They say the best journeys are the ones that take us home, and that couldn’t be more fitting for the followers of the Mississippi Blues Trail. After all, most of today’s popular music actually finds its roots in the blues, a genre that was born in the Mississippi Delta.
This sublimely circular journey starts in the city of Cleveland at Dockery Farms, which is widely believed to be the actual birthplace of the blues in the early 20th century, when Charley Patton was playing tunes at all-night picnics and teaching guitar to prodigies like Howlin’ Wolf. The 200-plus trail markers point to a host of other landmarks of the blues movement around the state, including the Clarksdale crossroads where Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for guitar-playing wizardry. The birthplace of B.B. King near Itta Bena is only a short jaunt from the late performer’s award-winning museum in Indianola. And the historic Blue Front Café in Bentonia is still open to locals and travelers jonesing for a real juke joint experience.
Ready for a respite from the road? Make your last stop—where else—back in Cleveland, where the GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, the only museum of its kind outside of Los Angeles, explains how songwriters and musical pioneers paved the path from the blues to the music of today.