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Get the Blues

Catch a great blues performance in the East Bay


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Monday nights, the Uptown Nightclub in Oakland hosts a small but lively blues jam with the band NC Connection. Uptown Nightclub, 1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, (510) 451-8100, www.uptownnightclub.com

Fremont’s Mojo Lounge hosts blues bands on the weekend and a jam on Tuesdays. Mojo Lounge, 3714 Peralta Blvd., Fremont, (510) 739-1028, www.themojolounge.net

Thursday Nights, Vallejo’s Chris’ Club features blues bands and a lingerie show (think of Muddy Waters singing “Hoochie Coochie Man,” and the connection should be obvious). Chris’ Club, 656 Benicia Rd., Vallejo, (707) 552-2916, www.chrissclub.com

Another Thursday option is the Pleasanton Hotel, which runs a Patio Blues series, with outdoor barbecue and live blues bands, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. through the end of September. Pleasanton Hotel, 855 Main St., Pleasanton, (925) 846-8106, www.pleasantonhotel.com

Walnut Creek’s Red House hosts a blues jam every Thursday night and Saturday afternoon where players of all ability levels get a chance to hit the stage. Red House Studios 1667 Botelho Dr., Walnut Creek, (925) 938-6900, www.redhouselive.com

The Baltic Square Pub in Point Richmond features local blues artists on many Friday and Saturday nights. Baltic Square Pub, 135 Park Pl., Point Richmond, (510) 237-4782

Eli’s Mile High, a classic East Bay blues venue, has blues every Saturday night.  Eli’s Mile High, 3629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland, (510) 654-4549, www.oaklandmilehigh.com

The Serenader, a tiny club near Lake Merritt, is also a good spot in Oakland to find blues on Saturday nights. Serenader, 504 Lake Park Ave., Oakland, (510) 832-2644

If you head down to Jack London Square’s Everett and Jones on Saturday night, your slab of ribs will come with a side of the blues. Everett and Jones, 126 Broadway, Oakland, (510) 663-2350, www.eandjbbq.com

Another favorite East Bay barbecue place, Bo’s Barbecue in Lafayette, frequently books blues bands. Bo’s Barbecue, 3422 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 283-7133

On Sundays try Zazoo’s Restaurant, just south of Jack London Square, which has blues from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Zazoo’s Restaurant, 15 Embarcadero West, Oakland, (510) 986-5454, www.zazoosrestaurant.com

Petar’s Restaurant and Pub in Lafayette has a Sunday afternoon blues jam, hosted by the Rhythm Doctors, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Petar’s Restaurant and Pub, 32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette, (925) 284-7117, www.petars.com

Armando’s, a cool, if tiny, new live music venue in Martinez, also frequently features blues bands. Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, www.martinezvibes.com/armandos

The summer brings on a multitude of blues festivals, starting June 2-3 with the Black Diamond Blues Festival at Black Diamond and 5th Streets in old town Pittsburg. Saturday, June 2 will be themed “Ladies Sing the Blues” and headlined by Sista Monica. On Sunday, June 3, Johnny Rawls will be the main attraction of “Gentlemen of the Blues.” www.bayareabluessociety.net

The main stage at the Alameda County Fair will feature a celebration of New Orleans blues on July 4 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. www.alamedacountyfair.com

The Hayward Russell City Blues Festival, which celebrates Hayward’s rich blues tradition (Russell City, an unincorporated part of Hayward where the Southland Mall now stands, had several clubs that served as proving grounds for blues artists), takes place the weekend of July 6-8. This year’s festival will highlight Chicago Blues and celebrate the 94th birthday of legendary blues piano player Pinetop Perkins. Hayward City Hall Plaza, 777 B St., Hayward, (510) 836-2227, www.bayareabluessociety.net

Starting July 11, the Bay Area Blues Society will put on a nine-week free concert series, Home Grown Blues, at the corner of 9th and Broadway in Oakland every Wednesday evening through Aug. 29. www.bayareabluessociety.net

The Art and Soul Festival (Sept. 1-3) in Downtown Oakland features an entire stage for blues. Highlights include a day of New Orleans blues on Saturday, Sept. 1, and a day dedicated to the greats of Oakland blues on Monday, Sept. 3. www.artandsouloakland.com

Antioch hosts the alcohol-free, family-oriented Delta Blues Festival on Saturday, Sept. 15. Waldie Plaza, between G and I Streets, Antioch, www.deltabluesfestival.com

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