With its down-home blue collar demographic and a booming agricultural industry through the Fraser Valley, it's no wonder that Vancouver has an established Country Music scene and the population to nurture and appreciate it. The genre has an eternally-popular radio station, JRfm 93.7. Surprisingly, Stetsons and slide-guitars feature at only a handful of watering holes on the Lower Mainland, but those few sure give Nashville's finest a run for their money -- which may be why so much southern talent makes its way north to throw boot-stompin' good times at some of Vancouver's biggest venues. But if you're looking to hang your hat, take off your stirrups and crack a cold one, we do have a few places you might want to mosey on down to. C'mon, partner...
THE ESSENTIAL VENUES
3227 264th Street, Vancouver (Aldergrove), BC, V4W 3E9
tel: (604) 856-9004
Mustang's live music every weekend and line-dancing and two-step every Thursday qualifies it as one of Vancouver's hotspots for Country Music nightlife. Every night promises fantastic food and drink specials. Whether you're coming down for some piped-in Toby Keith, some live local talent, or just to quench your thirst and devour some buffalo wings, it's worth the short drive from the city-centre! Open until 2am on weekends.
#4 - 19040 Lougheed Highway, Vancouver (Pitt Meadows), BC V3Y 2N6
tel: (604) 465-5552
They have a mechanical bull. Need we say more? Additionally, Roosters showcases some of BC's best live Country acts, featuring a large dance floor for any guys and gals fixin' to dance the night away. The energy is high, the drink specials are amazing, the staff exceptionally vivacious... and the doors are open, 7pm, Wednesday to Sunday although weekends are the busiest. When you're looking for a memorable night out, you won't be disappointed here. YEEEEHAW!
20297 Fraser Highway, Vancouver (Langley), BC, V3A 8B3
tel: (604) 533-3111
Every night except Sunday and Monday, Gabby's hosts 5 to 6-piece bands that roll on stage at 8pm and don't wrap up until 2 in the morning. The roster might change weekly, but the lively crowds and the nightly shindigs are a constant. If you don't have fun here, chances are you won't have fun anywhere. Bring your dancin' boots.
Boone County Cabaret
801 Brunette Ave., Vancouver (Coquitlam), BC
tel: (604) 525-3144
Three hundred plus people pack into Boone's every weekend night to experience the fun and excitement of BC's #1 Country bar. The acts that play at this Triple-A establishment are truly hard to follow -- most use this venue as the springboard to major record deals. If you're less into spotting Nashville's next sensation and more into making your dance-moves as polished as your boots, come down on a Wednesday or Thursday for some line-dancing and two-step lessons. This is truly where 'big city' meets 'big country'.
Vancouver enjoys a mixture of local and imported talent in its Country Music line-up. Here are some of both...
The Joe Fernandes Experience
Smith & Jones
The Brent Lee Band