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Juke Joints in Clarksdale, MS

Clarksdale, Mississippi

365 nights of music, over 20 annual festivals and a museum celebrating Delta blues history make Clarksdale a music and history lover's dream.

Clarksdale's Delta Blues Museum houses exhibits on the musical legacy that bluesmen have left for the world to enjoy. You'll also find the house of famous blues singer-songwriter and 'father of blues' Muddy Waters as it stood on Stovall Plantation.

Follow the Mississippi Blues Trail and you'll see markers for influential artists such as John Lee Hooker, Son House and Sam Cooke, as well as Riverside Hotel where blues singer Bessie Smith died and rock'n'roll pioneer Ike Turner lived.

Blues fans can also visit the 'Crossroads' guitar monument - a fabled spot at Highway 61 and 49 where Delta bluesman Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul in exchange for his infamous guitar talent.

Playwright Tennessee Williams lived in Clarksdale as a youth and later based characters on the experience. Visit the newly opened Tennessee Williams Rectory Museum or attend the annual festival celebrating him in October.

Consider a Quapaw Canoe Company voyage on the mighty Mississippi River or take a Delta Bohemian or Birdsong tour of historical sites. Clarksdale features a wide array of overnight accommodations - from a three-story Hampton Inn to the one-of-a-kind Shack Up Inn, from luxurious downtown lofts to a budget-friendly downtown hostel.

One of the last authentic Delta juke joints is Red's in Clarksdale. The hole-in-the-wall club is the real deal. It's just a small room, a few tables and a fridge full of beer. Red lights are strung around a low ceiling and live blues is played every weekend. The owner, Big Red, is a local legend and a tourist favourite.

As the only town in Mississippi with live blues every night of the year, Clarksdale is home to a multitude of venues, including Ground Zero Blues Club, co-owned by Morgan Freeman. Other popular venues include Bluesberry Cafe, Hambone Art & Music, Levon's Bar & Grill, New Roxy and Hopson Commissary.

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