My favorite place to hear live music is for sale. After running the club since 1998, the current management has decided to move on and no acts have been booked after the end of May.
I am talking about The Bamboo Room in Lake Worth, Florida.
You enter The Bamboo Room through the doors on street level. There, you give your ticket and proceed upstairs to the actual club. The room you enter is near original from when the building was constructed in the 1920s. Wooden floor, bamboo rods serving as paneling, exposed roof beams, wooden ceiling fans, and dim lighting. It’s all seating; you only stand if you arrive too late to get a seat. Tables and wicker chairs close to the stage, high tables at the back, bar stools by the bar. A waitress takes your order. The cocktail recipes date back to the Prohibition Era.
According to the stories, the club room that is The Bamboo Room has Speak Easy roots. And it’s easy to imagine such a history when you venture up that winding, badly lit flight of stairs. Whenever I enter The Bamboo Room, I almost expect to be asked for a password I don’t have.
At The Bamboo Room I have seen some amazing live acts.
I’ve seen Shemekia Copeland. Copeland’s voice is out of this world. She stepped down from the stage and walked around the room, singing without a microphone, and could be heard perfectly from every corner.
I’ve seen Janiva Magness. A late-comer to the blues, but what a power house she is!
I’ve seen JJ Grey. Performing without his back-up band Mofro, JJ Grey treated us to an intimate acoustic performance, fueled by cocktails on the house.
I’ve seen Eddie Shaw. Blues legend who played with Ike and Tina and who was one of the pallbearers at Howlin’ Wolf’s funeral.
I’ve seen Tim Reynolds of Dave Matthews Band fame.
I’ve seen Big Bill Morganfield, son of legendary blues man Muddy Waters, who is striking out on his own.
The Bamboo Room is an intimate club serving up some of the best drinks and some of the best music on offer. When you’re there, you feel the wings of history brush against your cheek.
One day, I will write a story that takes place at The Bamboo Room. It will feature ghosts of Lake Worth’s past.
Visit The Bamboo Room’s website here.
In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.