In the quiet, shady Oakleigh Garden District of Mobile resides one of the best small music venues in all the South. Callaghan's Irish Social Club (916 Charleston St., Mobile. 251-433-9374, callaghansirishsocialclub.com) was established in the 1940s and today features up-and-coming and established Americana acts and singer-songwriters performing in a tableside environment. Alabama Shakes performed there on their way up, as did many others, so if you want to see the next big act before they graduate to bigger venues, this is the place. Callaghan's is also known for its burgers spiked with a local delicacy, Conecuh sausage.
The revitalized Avondale district east of downtown Birmingham is booming. Avondale Brewing Co. (201 41st St. S., Birmingham. 205-777-5456, avondalebrewing.com) has become a musical hotbed in the city. The brewery has a large courtyard with a permanent stage that plays host to a concert series and festivals throughout the year, including the popular Cask & Drum ($25-$35. caskanddrum.com) each October. Notable acts such as the Drive-By Truckers and local favorites Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires have performed at previous festivals.