When you are on your own, whether in your home town or away, there are some bars that feel comfortable for the solo traveler and some that don't. The Rex in Toronto is the perfect place for solo travelers.
The room is just a lot of communal tables and a bar with the stage in the corner for the band. It's ideal for meeting people and watching the music. There's almost always a band playing On the Saturday afternoon I went, I joined a couple of elderly ladies at a table and had a great time.
If you're a bit nervous, read the post Clubbing and Pubbing Solo.
A few of my Blues Bar recommendations
On my trip down the Blues Highway I saw a number of great bands. Some of my favorites places were Kingston Mines in Chicago, 930 Blues Café in Jackson, Mississippi and Jimbeaux’s on Frenchman's Street in New Orleans. This clip is with the incomparable Jackie Bell who I saw at 930 Blue. Unfortunately, the sound quality isn't great but you do get a feel for the place.
Blues Bar Recommendations from Members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook
Because I've only been to so many Blues Bars, I asked members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook to help out. Here are their recommendations.
Shelley – The Reservoir Lounge – hands down – in downtown Toronto. Live band and it often has a following of swing dancers there too.
Scott – The bar downstairs at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai. Don't even know if still exists, I was there in '85 (!) A Chinese jazz band playing all the standards . . . quite an eye-opener after several months exploring Xingiang, Tibet and the Silk Road. (I couldn't resist adding this even if it might not be there. – janice)
Diane – 606 Jazz Club, Chelsea, London.
Bev – The Saxaphone Club in Bangkok, spent a brilliant night in there some years ago. The local band played some fantastic covers and it all went on till about 6am.
Ewa – There was a hell of an event in Tokyo. The Japanese are crazy about jazz. (I didn't know that but I Gooogled it and found many festivals. Maybe people can help by adding their favorites in the comments.)
Waymon – Here's a list of places that I enjoy visiting….
Ground Zero Blues Club – Clarksdale, MS
Shack Up Inn – Clarksdale, MS
HR-57 – Washington, DC
…Madam's Organ Blues Bar – Washington, DC
Blues Alley – Washington, DC
Blind Willie’s – Atlanta, GA
Beach Shack Blues Bar – Cocoa Beach, FL
Lou's Blues Upstairs – Indialantic, FL
Skipper's Smoke House – Tampa, FL
Double Door Inn – Charlotte, NC
BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups – St. Louis, MO
Bangkok Blues – Falls Church, VA
Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
Biscuits and Blues – San Francisco, CA
Tabby’s Blues Box Heritage Hall – Baton Rouge, LA
Antones – Austin, TX
The Continental Club – Austin, TX
J & J Blues Bar – Fort Worth, TXSee More
Marsha – Second Waymon on Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco!