BEST COUNTRY MUSIC VENUE Minneapolis 2010 - Lee's Liquor Lounge
Sure, most of the big-name country acts end up 45 minutes north of the Twin Cities at some gaudy casino. But unlike those Top 40 hacks, most of the singers who perform on Lee's stage came by their twang (and their hard-luck stories) authentically—no corporate-manufactured country music here, folks. Lee's has been a Minneapolis mainstay for decades, with the decor to match: neon beer signs, cheap pressboard tables, a long bar—even a stuffed cougar hung on the wall to keep all the real live cougars company. The stage attracts every local band of a country or Americana bent. Al's Rockabilly Quartet, Davina and the Vagabonds, and Trailer Trash play regularly, with frequent appearances by Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles and A Night in a Box. But it's also the go-to venue for national masters like Western swing revivalist Wayne Hancock and punk-country stomp artist Joe Buck. So when you're feeling a little south of the Mason-Dixon, don't move away. Just check out Lee's concert calendar.