Huntsville / Madison Open Mics & Jams

The definitive guide to Open Mics & Jams in Huntsville & Madison, Alabama

We created this guide to help you spend more time enjoying live music and less time looking! You'll find both facts and nuanced information on each local Open Mic and Jam.

First, Definitions...

An Open Mic is where any musician - accomplished or beginner - can step up to a microphone and perform.

An Open Jam is similar to an open mic, except more than one musician can step up at a time and the dynamics of the group-of-the-moment determine what is played.

To be Included in this Guide...

The Open Mic/Open Jam must be at least a monthly event and have a Huntsville or Madison address -or- very close to either.

Rick 'Parker' Dieffenbach
Rick 'Parker' Dieffenbach, Creative Director,
For complaints, suggestions & praise, email

ALL MATERIALS IN THIS GUIDE ARE (c) 2019 except certain photos. Those are copyright by their originators. If you find anything in this guide of concern or if you to want to reproduce it all or in part please contact

Table of Contents



  • Open Mic @ The Bar at 805 hosted by Gus Hergert


  • Open Mic @ Mad Malts hosted by Lowery Riethmaier (every other wed)
  • Open Mic @ SideTracks Music Hall hosted by Greg Staggs (Starting 25 Sep 2019)
  • Musician & Poet Open Mic @ Maggie Meyers Irish Pub hosted by Mike Laws
  • Open Jam @ Graves Grocery hosted by Edgar Acosta
  • Jazz Jam @ Mad Malts Brewing hosted by Josh Couts (every other wed)



  • Open Mic/Jam @ Hobbs Island Music Park & Pit Stop hosted by Patrick Nickel

Sunday Night Blues Jam

Hosted by The Blues Mercenaries (Freddy Faust, James Irvin & Matt Ross)
Sponsored by Lone Goose Saloon

Freddy Faust hosts Sunday Night Blue's Jam with help from friends James Irvin (a very popular area performer) and bassist Matt Ross. Read more about them.

Lead host Freddy Faust strives to make it easy for musicians of all skill levels to enjoy the Sunday Night Blues Jam. He says "We maintain a Blues format so that musicians are able to play together without necessarily knowing the song, but know enough of the structure, to be able to jam. We do make allowances for other genre's of music, but only if it is known by all the musicians playing it, and it's done well."

"The Sunday Night Blues Jam is Huntsville's longest running jam, starting at (the now closed) Kaffeeklatsch bar in the late 80's. For the last 3 years we've been at Lone Goose Saloon. Because of its longevity this jam is a great place to meet and network." - Host Freddy Faust

Freddy's performer tips: "Etiquette is key. Have your instruments tuned up or close so you don't spend someone elses time on stage tuning up. It is not fair to anybody. At a jam, don't hog the show. Let the music breathe. Let everybody have a turn to shine. Don't start soloing over the vocals. Back off if you have nothing to add. If everyone on stage is wailing, wide open... the end result sounds like a car horn. Work together for the music, and the rest will fall into place."

About 'Lone Goose Saloon'

Lone Goose Saloon is part of the Campus 805 entertainment complex off Clinton Avenue. They are a consistent supporter of live music. The patio is large, welcoming and appropriately dimly lit. Inside where bands play is also large with many tables and a huge comfortable bar as the central feature. Good acoustics inside and very unique wall decorations make for a fun evening!


Open Mic

Hosted by Gus Hergert
Sponsored by The Bar at 805
Every Tuesday 7pm - 10pm (View music for next Tuesday)

Gus Hergert hosts the Open Mic at 'The Bar at 805'. He's a singer-songwriter performing classic rock tunes and originals. Catch him every Sunday at Pane é Vino. Various dinner gigs on Thursdays. Weekend gigs with The Smack Dabs, The So and So’s, or The Wet Bandits... FMI and to view his music schedule visit this page.

"Open Mic is all about having fun, no matter the skill level. At The Bar @ 805 we try to make that vibe happen. I’ll set up a little trap kit, bass, acoustic guitar, and a couple mics. Anyone who wants to play can put their name on the list, be it solo acoustic or full band."

"Management at '805 appreciates music and that makes it better for everyone. The atmosphere is laid back and the people are great. It's all about the fun of it" - Gus Hergert

About 'The Bar at 805'

'805 is centrally located in the heart of Campus 805 on Clinton Ave, situated with 4 other local breweries. So it's easy to find. They feature many varieties of craft beer and what is claimed to be the largest wine selection at Campus 805, and that is saying something considering the other venues there.

Leashed dogs are ok.


Open Mic

Sponsored by Mad Malts Brewing
Alternating Wednesdays 6pm-8pm (View music for next Wednesday)

Lowery Riethmaier of Girl, Guy, Guitar hosts the Open Mic at Mad Malts Brewing on alternating Wednesdays. (Check Mad Malts Facebook page for schedule.) Find Girl, Guy, Guitar around town performing americana, country and rock music.

Mad Malts already has a reputation of friendly faces and unique brews. It's large enough to generate 'electricity' yet small enough to feel communal. Open mic host Lowery Riethmaier aims to make it a place where musicians of all levels share music in a supportive environment.

He says "what's especially nice is that you are performing on a stage that is close enough for the audience to stay engaged with you."

"No matter what genre... or if original or cover... we'll go out of our way to create an environment of acceptance and encouragement. It could be your first time on stage or the 20th time... we want to hear your music!" - Open mic host Lowery

Parker's Comments:

This is one of my favorite open mics because of intimacy of the space and the friendliness of the audience! Lowery (and his son Nick who assists with hosting) make you feel right at home. This is generally an older crowd and at least on the night of my last visit tended towards folk and original music. There were several groups of people from Huntsville Traditional Music Association which made for a great listening experience.

I also loved the smoke free atmosphere!

About 'Mad Malts'

Mad Malts is a brewery of fine craft beers, distributing them across Huntsville, Madison, Brownsboro and Athens. They are an excellent supporter of live music and bring in a variety of local acts from acoustic rock to jazz.

There's an overhead balcony with plenty of tables. It's a good place to go with friends. You'll see and hear the music from high above the main floor. It feels like a penthouse. View our article on Mad Malts.

Open Mic

Hosted by Greg Staggs
Once or twice a month on Wednesday as scheduled 7pm-10pm (Check SideTracks Facebook Page for latest)
Gregg Staggs hosts the Open Mic at SideTracks Music Hall. He is a member of the Milltowne Band. Milltowne is an Americana band that acoustically blends the musical genres of folk, bluegrass, gospel, rock, blues, and country. FMI and to view his music schedule visit this page.

"The Open Mic experience is kind of a baby pool or testing lab for some new songs you want to try out or maybe some songs that you just wanna keep polished and ready to go. It’s also great for musicians to experience different open mics, if they’re really interested, because it is quite different from practicing in the comfort of your living room! You start to learn about how your stuff sounds in different rooms and for different crowds. All the variables of a quiet audience versus a loud audience and different PA systems. There is so much to it."

I try to make my open mics at SideTracks Music Hall as simple and gentle and easy as I can for the people who want to get up and sing and play. - Greg Staggs

Parker's Comments:

SideTracks Music Hall is a go-to place for a kinds of live music. They emphasize out of town acts, but do include locals as well.

Host Greg Staggs made my foree into the world of Open Mics easy. He's an easy going guy who is also an accomplished musician in bands like Milltowne. Milltowne is an Americana band blending folk, bluegrass, gospel, rock, blues, and country.

Musician & Poet Open Mic

Hosted by Mike Laws (member, 'War Drum Syndicate')
Every Wednesday 8pm-11pm (View music for next Wednesday)
Mike Laws hosts the Open Mic at Maggie Meyers. He's a 30 year veteran who started in orchestral classical music but now is firmly part of the metal/rock scene. Catch him as lead guitarist in War Drum Syndicate. (Note: as of this writing May 2019 his hand is mending from injury. We wish Mike a speedy recovery!)

Maggie Meyers Irish Pub is home to Mike Law's Musician and Poet Open Mic. Mike is passionate about having the Open Mic experience a positive one for musicians and enjoyable for the audience at Maggie's.

This Open Mic is unique as it encourages both music and poetry reading. "When they start reading their poetry something very cool happens... the entire room goes silent. Everyone stops and listens. It's magic!"

"My goal is to have a balanced open Mic where musicians of all levels can have fun while entertaining Maggie's often energetic audience. The people who regularly frequent Maggie Meyers are always supportive - they know every musician on stage had a first time - and this could be that first time. I want to make it a good one. - Mike Laws

Parker's Comments:

I know exactly what Mike is talking about concerning the supportive crowd at Maggie's - both times I performed there the encouragement was stand-out. It's got a great stage - a dance area - and lots of places to sit and enjoy.

We did a couple of reviews of Maggies. Go here to read them and use the links to go to their Facebook page, etc.

Open Jam

Hosted by Edgar Acosta

Edgar Acosta hosts the Open Jam at Graves Grocery. FMI and to view his music schedule visit this page.

Host Edgar Acosta hopes to grow his 'modified' open jam to draw more musicians from Huntsville as well as other towns - even those from away.

"It's about providing a place for people who love music that is inviting and enjoyable. In fact, we have people coming quite far to play music with us. It's like we're home in a living room jamming with friends."

There are a couple of unique features in Edgar's jam. First, only acoustic instruments are allowed. "This provides the most enjoyable sound and keeps everything balanced", says Edgar. The second is this: even though it's technically a jam, the group will pause to listen to a performer who wants to play a song solo, ala Open Mic.

On the Graves Grocery website they say "In June 2013, our family embarked upon a sweet journey of ministering to our local community. It is our desire to bless you with good food, great fellowship, and bring a sense of community to our little area nestled along the Tennessee River."

Graves Grocery is a country store, deli and restaurant with live music jams.

Jazz Jam

Hosted by Josh Couts
Sponsored by Mad Malts Brewing

Josh Couts hosts the Open Jazz Jam at Mad Malts Brewing. He's an accomplished Jazz Guitarist and can often be found performing at Cyn Shea's Cafe at brunch. FMI and to view his music schedule visit this page.

If you are looking for something different in music jams look no further than Josh Cout's Jazz Jam at Mad Malts Brewing. There's simply not enough Jazz music in Huntsville.

Josh often has his trio form the core of the jam. Players can get in on the fun with a full band. The result can be pure enjoyment.

Bring your instrument of choice and join the Josh Couts Jazz ensemble for some jazzy fun!

Mad Malts Brewing is a strong supporter of live music, and is a nice community meeting place. There's a lot more audience room than the picture above shows, and there is a very large outside patio area.

Oh and did we mention the brews are yummy? Read our full write up to learn more.


Open Mic with Optional 'Backing Band'

Hosted by Freddy Faust and Jefferson Lawler
Thursdays 9:30pm-1:30am 'ish' (View music for today Thursday)
Freddy Faust and Jefferson Lawler host a 'modified' open mic at Voodoo Lounge Bar & Grill.

Although the stage and music listening area in Voodoo Lounge is physically small, it has a large following of regulars, many of which have been coming there years and years. Perhaps this is why performing open mic at Voodoo is so inviting - it's like you were invited over to a party at a friend's house... and you decide to play a few tunes.

There's something special about the way hosts Freddy Faust and Jefferson Lawler run their open mic night...

The open mic performer can have his/her own 'backing band' (consisting of hosts Freddy and Jefferson) follow along - even for original songs!

This can be a lot of fun for both open mic pros and newbees. Of course, if you'd rather play solo, do so.

Parker's Comments:

Voodoo Lounge Bar & Grill has one of the most sustained records of nightly music we have seen over the three years has monitored area music calendars. This is especially notable considering it's not a large venue. The place can be packed especially on Friday and Saturday nights and you'll often see the same faces returning again and again. In a word, 'community'.

Community also spills into Thursday night - I'm returning now to the 'party at a friends house' metaphor: The hand claps are loud and the support for the performer says a lot. Newbee musicians will leave with a high. The legal kind.


Open Mic/Jam @ Hobbs Island Music Park & Pit Stop

Hosted by Patrick Nickel

Patrick Nickel, musician and owner of Hobbs Island Music Park & Pit Stop hosts.

Host and Hobbs Island Music Park & Pit Stop owner Patrick Nickel aims to provide a unique experience for performers and audience. Outside, the family-friendly 'music park' features a raised music stage, some tables, a large mowed audience area and a large fire pit. During cold or bad weather the show must go on, and Patrick brings the open/mic jam inside.

If you are looking for a less crowded venue with a down-home feeling, mixed with local flavor, try Hobbs. It’s close enough to Huntsville for a quick trip, and far enough away to be "country."

"We invite all musicians, singers and songwriters to come for jamming, collaborating and practice for the Pit Stop audience" - Host Patrick Nickels

About 'Hobbs Island Music Park & Pit Stop'

Hobbs Island Music Park & Pit Stop is located about 10 minutes south of Huntsville along the Tennessee River. Sandwiches are made as you wait, and the owners pride themselves in BBQ made fresh on premises. You can have commercial beer or enjoy some local beer on tap. There are two pool tables, darts and some arcade machines for enjoyment. The owner plans to add two more tables. Informal tournaments are held most nights, and you’ll find visitors and locals socializing and having a good time. When the weather is right there is a LARGE raised area in the park for a bonfire. Marshmallows are optional.