By Brian New

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NORTH TEXAS (CBS11) – Picking a favorite spot to watch live music in North Texas is kind of like picking your favorite album.

There’s no wrong answer, just a lot of right ones.

Chris Penn, owner of Good Records and a connoisseur of the live music, said because of the comparisons with Austin (arguably the live music capitol of country), the music scene in DFW is often overlooked and underrated.

“We got a good melting pot of stuff going on here in Dallas. You got rock, country and really strong hip-hop scene,” said Penn.

For our list, we wanted to stick with smaller venues and the best spots to watch the up and coming artists. So to narrow it down, we only choose places with a capacity of less than a 1,000. That eliminated everything from the American Airlines Center, The Bomb Factory, Gas Monkey Live!; along with legendary places like Bass Performance Hall, Billy Bob’s and the Granada Theater.

Here’s what did make the list (in alphabetical order).

1. Adairs (Deep Ellum)
One of the first things you’ll notice when you walk inside is how the walls are covered with graffiti (or “art” as regulars refer to it as.) However, what makes this Deep Ellum dive bar special is its seven-nights-a-week lineup of free country and Texas music performances. Many who perform at Adairs are looking to following in the footsteps of some of those who’ve played on the same stage the past and made it big; including some who have gone on to win Grammy Awards like the Dixie Chicks.

2. Club Dada (Deep Ellum)
Walk inside and one night it could be hip-hop and then the next night it could be bluegrass. Club Dada has the reputation of booking some of the best up and coming bands across all genres with many shows open to music fans of all ages. There’s been several renovations to the brick venue in recent years, including an upgrade of the patio and outdoor stage, however; what’s made Club Dada an institution in Deep Ellum for the past 30 years is its music lineup.

3. Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
Our list would not be complete without a venue from Denton, the live music capitol of North Texas. Dan’s Silver Leaf benefits from being just down the road for national recognized music school at the University of North Texas. Along with artists who are trying to make a name for themselves, due to its reputation many big name artists use this venue to test out new music.

4. Kessler Theater (Oak Cliff)
Not only has the Kessler Theater won multiple awards for the best live music venue in DFW, but it’s colorful history dates back to 1941. The Oak Cliff venue was one of the last art deco movie theaters built before WWII. It was once owned by Gene Autry, survived a tornado hit in 1957, and then survived a fire in 1961 before reopening seven years ago. Since then there has been several Grammy Award winners who have gone out of their way to perform on the historic Dallas stage.

5. Sandage 813 (Dallas)
The best jazz night clubs in North Texas can found in the Exposition Park neighborhood just north of Fair Park. Inside Sandage 813, Grammy Award nominated artists are regulars with the best jazz shows every Tuesday and Thursday nights. The club also hosts R&B and hip-hop artists on weekends.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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