Best Blues Club - 2000
The Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club
Readers' Choice: Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club
The blues is not complicated. It does not require a complicated venue to host it. In fact, it thrives in just the opposite: intimate neighborhood bars where the beat of the drummer matches the beat of your heart, each offering something to the other in a sort of telepathy between bandstand and audience. Houston is blessed with many such venues, places like Miss Ann's Play Pen, El Nedo and the Super Star Club. But for atmosphere and a killer schedule of talent, no one tops the Big Easy. Its Kirby winner, between the yuppie playgrounds of the Rice Village and Upper Kirby, belies its gritty ambience. For every corporate executive slumming in a pair of Gap khakis, there are two bikers in leather and chains and maybe even an Urban Animal performing pirouettes on the dance floor on a pair of in-line skates. This is the blues as a tactile experience, perhaps even an act of survival on those nights when the crowd is packed in there like worms in a bait can. The Big Easy books the best local, regional and sometimes national talent and showcases those bands with a minimum of fuss -- and cover charge. The place understands that the blues does not come with a high price tag, although it always exacts a cost from the listener who really pays attention.