Never heard of it. No one told us about it. We more or less stumbled into it. 100 miles west of Tupelo, birthplace of Elvis, and 100 miles south of Graceland are the crossroads of Hwy 61 and Hwy 49 ~ Clarksdale, Mississippi.
It wasn’t until we pulled into Abe’s Bar-B-Q for a late lunch that we discovered this place was historic. Yes, Abe’s has been at these legendary crossroads since 1924 but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that Clarksdale is the birthplace of the Delta Blues. Whoa!! Hold the bus!
Sam Cooke was born here. Muddy Waters put this town on the blues map. Joe “Pinetop” Perkins drove a tractor up the road at the cotton plantation we were goin’ to be shackin’ up for the night. Nope, never imagined stoppin’ here for the night let alone extend our visit in this shack to hear live music on a Wednesday night at an authentic juke joint. Had to, we were just a few days away from the Juke Joint Festival and the weekend was too far away.
And if I had it my way, we would shack up here for a week. The Shack Up Inn where rustic is spelled with a capital RUST. A former working cotton plantation scattered about with sharecroppers shacks we called home for a couple days. A real hidden gem.
What one might believe is in the middle of nowhere is not lost. We’ve met people from everywhere: Spain, France, Canada, Tennessee.
The heartbeat of this town started back in the mid-1800’s where slaves outnumbered the white population six to one. The African beat and song (juke) grew from there and today is still celebrated every night in these juke joints.
I could ramble on and on about this historic cotton pickin’ corner plantation in Mississippi but I’ll pick a few of these boogie woogie photos instead. . .
Off the beaten path and onto the Mississippi Blues Trail. It’s what van life is all about.