Best Blues Club - 2012
You know it's legit when the smell of smoky brisket clings to your hair and clothes for days. Such is the case with Bayport BBQ, the intimate barbecue and blues joint just down the St. Croix River from Stillwater that also happens to snag some of the best burgeoning blues musicians to come through town. The ambiance, fixings, and live performance schedule all come courtesy of Deep Blues Festival booker Chris Johnson, who opened the restaurant and venue with his wife, Kristen, in late 2010. The arrangement of the small space gives patrons the chance to sit just a few feet away from musicians like James Leg, Jay Lang, and Alvin Young Hart while they wail and moan, not to mention local musicians ranging from Charlie Parr to the Roe Family Singers. And the Deep Blues Fest, which will be held in Bayport for the first time this summer after a few years on Minneapolis's West Bank, should further cement this cozy locale's status as a staple in the metro music scene.