3101 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040534.017983 -118.472200
Neighborhoods: West LA
Great shows – Great, cozy place to see a show. Great sound system. Good crowd, interesting and talented musicians.
Banjos, Guitars, Ukes and a strumming staff – Whether its group uke classes or concerts with headliners, McCabes packs in a loyal clientele of singers, pickers, and musicians-in-progress. Every ince of the walls support stringed instruments of all kinds -- especially accoustic. The staff is knowledgable, and happy to help you make a decision. And the group lessons are a bargain, with the first lesson free!
Fans of acoustic music will get a charge out of this venerable folk venue and music store. – The Scene
Now famous as a no-frills folk music venue, McCabe's began as a music store in 1958. Occupying an unassuming storefront in Santa Monica, the stained glass sign and guitar neck handle on the front door speak volumes about the homey feel inside. The friendly and informative staff encourages budding musicians and professionals alike to browse and sample the wide selection of musical instruments and recordings.
The secret to McCabe's success lies in its devotion to acoustic music. Among the wares are such familiar instruments as guitars, banjos, mandolins and fiddles, plus lesser-known items like dulcimers, psalteries, ethnic strings, ethnic percussion and much more. The store also features a fair selection of electric instruments and amps. McCabe's offers lessons, repairs and a wide array of instruction books for the DIY musician.
Great Acoustic Music Sets – McCabe's has its pluses and minuses. On the one hand, it's a great place to see live music in L.A. Musicians love to play here because the space is intimate and the crowds are fun. It's not unusual to see people singing and dancing along from the get go -- something that rarely happens elsewhere in L.A. Also, there's a music store attached, so audience members can pick up guitar strings or whatever else they may need. On the downside, there's no alcohol served here, so people who are used to enjoying live music with a drink in their hand might be caught a little bit off guard. Also, the neighborhood is pretty barren so far as other places to eat/drink/get a coffee go. Take the good with the bad and it's still pretty good. Check out Dan Bern or Martin Simpson -- both great performers and both McCabes semi-regulars.
It's all about the banjo ... – ... but this review isn't. McCabes does carry a fine selection of banjos -- Gibsons, Deering, Stelling, resonator and open-backed, new and used. But they also stock many (more) guitars, electric and accoustic, fiddles, mandolins, ukeleles, kettle drums, even bones. There's usually a pot of coffee brewing. The staff is knowledgeable, attentive (but not overly), funny, and talented. They'll pick out a song for you if you like. There are lots of lessons. McCabe's also serves as an intimate showcase for some of the finest accoustic touring acts in the land. Some terrific kid shows, too.
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