Heart Of Live Music Beats At Continental Club Austin On South Congress Avenue

If walls could talk, those of the Continental Club Austin on South Congress Avenue would surely spin tales not only of the many talented musicians who have graced it’s stage, but as witness of Austin’s musical history over the past 65 years.
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Continental Club Austin Is Historic Music Venue

Directly across the street from the iconic “I Love You So Much” mural at Jo’s Coffee shop in the SoCo Shopping District, The Continental Club is as authentic Austin as it gets. Named as one of the best clubs in America by Rolling Stone Magazine, The Continental Club is recognized by the city of Austin as a historic landmark.

Originally founded as an upscale supper club in 1955, The Continental Club has undergone several transformations, including a stint as Austin’s first burlesque club. Current owner Steve Wertheimer took over the club in the early 1980’s. Since then, The Continental Club has hosted a diverse range of musical genres over the decades, from rockabilly, roots rock and blues to Americana and jazz to country and swing music. 

Continental Club Austin Is Open 7 Nights A Week

The Continental Club Austin has live music every night seven days a week. Check out the online calendar to see who is playing. It may be one of the many  local Austin acts who perform regularly like Carolyn Wonderland, Shelley King, or the Peterson Brothers, or national touring bands . Between the music and the 1950’s dive bar inspired decor, you are sure to be served a slice of what makes Austin special.

Here’s an insider’s tip if you are visiting or staying near the South Congress Shopping District – The Continental Club Austin often has no cover music shows in the afternoons and early evenings. Check out one of free music shows from local rocker Eve Monsees if you get a chance!

Countless Careers Launched At Continental Club Austin

The Continental Club Austin has played a significant role in the careers of countless Austin musicians who shape the Austin music scene, but especially those who have gained national and international acclaim. Among these notable musicians are Spoon, Gary Clark Jr., the Black Pumas, and the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Spoon, known for their intricate and evolving indie rock sound, was formed in Austin in 1993. Their music has earned them a Grammy nomination and a solid fan following all over the world.

Known for their electrifying performances and soulful music, The Black Pumas are another Grammy-nominated band with a strong connection to The Continental Club Austin. The Black Pumas performed their first show at C-Boy’s Heart & Soul. A few blocks south of The Continental Club Austin, C-Boys Heart & Soul is also owned by the Continental’s owner Steve Wertheimer. Wertheimer’s support and contributions to the Austin music scene cannot be overestimated.

Born and raised in Austin, rock and blues great Gary Clark Jr. started playing in Austin clubs as a teenager. Before hitting the big time as a Grammy Award winner, Gary Clark Jr. had a weekly gig at the Continental Club Austin. Weekly residencies at The Continental have long nurtured rising talent of Austin’s most talented singer-songwriters. Gary Clark Jr. has specifically acknowledged Steve Wertheimer, owner of The Continental Club, as one of the people who supported him in his early career​.

Stevie Ray Vaughn Among Legendary Performers At Continental Club Austin

Among the most famous musicians who launched careers with the help of The Continental Club in Austin is blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn. In case you don’t know who Stevie Ray Vaughn was, there is a statue of him with a guitar on the Austin hike and bike trail in front of the Long Center. Known for his spellbinding performances and guitar mastery, Vaughan helped to establish Austin’s claim as the live music capital of the world.

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s influence on blues music, especially in the 1980s, reinvigorated the popularity of the genre of blues worldwide. The music of Stevie Ray Vaughn continues to inspire countless musicians to this day and win new fans to the blues. 

At the age of 35 and at the height of his career, Stevie Ray Vaughan tragically passed away in 1990 as the result of a helicopter crash after a festival appearance in Wisconsin. Vaughan’s legacy in Austin is is still felt today. His image can be found all over Austin, including a mural at the back door of The Continental Club.

Continental Club Austin Is Worth The Parking Hassle

The rich history and reputation of The Continental Club in Austin as a premier live music venue have attracted well-known musicians and artists over the years, as well as numerous celebrity sightings. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and Kathy Valentine of the Go Go’s are just some of the famous musicians who have played at The Continental Club Austin. But the audience members can be just as interesting! Sandra Bullock, Johnny Depp and Dennis Quaid have all been spotted at the Continental Club. 

Be aware that most of the parking on South Congress is reverse pull-in to Park ATX City of Austin parking meters and parking can be a challenge to find at busy times of the day. Also the surrounding residential streets require a neighborhood pass to park or you can get a parking ticket. There are a few parking garages in the area, but the rates are quite high. Uber or Lyft would be a dependable way to get to The Continental Club Austin as well as the South Congress Shopping District in general. If you are looking for musical adventures in Austin, be sure to put The Continental Club Austin on your bucket list!