SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
July 20, 2018

What to eat and drink at Guitars in Bars

You can't survive on guitars alone.

  1. 1
  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Main image: supplied by NOLA

Guitars in Bars is hitting up a tonne of great venues throughout the city, and because you can’t properly enjoy live music on an empty stomach – or with an empty glass – we’ve rounded up the gigs happening in some of our favourite food and beverage venues.


Guitars in Bars is happening right across the city now through to 29 July. For the full program, see the website.

Read on for good food, music, and booze.

Mississippi Juke Joint Blues at NOLA

Every Friday night throughout July, as part of the Guitar Festival’s Guitars in Bars program, NOLA will be turning up its Mississippi Delta vibes, inviting Cal Williams Jr and Lightnin’ Will on stage to set the tone.

If ever you were wanting to pair blues with food and booze, then the NOLA kitchen can provide. CityMag suggests NOLA’s fried chicken for pairing with Cal’s blues; and to accompany the Lightnin’ Will, order the Hurricane – spiced rum, passionfruit, citrus and pomegranate – because if you’re going to take a trip to New Orleans, you’ve got to dabble in the French quarter.

Mississippi Juke Joint Blues kicks off at NOLA every Friday night in July from 8pm. The venue is also hosting Cold Night Hot Blues on 21 July from 8pm, and Mr Alford on Thursday, 26 July from 7pm.

NOLA’s fried chicken.

MV Jazz at Mother Vine

Jazz is inherently warming. Whether you’re crammed amongst “scores of men and women stood against the wall drinking wine-spodiodi and spitting at the stars,” while a “behatted tenorman [blows] at the peak of a wonderfully satisfactory free idea, a rising and falling riff that went from ‘EE-yah!’ to a crazier ‘EE-de-lee-yah’ and blasted along to the rolling crash, rattle-ti-boom, crash,” as per Kerouac’s experiences while On The Road; or seated quietly while a Nina Simone-type croons smoothly in your direction, these are sounds that will fill you.

There’s not a lot you can put in a glass that’ll compete with that, but if you’re going to find it anywhere, you’ll find it on the list at Mother Vine. CityMag is a firm believer that the best accompaniment is a Negroni or an old fashioned – both available at the MV bar – but it’s cold outside, and you’re after just a half a drink more, so bring your significant other, cosy up, and sidle yourselves next to a bottle of Gentlefolk shiraz.

MV Jazz is happening at Mother Vine on Sunday, 22 July from 4pm.

Tom West at Mississippi Moon

With bare vocals laying atop the at times luscious and at times austere bedding of strummed strings and holy reverberation, the music of Tom West is modern folk at its pinnacle.

There’s not much that’s needed to create such a sound, but crucial is soul. Or spirit. And the same can be said for CityMag’s suggested Mississippi Moon pairing – moonshine (laboured segue, anyone?).

In the current era, moonshine is a spirit that’s not aged long enough to become whisky, but at Mississippi Moon, it’s best described as delicious. One apple pie moonshine, please.

Tom West is performing at Mississippi Moon on Thursday, 26 July from 7pm. Tickets are $15.87 and available here.

Rye July – The Finale at Hains & Co

Hains’ Rye July celebrations are set to culminate in the coalescing of all things Deep South – Cal Williams Jr will keep feet stomping, The Smoking Joint will fill bellies, and the talented ‘tenders behind the bar have a tonne of whisky at-hand. Grab yourself a flaming Sazerac and tune in.

Rye July – The Finale is happening at Hains & Co on Thursday, 26 July from 7pm. Tickets are $15.87 and are available here.

Share —