The Society of American Travel Writers has proclaimed Memphis North America's 6th best live music city, just behind a Top 5 of: New Orleans, New York, Austin, Nashville (boo!), and Chicago. Hey, at least Memphis beat out Branson, which mysteriously ended up at #9.
It's unclear from the cited comments on the SATW's web site, however, if many of its voters actually ventured beyond Beale Street in gauging Memphis' live-music offerings:
“Barbecue and blues, blues and barbecue. Memphis is a foot-tapping, sensory delight.” John H. Ostdick, freelance travel writer
“Doesn’t get any better than Memphis, Beale St. and barbecue, wow, what a concerto. Plus the ghost of old Elvis is always hanging around somewhere, munching on a fried banana and peanut butter sandwich and strumming his guitar.” Rich Browne, host, Barbecue America
Also this otherwise meaningless list is a good excuse to post a favorite bit of live Memphis music video, from a recent Gonerfest: