Music in Deep South USA
When it comes to American music, all roads lead to the Deep South USA. There's no better way to understand the life of Deep South USA than to take a tour through its musical landscape - soulful blues, brassy jazz, country twang, Cajun accordions, riverboat calliopes and gospel choirs. There's live music year-round, performed in authentic and intimate settings, so if you love the blues, tap your toes to country or groove to rock 'n' roll, then you'll find your sound in Deep South USA.
We all know people who go on holiday and come back not with tales of the major tourist sites, but of hearing their favourite music played live and loud at an obscure but infamous bar or club. Live music venues are abound in the Deep South from bluegrass in Kentucky to the jazz and Cajun clubs in Louisiana; from the Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee and the legendary studios of Alabama's Muscle Shoals to Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero blues club in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
The Best Deep South Music Places to Visit:
Here's our low-down on the music places not-to-miss on your holiday:
- Graceland - No Deep South trip would be complete without visiting Elvis' infamous home in Memphis. Guided tours are a great way to find out about The King's life and music.
- The French Quarter - New Orleans has Jazz and Blues in abundance, and nowhere moreso than its French Quarter.
- Grand Ole Opry - Nashville's iconic Country music auditorium where all the Country greats have performed. Soak up some history or catch a performance.
- Muscle Shoals - The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Bob Dylan..... they all recorded massive hits in The Shoals, Alabama. Music lovers from across the globe have this as a must-see destination.
- Beale Street - The spiritual playground of the Blues, Memphis' Beale Street is one of the best places to hear live Blues. You're spoilt for choice here - Beale Street is packed with music venues, including the infamous B B King's Blues Club.
From beach side music to jam-packed juke joints, Alabama has it all. Visit Florence, home of W. C. Handy, The Father of the Blues. In nearby Muscle Shoals tour FAME recording studios where superstars made this southern town the "Hit Recording Capital of the World". In Birmingham you can dance to live music downtown or go to a neighbourhood juke joint. The Hank Williams museum in Montgomery honours the country superstar. Alabama's coast features downtown concerts in Mobile while Gulf Shores has beach bars and music festivals next to the ocean.
The birthplace of bluegrass music and of dozens of music stars from many genres, especially country music. Ride along US23 in eastern Kentucky, known as the Country Music Highway, and find the birthplaces of stars like The Judds, Loretta Lynn, Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs and Billy Ray Cyrus. In Paintsville you'll find the Country Music Highway Museum, in Renfro Valley the Country Music Hall of Fame, in Owensboro the International Bluegrass Music Museum and in nearby Rosine, the birthplace of the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe.
Louisiana's history is imbued with music that came, developed and arose as a wide range of cultural influences that took root, resulting in the birth of Jazz. Music echoes Louisiana’s past and encompasses its present through the live, vibrant sounds that pulse through homes, neighbourhoods and venues of all our cities. Music is a part of everyday life, with inherited tunes and instruments bringing the Louisiana music heritage to life. From the night life of New Orleans to Lake Charles resounding sounds of the festival stages from Shreveport to Lafayette to Thibodaux. If you don't hear Louisiana's music live, you haven't heard Louisiana's music.
It's known as the birthplace of the blues, but Mississippi sings other songs as well, from bluegrass and country to rock 'n' roll. Fans of the music of Elvis Presley won't want to miss Tupelo, one of the many sites on the Mississippi Country Music Trail, visit the two-room house in which the boy who would become the King of rock 'n' roll was born. Clarksdale's rich blues heritage is world-famous, and its numerous markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail are reminders of the blues greats that honed their sound here.
Some places you listen to music, in Tennessee you live it! Follow neon-lit clubs down Beale Street, Memphis, where its soul is true blues. Dance to your favourite video clip at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. In Nashville see stars at the Grand Ole Opry House and visit the Ryman Auditorium where they tip their hats to country, bluegrass and gospel. Even Tennessee's smaller musical landmarks make global connections in places such as Knoxville's Visitor's Center, home to the daily radio music show known as The Blue Plate Special, and Bluegrass Underground at Cumberland Caverns. Another attraction is the new Tina Turner Museum in Brownsville, located between Memphis and Jackson.