9 best live, local music venues in WV

From bluegrass to rock’n’roll, gospel and country, you can get your fill of real mountain music here in the Mountain State.

Check out these local favorites:

1. 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown

123 Pleasant Street has been the local fixture of this college-town’s trendy music scene for more than 30 years. Every night, the lineup features original live music from a variety of national, regional and local bands. 2 full bars serve up a mix of drinks, with cozier side rooms along the main stage area so you can sit down and enjoy food from the Atomic Grill.

2. The Loud, Huntington

Acts from the folksy Avett Brothers to the alt-metal rockers Tantric have played at The Loud, along with an ever-changing assortment of local and regional artists. Wednesdays through Saturdays, you can catch anything from reggae to rockabilly, and there are even DJ and dance nights sprinkled through the schedule.

The bar is a few blocks back from the downtown scene, making it a laid-back local favorite, with plenty of room to stand front-and-center on the floor or lounge a little further from the sound in back-of-the-room booths. On warmer nights, have a sip at the patio bar, under the quirky murals.

3. The Grove, Fayetteville

What’s the best end to a day outdoors in the New River Gorge? Live music in the heart of downtown Fayetteville. The eclectic taproom, lounge, art space and live music venue is a favorite of locals and tourists alike!

4. Purple Fiddle, Thomas

The Purple Fiddle has a reputation that stretches far beyond Tucker County. As a stop along the Mountain Music Trail, the Purple Fiddle is an off-the-beaten path gem of small-town nightlife, dutifully rounding up a diverse lineup of music every single day— sometimes with sets starting at lunchtime and stretching into late night.

You can usually hear some old-time, bluegrass and traditional bands, but don’t be surprised to find rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, funk, reggae, old-country, blues, Celtic, folk and even Latin bands on their stage.

The Purple Fiddle is a family friendly, non-smoking venue (but they do have a great beer selection!)

5. Empty Glass, Charleston

The Empty Glass is your place to find live music 7 nights a week in Charleston. It’s the quintessential modern ‘dive,’— no-frills, but on purpose, in that “we don’t have to try too hard” kind of way. The small space, a coating of band stickers and posters on every surface, and some seriously spicy “zombie” wings round out the scene.

On weeknights, you can catch the city’s longest-running open mic, local singer-songwriter showcases and great touring bands. Friday and Saturday, an eclectic mix of local and touring bands take the stage against the iconic mosaic glass backdrop.

Sunday nights, however, are the city’s best-kept secret. The Post-Mountain Stage Jam gives the audience a chance to catch an encore performance from that evening’s Mountain Stage acts.

6. Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg

One of only 4 Carnegie Halls in the world, the Georgian Revival building brings in world-class dance troupes, bluegrass, world and classical music, on top of a lineup of local performers.

The family-friendly venue is the central hartbeat to the creative culture of Lewisburg, one of West Virginia’s prestigious certified arts towns. The Annual Lewisburg Music Festival, an all-day summer celebration of Mountain State music, and other community events keep this ol’ building alive with fresh talent year-round.

7. Pocahontas County Opera House, Marlinton

Part of the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail, this charming Opera House is home to traditional old-time music and bluegrass. It has a regal beauty, but an informal style.

With stunning acoustics and a small, intimate space, there’s no bad seat in the house. Take a seat atop the wrap-around balcony for a wonderful view of the family-friendly acts, or get into the fun with square dancing nights, summer music workshops and a yearly Opry Night.

8. O’Hurley’s General Store, Shepherdstown

Stepping into O’Hurley’s on the edge of Shepherdstown is like going back in time, so you can count on truly traditional old-time sounds at the heritage music jam session every Thursday.

The great hall in the back of the store is filled with singing voices, beautiful dulcimer music and lively dancing. While in the shop, check out the collection of hardware, houseware, and local products.

9. Mountain Stage, Charleston

The mother of all live venues in West Virginia, Mountain Stage has been broadcasting authentic mountain sound out to the wide world for the past 30 years. The live audience recordings are usually at the Culture Center in Charleston on Sunday nights, but they can be heard on more than 150 radio stations around the world.

Mountain Stage features performances from seasoned legends and emerging stars in genres ranging from folk, blues, and country; to indie rock, synth pop, world music, alternative, and beyond.

Where in WV do you enjoy live music?

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This post was last updated on October 25, 2021