Best Blues Club - 2002
Miss Ann's Playpen
For years, Dowling Street was Houston's home of the blues. Lightnin' Hopkins and company plied their trade at any number of bars along the strip, which was once the main artery of black Houston south of Buffalo Bayou. But by the '70s, Dowling was in the doldrums. Several years ago, Miss Ann's proprietor Bobby Lewis set out to change all that. Now Miss Ann's Playpen has brought the blues back to where it's always been, and Lewis sees to it that it is presented the way it should be. The Blue Monday jams have already become a fixture on the city's music map, and the star-studded affairs have been known to feature everyone from up-and-coming acts to legends like Joe Hughes, Sherman Robertson and I.J. Gosey. Lewis keeps the sound level low enough to allow conversation and occasional audience participation, the beer is cold and cheap, and the soul food buffet offers up comfort food de luxe. Hey, hey, the blues are back on Dowling Street, and it's all right!