Blues. Jazz. Country music. Rock n’ roll. Gospel. Southern Gospel. Cajun-zydeco. Soul/ R&B. Bluegrass.
Nine of America’s most well-known music genres now have their own road map, states souixcityjournal.com.
The initiative was led by Nashville preservationist Aubrey Preston along with a group of historians and music lovers. They have come up with the “Americana Music Triangle.”
Stretching from Nashville to Memphis to New Orleans, the triangle includes locations in the South that contributed to the birth of the musical genres, from Clarksdale, Mississippi, the home of blues masters Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the site of the famed music studio where Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones and many others recorded songs.
Like other small towns in the triangle, Clarksdale, Mississippi – a city of about 17,200 about 1 ½ hours’ drive south of Memphis – has seen its share of population loss, poverty, troubled schools and blight. They are now looking to earn more tourist dollars.
Destinations are connected by the so-called “Gold Record Road,” a 1,500-mile stretch of highway made up of Interstate 40 from Nashville to Memphis, Highway 61 —the “Blues Trail” — from Memphis to New Orleans, and the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi.
Travelers planning road trips can use a flashy website, or “web guide,” that gives destinations in the triangle and describes points of interest in more than 30 communities in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
The online driving trail map is at americanamusictriangle.com.