10 Places to Catch Live Country Music in Austin, TX
With over 250 live music locations, Austin has made its mark as the world’s live music capital. Around town, musicians play music almost everywhere; from the airport to clubs, bars, concert halls, and festivals among others.
In Austin, visitors can catch live performances of pop country music as well as classic country music sub-categories such as honky-tonk, western swing, rockabilly, and outlaw.
Here are 10 places for residents and visitors to enjoy an evening out with some live country music.
Live Music Venues
1. The Continental Club
1315 South Congress Avenue
The club calls itself the grandfather of live music venues in Austin. Thankfully, this is not a far-stretched claim. Since 1955, the club has hosted several stars including Doug Sahm, Wanda Jackson, and Joe Ely. The Continental Club won the Ameripolitan venue award in 2015-17 and is on the RollingStone’s ranking of best clubs in America.
Country music stars who regularly perform here include:
- John Dee Graham
- Mike Stinson
- Alvin Crow
- Dale Watson
- The Sea Monks
- Whitney Rose
Performances include both paid and free shows. A complete music calendar with ticket and pricing details is available on the club’s website and do512.
In addition to that, the Continental Club;
- Has a full bar
- Has street parking
- Has bike parking
- Is 21+ age limit
- Accepts credit cards
- Is non-smoking (smokers can use the patio)
- Is dance-friendly
The Continental Club is open from 4 pm to 2 am every Monday to Friday and 3 am to 2 am every Saturday and Sunday.
2. The White Horse
500 Comal Street
Source: The Governors
This is one of the best honky-tonk dance bars for country music lovers. Perhaps the best way to experience White Horse is on the often crowded dance floor. Those who do not know how to dance need not worry. White Horse in partnership with groups such as Dancin’ Austin and Honky Tonk Inc offers free dance lessons every Wednesday to Saturday at 7 pm.
White Horse hosts live music shows every night with acts such as;
- Crow and the Boys
- The Saddle Sores band
- David Touchton
- Jonathan Terrell
- Armadillo Road Band
- The Golden Roses Band
Nightly music show details are available on the White Horse website as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and do512.
Apart from the booze, revelers can also enjoy some delicious food options from the Bomb Tacos truck. The food menu includes;
- Sandwiches and burgers
- Mexican hot dog
The food truck is open every day from 5 pm to 1:30 am, and all bitings go for between 3$ and $9.
It is also worth noting that the White Horse;
. Is Wheelchair Accessible
. Street parking, bike parking, and private parking
. Has 2 pool tables
. Features whiskey-on-tap
. Limited smoking area and an outdoor patio
. Allows friendly dogs on the patio
. Has a photo booth
. Is a 21+ venue
. Happy hour from 3 pm to 8 pm every Monday to Friday.
. Combination of free and paid shows.
This location is open every day from 3 pm to 2 am.
3. Broken Spoke
3201 S.Lamar Blvd
James and Annetta White established this honky tonk in 1964 and nothing has changed since then. In the process, it has become world-renowned for its Texas cooking, dancehall, and live country music shows.
Over the years, Broken Spoke has treated visitors and locals alike to famous country music stars such as; Dolly Parton, Bob Wills, Dixie Chicks, Ernest Tubb, George Strait and recently, Garth Brooks. The honky-tonk has even appeared in Wild Texas Nights and the Friday Night Show.
The restaurant opens at 11 am to 10:30 pm from Tuesdays to Thursdays and 11 am to 11:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The menu features both Texan and Mexican cuisine including;
- Burgers and sandwiches
The famous old dancehall opens at 7:30 pm every Tuesday to Saturday. Terry White offers dance lessons from 8 pm to 9 pm every Wednesday to Saturday. Live shows begin immediately after the dance lessons. Regular performers include;
- Jason Roberts
- Dale Watson
- Two Tons of Steel
- Ben Rodgers
- Melancholy Ramblers
A calendar of the nightly country music shows is available on the Broken Spoke website. There is no cover fee on the shows. However, Broken Spoke encourages visitors to tip bands
Every Tuesday is a Two-Step Tuesday with Weldon Henson from 8:15 pm. The cover fee is $6.
Additionally, Broken Spoke;
- Takes reservations
- Accepts credit cards
- Has street, bike, and private parking
- Is wheelchair accessible
- Has a full bar
- Has an outdoor area and patio
- Free Wi-Fi and TV
- Is dog-friendly
Broken Spoke closes at 11:30 pm on Tuesdays, 12 am on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
4. The Little Longhorn Saloon
5434 Burnet Road
Formerly known as Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon, this small dive bar is over forty years old. Over its lifetime, it has managed to build a name for itself as an authentic Texas saloon.
Little Longhorn’s honky-tonk gospel, as it is popularly known, has included some of Austin country music favorites including;
- Alvin Crow
- The Derailers
- Dallas Moore
- Two Hoots and a Holler
- Weldon Henson
- Dale Watson
In total, at least 10 bands perform every week with at least 600 bands playing live music annually. Music includes pop country as well as sub-categories such as rockabilly.
The bar also features live performances during happy hour which is six days a week. Happy hour is a perfect time to catch some live country music between 6 pm and 8 pm right after work. Those with a valid I.D. and are 21+ can also benefit from the great deals during happy hour. However, the bar only stocks beer and wine.
Every Sunday from 4 pm to 8 pm Little Longhorn hosts the Chicken Shit Bingo game, a 25-year long tradition. Tickets for this unique bingo game for $2, Adults as well as children can watch and participate. In fact, children are always welcome to Little Longhorn.
Other than that, Little Longhorn features;
- An outdoor seating area
- Private parking
- Bike parking
- A dance floor
5. Threadgill’s Old No. 1
6416 North Lamar
This Southern-style restaurant owes its name to Kenneth Threadgill, an avid fan of country music. Opened on New Year’s Eve 1981.
Threadgill’s has a special for every single day of the week as well as for holidays. For example;
Sundays – Slow Cooked Pot Roast over mashed potatoes
Monday – Chicken Enchiladas
Tuesday – Spinach & Eggplant Lasagna
Wednesday – Smoked Chicken with BBQ sauce and vegetables
Thursdays – Chicken and Dumplings with a dinner salad (with a free second helping)
Fridays – King Ranch Chicken with chipotle cream sauce and vegetables.
Guests can catch a free live country music performance on Wednesday (7 pm to 9 pm) and paid performances on Friday and Saturday evenings (8 pm to 10 pm). Some country music stars to expect include;
- James Hand
- Randy Collier & Grassland
- Jim Lauderdale
- Steve Griggs
However, Threadgill’s also feature’s musicians from other genres of music. A full monthly calendar of scheduled performances is available on Threadgill’s website.
This live music location also features;
- A full bar
- Free Wi-Fi
- Waiter service
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Private lot and bike parking
6. The Saxon Pub
1320 S. Lamar Blvd
Having opened its doors in 1990, The Saxon Pub is just nearing its thirtieth year. The pub has already hosted over 22,000 live music performances including Kris Kristofferson. It is also a favorite spot with celebrities. It is not uncommon to meet a film or music celebrity at the Saxon.
There are live music performances every night of the week at the Saxon Pub. Every night show has a cover charge. However, from Monday to Friday, The Saxon treats guests to a free live performance from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Not every day is a live country music performance, but the joint frequently hosts country musicians such as;
. Hayes Carll
. The Wagoneers
. James Steinle
. David Grissom
. John Dee Graham
. Walt Wilkins
Those wishing to catch live country music should check the website to confirm oncoming shows and artists.
Aside from that, The Saxon Pub;
- Happy hour every day until 7 pm
- Wheelchair accessible
- Outdoor patio which is also a smoking area
- Two big screens and 3 small screens
- Hosts the Mama Mal food and snack truck
- Has a private lot and bike parking
This live music location opens from 2 pm to 2 am every day.
7. Donn’s Depot
1600 West 5th Avenue St.
This iconic bar started out as McNeil Depot in 1972. In 1978, Donn Adelman bought the bar and renamed it Donn’s Depot. The bar is in an old Missouri-Pacific train depot. The seating areas are real train cars while the ladies’ restroom is an actual caboose.
Guests can enjoy live music performances at Donn’s Depot for six nights (Monday to Saturday) every week. Performances often include country music, swing, and folk among others. Some of the country music acts who grace the stage here include;
- Frank Cavitt and the Honky Tonk Doctors (Wednesdays)
- Gage Band
- Danny Britt and the Red Dawg Band
- Donn Adelman and The Station Masters
The live performance calendar is available on the joint’s website.
In addition to that, Donn’s Depot
Has a bar featuring beers, wines and house specials like the “Loose Caboose” and the “Great Train Wreck.”
- Two dance floors
- Recreational blackjack table
- Is 21+ age limit
- Features free Wi-Fi
- A private parking lot for cars and bike parking
- Has outdoor seating
- Happy Hour (2 pm to 8 pm)
Donn’s Depot is open every Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 2 am and from 6 pm to 2 am on Saturdays. Donn’s welcomes everyone, from students to retirees.
8. Giddy Ups
12010 Manchaca Road
It describes itself as the biggest small stage in the South of Austin. Traditional country music lovers will particularly like Giddy Ups. On Mondays and Saturdays, guests can listen to love country music from stars like;
- Bob Appel
- Tommy Moore
- Sam Bentley Band
- Pearl Snaps
Guests also get to enjoy
- Full bar with a mesquite bar top and mesquite tables
- Game room on the patio that has heating and air conditioning
- An outside seating area
- Happy Hour from Monday to Friday (4 pm to 6 pm)
- Shuffleboard tournament every Tuesday from 6:30 pm and Saturday from 4 pm
- Open mix Thursdays with Shannon Lee Nelson, a classic country music star, as the host
Giddy Ups is open every day from 12 pm to 2 am and has a private parking lot, free Wi-Fi and bike parking. One thing is for sure though; this one is an authentic Texas Honky Tonk.
9. The Cactus Bar and Cafe
2247 Guadalupe St.
The Cactus Bar & Cafe is one of the best places to catch some love country music in Austin. The bar located within the University of Texas campus in the Texas Union Building. Since it opened its doors in 1979, it has launched and hosted some of the biggest country music stars including;
- Lyle Lovett
- Robert Earl Keen
- Lucinda Williams
- Dixie Chicks
- Jimmie Dale Gilmore
- Iris DeMent
- Patty Griffin
Lives hows often start at 8:30 pm with doors opening half an hour earlier. Cactus sells tickets on a first come, first served basis. There are also some free shows. An events calendar is available on the clubs website.
A social hour between 4 pm and 7 pm every Monday to Friday makes it a great place to mingle with younger folk. The club also has a full bar, street parking, bike parking and wheelchair accessibility. Unfortunately, there is no happy hour here.
Cactus Cafe and Bar is open 1 am to Midnight from Monday to Friday but closes between 7 pm and 8 pm for sound check. On Saturdays, it opens from 8 pm to 12 am.
10. Patsy’s Cowgirl Cafe
5001 E. Ben White Blvd.
This colorful honky tonk opens every Monday to Saturday at 11 am. It closes at 9 pm every other day except Friday and Saturday. Patsy’s Cowgirl Cafe is a well-known location for some live country music and even some bluegrass. Both local bands and bands from neighboring counties perform.
Guests also get to enjoy some home-style delights including the Cowgirl Queso, Cowgirl Fish Tacos, and many other American favorites.
Patsy’s Cafe is perfect for those who want to enjoy dinner and good music without having to stay too late. Guests can also expect;
- Free Wi-Fi
- A full bar
- Outdoor seating
- Private lot parking and bike parking
In these 10 places listed above anyone, from locals to visitors, can enjoy some live country music, the Austin Texas way.