without having to yell above the noise, and the audience can relax and enjoy the show without fear of a drunken patron yelling “Freebird!” in their ear.

Musicians perform "in the round," which gives the audience the feeling that they're
peeking in on a closed studio session.

There’s only seating for 100, which also adds to the intimate atmosphere. It’s a little tight in some places, but the wait staff is expert at maneuvering around the tables, bringing food and drinks without disturbing the setting.

The Bluebird is a must-see, no matter who’s performing. The night I went I didn’t recognize the names of the young bluegrass artists, but it didn’t matter to me. This is the place where Garth Brooks performed before he was famous – and where he was discovered. I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I placed the winning bid on the event poster that all the artists signed. Who knows? There might be a Garth, LeAnn or Carrie among them.

If you're going to the Bluebird, make sure you go online and make a reservation.
The 100 seats go pretty fast.

And if you’re planning a visit to the Bluebird, go online and book your reservation. There’s a $2 fee per person, but it’s worth the peace of mind. When I made our group’s reservation for six, the system placed us at two different tables. However, when we arrived for the show, the host at the door was able to get us all at one table so they’re very accommodating.

Like so many other musical places in Nashville, it’s an experience you shouldn’t deprive yourself of. Just remember to shush.


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