A lot of great music venues in Seattle have closed or been “upgraded” in recent years. The era that saw Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and many other great rock bands make Seattle the heart of grunge rock and a cradle of great musicians is long over. With gentrification and skyrocketing real estate prices, the well has run dry. There are some promising young local blues artists: Stacy Jones and Ayron Jones come to mind. But now one more sacred institution is at a crossroad: The Highway 99 Blues Club, well, won’t be the Highway 99 anymore, if it doesn’t close it’s doors permanently.
Along with the Jazz Alley, the Highway 99 has kept the blues alive in Seattle, and this would be a heavy loss. There’s still the Jazzbone in Tacoma, but the Highway 99 is dedicated exclusively to the blues, bringing local and national artists every weekend. Maybe they’ll keep it alive under some other label. Rent in the south end is at least reasonable. If they don’t, this would be a huge loss.