Highway 61 Revisited
Highway 61, from Memphis to Vicksburg, is catnip to musicians moved by the blues. Many aficionados and casual fans make pilgrimages to see where musicians from Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, to Bessie Smith and B.B. King learned to play and sing.
AutoVenture offers a fun, freewheeling tour of the southern towns that gave birth to the Delta blues. With your private luxury car and expert guide, you’ll get to experience the clubs, the cooking and the music that inspired Elvis, the Stones, Clapton and countless others.
You’ll begin in Memphis, touring the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, which houses more than 2,000 displays, original stage outfits, instruments and photos. But your tour won’t be relegated to history. Enjoy a tour of famed Beale Street, with live, stomping blues emanating from juke-joint doorways. Plus, it wouldn’t be Memphis without your fill of incredible barbecue, featuring dry ribs at Rendezvous, which has been a Tennessee staple since 1948.
Moving south to Mississippi, you’ll stop in Tunica, which specializes in glitz, gaming and music. You’ll definitely want to try the fried chicken and peach cobbler at the Blue and White diner. In Clarksdale, you’ll get to sit in for a jam session at the Hopson Plantation. It’s just a stone’s throw from the crossroads at Highways 49 and 61, where legend says the devil himself met Robert Johnson. At the Cat Head, you’ll find out who’s playing where in the many local clubs such as Sarah’s Kitchen or Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club. You’ll also want to stop in at the Delta Blues Museum right next door. After a night of revelry, you can sleep in a restored sharecropper shack at the Shack Up Inn.
Finally, after stopping in Rosedale, your Blues Highway tour winds its way to New Orleans, where the Dixieland jazz is hot and the crawfish are spicy. It’s the perfect cap to your AutoVenture tour of this unique and memorable land.