All around the great state of Texas are lively music venues, ready to show you a foot-tapping good time.
Combining history with boot-scooting, Gruene Hall near San Antonio is said to be the oldest continually operating dance hall in Texas. Built in 1878, the building still wears its historic character with a tin roof, big dance floor, and a modest stage where musicians from many genres hold court.
Marfa’s artistic draws include Ballroom Marfa, a performance space that’s a creative hub for this West Texas community and its many visitors from around the world. Musical performers are often local, and film and visual art round out the venue’s variety of offerings.
Right in happening downtown Austin, state-of-the-art Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater hosts a steady lineup of both big-name and up-and-coming performers, as well as tapings of the long-running PBS series “Austin City Limits.” Be sure to check out the Willie Nelson statue outside, which naturally was dedicated on April 20 at 4:20 pm, much to the amusement of the iconic crooner who calls the Austin area home. Don’t confuse this excellent venue with the other, equally excellent live-music spots in Austin named Moody: the brand-new Moody Center arena, and the Moody Amphitheater at the newly revamped Waterloo Park.
The Continental Club started in Austin but now has a foothold in Houston as well. Check out this rocking bar in both cities for solid singer-songwriter, blues, funk and rock acts in a hip setting. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely and Eliza Gilkyson are just some of the well-known musicians who have hit the Continental’s stages over the decades. James McMurty, Molly and the Ringwalds, Dale Watson and White Ghost Shivers have all been featured recently as well.
Common Grounds in Waco likes to say it's the city’s premier live-music venue, and it’s easy to see why. The coffeehouse-restaurant keeps a steady drumbeat of up-and-coming acts on stage like Lawrence, Ry & Friends and The Gray Havens.
In college town Denton, Texas, Dan’s Silverleaf opened at its original location in 1994, despite a lack of air conditioning. Its current spot is cooled but continues a funky, beloved and welcoming vibe. Recent music makers at Dan’s Silverleaf include Black Joe Lewis, Shinyribs and the Two-Bit Swing Band.
The Festival Concert Hall in Round Top might be somewhat remote, but it’s counted among the music facilities with the best acoustics in the U.S. The central performance space of the annual Round Top Music Festival and year-round concerts, the hall features Gothic tracery panels, a soaring wood ceiling and natural stone.