149 Bleecker St
New York, 10012
Hours: Showtimes 7p & 10p, Open late
Subway: A,C,E,B,D,F,M to West 4th St
Written by: Rachel Antonio
If blues is your preference, then Terra Blues is your place. Often touted as the place to go for an authentic, blues experience, Terra Blues is an old-fashioned saloon for modern-day times.
The great blues players who have played here: Little Milton, Edgar Winter, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Kenny Neal, James Armstrong and The Holmes Brothers, are a few of the many national acts that appear year-round at Terra Blues. Local blues musicians like Clarence Spady and Junior Mack are honored with weekly residencies and render equally satisfying shows.
Perched on a second floor above Bleecker St. in the heart of Greenwich Village, Terra Blues seems to call out to pedestrians below. On warm nights, music spills out onto the street through large, open windows draped with lush, reddish curtains. Its dim lighting and laid-back rhythms generate an open and inviting atmosphere. Votive candles dot the internal landscape, quietly illuminating the wood-work and framed photos discreetly recount the venue’s impressive history.
It is the mission statement however that defines the venue more than its ambiance and decor: Terra Blues runs on “booze and blues.” The music club’s bartender, Gabriel Aldort, will attest that this motto has endured for over two decades. The saloon features a full bar and consistently delivers quality shows daily. For over fifteen years, its gothic arch ceiling—complete with gargoyles, it’s an interesting visual tangent—has carried the best blues sounds in NYC to date.
The summer of 2010 marked Terra Blues’ 20th anniversary. Michael Powers has been playing there since its opening. On Monday evenings, Powers and his band take the stage. When asked what one of his performances is like, he comments: “…[It] runs on spontaneity…It runs on ’60s influence. It runs on what we like.” The same could be said of Terra Blues.