Open Mics & Writers Nights in Nashville

Songwriters need a place to start!

Writers nights and open mics are a great place for songwriters to be heard and meet people. It isn’t likely there will be publishers, producers and record labels there – they are bombarded with people trying to get to them so they don’t usually go to open mics looking for new talent. But if you’re good, people will notice and may refer you to people in the industry, plus getting to know other songwriters is the best way to learn about Nashville and what you can do to pursue your songwriting goals.

How and where to play

Here is a list of some well-run, established places for songwriters to play, along with some info about how to get on the line-up. The term “open mic” refers to a show you do not have to audition for and that anyone can play. Some of them require advanced sign-up, but for others you simply show up that night at the sign-up time. The term “writers night” refers to a shows that has a line-up of multiple writers who are scheduled in advance.

When approaching hosts about booking it is important to remember that clubs are in the business of selling food and drinks, and they rely on the performers to draw an audience. Be prepared that you may have to play open mics or just visit the writers nights and get to know some people before you get booked to play.

Bluebird Cafe
open mic and writers night at bluebird cafe songwriting club Nashville tennessee4104 Hillsboro Rd, 37215, 615-383-1461

See the Bluebird page of this website for detailed information about the club.
Monday Open Mic,  6 to 8:45 pm. Sign up is done by phone and begins at 11 am on the Monday you want to play.  The number to call is 615-943-8168. There is no voice mail so you have to keep calling til you get through. If you don’t get through in 30 minutes, the list is probably full and they have stopped taking calls.

Sundays Writers Night, 8 pm  – scheduled by audition only
Tues through Sat Early shows 6 to 8 pm, feature some of the best up-and-coming writers who have played on Sunday nights.
Monday through Saturday Late shows, 9 pm – feature hit writers and established bands.

Blue Bar and Rack Roomwriters nights and open mics at Blur Bar original music club, nashville tn
1911 Broadway 37203, (615) 327-8001

Tuned In Tuesdays with Barbara at Blue Bar, 7 pm – Long-time Nashville host Barbara Cloyd assembles rounds of some of Nashville’s best songwriters and writer/artists.  There is an open mic that starts around 10:15 pm. Be there by 9:00 to sign up. Click here to see the schedule.

Midtown Freakshow, Wednesdays at 7:30 – Terri Jo Box has been hosting great shows at various venues for many years and her current one draws a lively crowd of local regulars.  She knows lots of hit writers and finds the best newcomers. Stop by to inquire about booking with her.

 

Richards cafe, open mic, and writers night in Nashville TennesseeRi’chard’s Cafe
4420 Whites Creek Pike 299-9590

It’s only 12 minutes from downtown, but it’s like a different world at this Louisiana style cafe in the tiny town of White’s Creek just north of Nashville. Richard’s Cafe’ is a popular original music venue featuring the best up-and-coming songwriters and artists. The patrons are a fun upscale family crowd who come to dine, talk, listen and even tip and buy CD’s. Not to mention, feast on the fine Cajun cuisine. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chance to hear owner Richard Trest, a fine songwriter himself.

Wednesday through Friday – 5:30 to 6:30 Open Mic
Wednesday through Saturday 6:30 to 8:30  – songwriter rounds and featured artists
Sunday – 12:30 to 2:30 pm – songwriter rounds and featured artists

For booking inquiries email booking@richardscafe.com.

Commodore Sports Bar at the Holiday Inn, Vanderbiltcommodore 
2613 West End Ave, 615-327-4707 

Sunday, Monday, Wednesdays and Thursdays,  6:00 PM – hosted by Debi Champion  with rounds and featured writers. If you are new to Nashville and want to start meeting people and learning the ropes, this is one of the best places to do that. Debi has hosted nights for many years in Nashville and does a great job of booking hit writers and gathering a regular following of talented writers who are serious about their careers. Be there by 9:00 PM to play at the late-night open mic, which serves as an audition for future bookings. Check out her website for the complete line-up.

Fridays and Saturdays 6:30 PM – hosted by Rick Stewart with rounds and featured writers. Visit Rick at the club on their nights to inquire about booking a night with him. Check online for the schedule.

Douglas Corner 
2106 8th Ave, (615) 298-1688douglas corner nashville tennessee open mics

Open Mic ,Tuesdays 8 pm to close. To play this long-running Open Mic hosted by Rick Campbell writers must call 615-292-2530 between 2:00 and 6:00 PM on the day they want to play. They perform in the order in which the messages are received. Writers play two songs each in rounds of four. Those who show up without calling will play late. The show continues until everyone has played.

Soulshine Pizza
soulshine pizza open mics and writers nights1907 Division St, 37203,  (615) 401-9856

Tuesdays, 6 to 9 pm –  This venue is a big supporter of original music and their Tuesday Songshine Songwriters Night uses an in-the-round format.  Contact Aubrey Wollett about booking, songwriters.soulshinepizza@gmail.com.

Thursdays 6 to 9 pm – held every week, the Southpaw Supper club is a mixture of Americana, Rock, and Blues. Come to the show to ask host Max Leaphart about booking.

The Tin Roofnashville songwriter night at tin roof
1516 Demonbreun, 37203, 615-313-7103

Revival 615, Tuesdays, 7 pm – Hosts Rob Snyder and Channing Wilson give a home to real songs at this popular weekly show. You can see the line-up on their Facebook page.

 

Millenium Maxwell House
2025 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 3722maxwell house writers nights and open mics, nashville tennessee

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7 pm – Host Lee Rasconne has been delighting Nashville for many years with his great line-up of writers and humorous hosting style. Stop by to ask him about booking or click the link for his contact info.

 

bobbys idle hour writers nights and open mics, nashville tennessee

Bobby’s Idle Hour
1028 16th Ave. South Nashville, (615) 726-0446

Thursdays, 7 pm – a classic dive right on Music Row, now non-smoking. The shows have songwriter rounds and a featured  performer each night. The easiest way to book is to drop by on a Thursday and talk to owner/host Lizard Thom Case about a future date. Or you can check the calendar for open slots and email lizardvillemusic@aol.com with the date and time you are interested in.