One of the most popular requests that repeatedly occurs is about Music City Tours. So which cities do people want to combine to make their dream trip come to life? American music has been inspired and influenced by the different immigrant communities as they arrived and dispersed across the plains or travelled up to the north.
Looking for the most popular cities to visit to get ‘your kicks’ and the same famous cities do reoccur. So is it easier to identify the music genre first and where it’s influences originate from or by city that became famous for that style of music?
I am going to do it by genre and hopefully there are cities that are within a days drive of each other to make the most amazing music road trip.
Genre – City
Country – Nashville (Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, Honky Tonk Highway, Ryman Auditorium, RCA Studio B, Music City Walk of Fame, Johnny Cash Museum, Patsy Cline Museum – Nashville has it all!
Austin – ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ Famous for South by South West
Branson, Missouri – Grand Country Music Hall
Jackson, Mississippi – Follow the Mississippi Country Music Trail. Click through for the current markers.
Bluegrass – Clarksdale, Mississippi, The location of the Devils Crossroads. This is where the 12 -bar delta blues was born.
Memphis – Home of the Blues and Beale Street, BB Kings, Blues Hall Juke Joint and Blues City Cafe are all located along this pedestrianised music lovers road.
Nashville – see above
Chicago – Introduced the electric guitar and started Chicago-style blues
Grunge – Seattle, Washington – A fusion of Punk and Heavy Rock established in the 1980’s
Rock ‘n’ Roll – Memphis When all is said and done this is where Elvis’s Graceland is and almost every visitor makes this a go to attraction.
Blues – Memphis, Detroit Originating from the Mississippi Delta the Blues music grew from African influences.
Soul – Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia Combining elements of Jazz, Rhythm and Blues and Gospel music and again its roots are from Africa. Detroit is famously associated with Tamla Motown.
Hip Hop – New York – The Bronx
Latin – Miami The huge Cuban community make Miami the obvious go to place but its roots are from the Spanish and Portuguese settlers that occupied the south.
The most obvious and certainly most popular music route is to start in Chicago and head south to New Orleans thus combining, Jazz, Blues, Rock N Roll and Country.
Why not take the Amtrak between cities where you can? There are escorted tours that combine these cities with tour directors who will bring your experience even more insight or simply hire a car and travel at your pace doing as much or as little as you want.
A glimpse of music trends must include Nashville and Memphis. There are so many different genres to discover and research just in these two cities alone. British Airways are now flying directly into Nashville which is a huge consideration for UK visitors. Gone is the Heartbreak Hotel that was famously themed around Elvis Presley. This has been replaced with The Guesthouse at Graceland which is on the same side of the road as Elvis’s former mansion. One major date in Memphis is Elvis Memorial week held every second week of August to commemorate the anniversary of Elvis passing away in 1977.
One other place that is becoming a notable destination and promoted heavily by the Deep South and Alabama is a small town called Muscle Shoals where many artists go record at the studios. It is as famous as Abbey Road was for the Beatles in its day.