Everyone has heard about the Route 66 in the United States.
But there is another road just as mythical and it's the one we're going to talk about today: it's the Blues Highway, the blues road, which runs along the Mississippi via Highway 61 from New Orleans to Chicago over 1600 kms.
It owes its nickname "blues road" to the Mississippi Blues Trail, a state program set up in 2006 that presents the history of the blues music through a signposted route of more than 160 markers in the United States and other countries; with a majority of markers found in the cities of the Delta, this alluvial plain that extends between Memphis and Vicksburg, where the blues was born at the end of the 19th century.
As a reminder, the blues comes from the cotton plantations of the southern United States, and it is through music that the voice of African-Americans is heard, telling the sufferings of slaves and the humiliation of racial segregation.
The migration of artists from the South to Chicago echoes the rural exodus after the industrial revolution: the workforce, which is initially agricultural, migrates to the industrial metropolises of the north.
So let's discover some of the history of the Blues Highway as we discovered it through the Blues Trail: from Louisiana to Mississippi up the Highway 61 to Memphis (Tennessee) with a purpose, of course, in Chicago (Illinois).
All information can be found on the official Mississippi Blues Trail
After making the journey of the Blues Highway, we would like to share this adventure, mixing the (re) discovery of artists through their music, their stories, their lives, thanks to two radioshows : the Funky Soul story (S13/E03) and The Black Music Live #45.
the Funky Soul story S13/E03
The Black Music Live #45
DEEP BLUES, A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads
Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads is a British documentary film, released in 1991, and made by music critic and author Robert Palmer and documentary film maker Robert Mugge, in collaboration with David A. Stewart and his brother John J. Stewart.
The film provided insight into the location, cast and characteristics of Delta blues and North Mississippi hill country blues. Filming took place in 1990 in Memphis, Tennessee, and various North Mississippi counties.
Theatrical release was in 1991 and home video release in the United Kingdom, the next year, as was a soundtrack album. A United States consumer edition came in 2000.
Stewart initiated and financed the project, inspired by Palmer's 1981 book of the same name. Palmer provided many of the insights into the background and history of the blues, as a guide to Stewart and the film narrator.
M for Mississippi, a road trip through the birthplace of the blues
This timely road movie will explore the thriving underbelly of a dying American art form in the land where it began: Mississippi.
Planned as a weeklong journey through the birthplace of the blues, M for Mississippi seeks to capture the proverbial “real deal” in its home where it is most comfortable and authentic: the jukes, the front yards, the cotton fields. More than just a collection of concert performances, the film will collect the sounds, the images and the feel of both the performers and their native landscape, an environment essential to their livelihoods and inseparable from their art.
Cultivating the fertile ground between such landmark theatrical travelogues as Buena Vista Social Club and Deep Blues, M for Mississippi aims to appeal to more than just the average blues fan. By showcasing such a fascinating foreign land so close to home, the filmmakers hope to inspire countless others to make their own road trips down Mississippi’s blue highways.