The Bluebird Cafe
The Bluebird Cafe is one of the world's preeminent listening rooms and the venue has gained worldwide recognition as a songwriter's performance space where the "heroes behind the hits" perform their own songs; songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music.Â Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 90 seat venue is unassuming in appearance but some of the most significant songwriters and artists have performed on this stage. Our reputation as a listening room is based on the acoustic music that is our signature style.Â Our patrons repeatedly tell us that they are captivated by hearing songs performed by the creators themselves.
At The Bluebird, performers include up-and-coming songwriters along with those whose music is regularly on the charts, country music as well as pop, rock and Contemporary Christian hits.Â Kathy Mattea was the first star to be identified with The Bluebird and is still a friend and a regular guest performer today.Â Garth Brooks played on both our Open Mic and Sunday Songwriter's Shows before he was discovered - at The Bluebird - and signed to Capitol Records.
On any given night, artists such as LeAnn Rimes, John Prine, Jojo Herman, (Widespread Panic) and Phil Vassar mingle with writers such as American Idol Song Contest winner Regie Hamm, (The Time of My Life/David Cook),) Billy Kirsch (Holes in the Floor of Heaven/Steve Wariner), Hilary Lindsey (Jesus Take the Wheel/Carrie Underwood) and Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear (Before He Cheats/Carrie Underwood).Â A typical nightly performance consists of three or four songwriters seated in the center of the room, taking turns playing their songs and accompanying each other instrumentally and with harmony vocals.Â It is an experience that few forget, and one that reflects why Nashville is known as Music City.
In 2008, original owner and founder Amy Kurland sold the legendary venue to the Nashville Songwriters Association International, (NSAI) a 40+ year old, not-for-profit organization devoted to the service of songwriters and the craft of songwriting.Â More of a donation than a corporate sale, Kurland saw NSAI's mission to "educate, elevate and celebrate songwriters" as a way to continue the Bluebird's relationship to songwriters and to the community.
On October 10, 2012 The Bluebird Cafe made its primetime debut on the ABC drama Nashville. The Bluebird Cafe is a key factor in the show's plotline which deals with both the music industry in Nashville, the political climate in Nashville and the key players in both these "worlds," which often collide. Nashville the city is also showcased in the beautiful cinematography of the show each week.
Unique experience. It feels like you are sitting at the artists' living room listening to their conversations among friends. Great and real music. From the outside looks like a whole in the wall, but the inside surprises you once the show starts. Food seemed simple and cheap. The high point is the opportunity to be very close to the artist and to witness their real self while singing and having a great time.
Service is good. Food was tasty. Drinks were standard or I was never given a specialty menu. The performance is what really made the experience. There were four singers whom I'd never heard before and they each blew me away in their own way. I recommend you go with a friend who wants to experience new things.
The Bluebird is a phenomenal place to catch live music. It is an intimate listening room, do not talk during the performances or you will be asked to leave. The artists will play on a small stage or in the round. I prefer the shows in the round; this is where 3-5 musicians will take turns playing one of their songs and telling you stories. It is a wonderful experience, but tickets are difficult to buy.
The line for the early (630) show started at 2pm the day I was there. I arrived at 4 and there were 20 people already there. Management let us know that the first 12 would get in, and maybe 6 more after that. Bottom line - don't show up without a reservation or stand in the sun for hours as a consequence.
Food is incredible. Reasonable and the best sandwich you can get in all of boise. If ya want a turkey and cheese go go subway. But if you want a lunch experience head to bluebird. Haven't had a bad meal there ever. Great staff. Grab a mixed drink while you are at it.