I have mixed feelings writing this post about “The Gallery” because it has long been my favorite spot in Austin. Over the years, it has grown in popularity, and with a max capacity of about 75 people it can never be too crowded, but it’s nice to have a place that feels like your own. The Gallery serves as a source of amazing live music for locals all week long, and it hits the top of my list as a place to explore.
The Gallery is on South Congress Street above the famous Continental Club. Disguised as an unassuming doorway to the left for the tattoo parlor attached to the Continental Club, it’s easy to pass right by and never know you missed it. The main room just atop of the stairs holds about 75 people. Walls are lined with a collection of work from a local artist that rotates seasonally, giving The Gallery its name. Head up the stairs in the back of the room for a game of ping pong between sets. There’s really nothing else like it.
A little taste of jazz with the talented Mike Flanigan and the B3 Trio. Shot by djlinalovely.
The musicians that perform are on residency, so the schedule remains the same week to week. My favorite nights have always been Wednesdays and Thursdays, bringing a lively crowd together for a mid-week funk/soul breakdown. Longstanding resident Tameca Jones played here for the first few years that I moved to Austin and she quickly became one of my favorite acts. Always playing on a Thursday to an excited crowd for just a $5 cover, Tameca brought soulful covers to melt your heart and make you groove.
With a new lineup of residencies rolling through each year and 7 days of music a week, The Gallery’s music ranges from jazz to soul to funk and blues. Guests appearances from Ephraim Owens (who plays regularly when not on tour) Blues Traveler’s Johnny Popper, Tom Jones, and Jimmy Vaughan just to name a few. The early show starts around 8:30 and is more acoustic and relaxed (generally) while the late show starts around 11:00. It’ll take a while to see every musician, so get started!