Chris Blair

Chris Blair is the Owner and Founder of one of the most renowned music venues, The Listening Room Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee, and can be best described as an innovator, a philanthropist, and a music lover. A successful entrepreneur, Blair sits on the board of the Nashville MS Society, Entrepreneur Organization, and is involved and volunteers in other non-profits and community service activities. As an entrepreneur he also owns and operates an artist management company, Emerge Nashville, where he manages artists such as major label BMG recording artist Fiona Culley and new up-and-coming independent artist AJ Kross. He is also the host of the podcast “Chris Blair’s Stories Behind the Songs”, a frequent host to songwriters festivals and music events across the country, and is co-owner of many other businesses where he puts his time and mentorship behind developing and helping launch businesses for young entrepreneurs.

A singer-songwriter by nature, Blair has had a love and appreciation for music as long as he can remember. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where his passions began, learning to sing at the ripe age of six and play guitar. He spent many of his formulative years working in the hospitality industry while expressing his creativity through songwriting, performing, and traveling for shows on the road. Blair attended Southeast Missouri State College, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication with a minor in Business Management. At his 1997 graduation, he performed an original song, becoming the first and only person in 100 years to perform at the college’s ceremonies.

After moving to Nashville in 2003 and playing in some the city’s most iconic live music venues, Blair saw a distinct need for a venue that incorporated quality sound, talented songwriters, and great food in an upbeat restaurant-style setting. Combining his passions for music with his love of hospitality and great cuisine, he conceptualized the idea for what is now The Listening Room. Since 2006, The Listening Room has become a place where guests can actually hear the music and the stories behind their favorite songs, and songwriters are the heart of the performance. The venue is heralded as one of Nashville top live music establishments, acclaimed by national publications and top performing artists, and also opened its newest location in Pigeon Forge, TN in 2021.

Blair believes that behind every song, there is a story to be told. He’s known for his quote painted into a mural on The Listening Room patio wall where he said, “The universal language of the world is music. Music comes to us through a song. Every song has a songwriter.” He seeks to provide a platform for artists to share their stories and songwriting and make a living in Nashville’s songwriter community. He also highlights these stories through the Stories Behind the Songs podcast that launched in early 2023.