The mechanical mother of blues
Hopson plantation, Clarksdale, was the first to install a cotton picker, forcing workers on the Mississippi Delta to move north to make a living. That is how blues spread. Nowadays, the plantation is home to the Shack Up Inn, offering bed & beer.
Leaving the Chicago skyscrapers behind us, our next big stop is St. Louis, Missouri, whose ice hockey team just happens to be called the St. Louis Blues. This year, the National Blues Museum opened in the city, at Gateway Arch: 7,000 square metres of exhibition space, a stage and the chance for the visitor to create their own album to take home as a souvenir.
Any true music lover would need several days in Memphis to discover everything Tennessee has to offer. You can look for that gin-soaked, bar-room queen the Honky Tonk Woman, from The Rolling Stones records, or travel through the history of music, from gospel to soul, at Stax Records. Or how about bearing witness to the birth of rock at Sun Studios, or learn of the legend of B.B. King, at his bar on Beale Street? As well as its musical legacy, it’s impossible to miss the mark Martin Luther King made on this city following his assassination at the Lorraine Motel, 1968. Today it is home to the National Civil Rights Museum.