Getting the Blues on Highway 61

Delta Blues that is.  Think Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Wllie Dixon; juke joints and cotton gins.  US highway 61 meanders south along the Mississippi from Memphis, Tennessee toward Natchez, Mississippi. We had been to Memphis before, but the last time we had headed out to the east and  Chattanooga. This time we were were on the trail of that famous crossroads, where Highway 61 meets Highway 49, in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It’s the spot where Robert Johnson reportedly sold his soul to the devil so he could learn to play the guitar like he did.

It’s also the crossroads of an area rich in Blues history, where so many great Blues musicians were born and raised. Highway 61 is also the road that took them out, up to Chicago and a world beyond share cropping and farm work.  Clarksdale is the home of the Delta Blues Museum, a great place to explore the history of this uniquely American musical    art form. It’s also home to Abe’s BBQ, right at the crossroads. By far the best we’ve had. The BBQ sauce was finger lickin’ good.  There is also Hick’s Tamales…so many choices. The actor Morgan Freeman grew up in the area and owns Ground Zero Blues Club , the closest you’ll get to a Mississippi Juke these days.

If you are going to stay in Clarksdale in a motorhome the only facility is at the fairgrounds. It was just about empty when we got there and registration entailed putting a $15 check in a locked box.  Not luxurious or scenic but it served the purpose.

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


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