• Credit Jackie Appleton

Rhythm and Roots

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Blues, Country and Rock n Roll.

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Rhythm and Roots

Trace the roots of American music and experience the unique cultural landscapes that gave birth to the Blues, Country and Rock-n-Roll.

Day 1: Fly into Raleigh, North Carolina.
Day 2: Abingdon
Day 4: Asheville
Day 6: Nashville
Day 8: Muscle Shoals
Day 9 Memphis
Day 11: Vicksburg
Day 12: Natchez
Day 13: Plantation Country
Day 14: New Orleans
Day 16: Depart New Orleans
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Description

Trace the roots of American music and experience the unique cultural landscapes that gave birth to the Blues, Country and Rock-n-Roll.

Day 1: Raleigh Fly into Raleigh, North Carolina.
Raleigh 1 night

Day 2: Abingdon
This morning you will pick up your hire car and head to the Appalachian Mountains where your musical adventure will begin. Winding through the mountains of Southwest Virginia, you will explore the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. Considered by many to be the birthplace of country music, you will find music everywhere, in concert halls, festivals and parks – from bluegrass to old time fiddle and banjo, traditional country to a cappella gospel, blended together over many generations of settlers in a beautiful and rugged setting.
Abingdon 2 nights

Day 4: Asheville
Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the North Carolina Mountains as you travel south along the Blue Ridge Parkway which meanders along the mountaintops from the Virginia Border to the Great Smoky Mountains. Enjoy spectacular vistas, sparkling waterfalls, wildflowers and, in the autumn, vivid autumn foliage. Your next stop is the vibrant mountain city of Asheville, a Mecca for artists, musicians, bohemians and lovers of good food.
Asheville 2 nights

Day 6: Nashville
Travel through the Great Smoky National Park into neighbouring Tennessee and on to “Music City” Nashville. Your journey takes you through Sevierville, home town of Country Music legend Dolly Parton. Music is the life and soul of Nashville and with over 130 live music venues, live music can be seen and heard every day. Visit the famous honky-tonks on Broadway for free live music. Take a tour of the historic Ryman Auditorium, visit the superb Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry… whatever your musical tastes and interests, in Nashville, country, bluegrass, rock, pop, Americana, gospel, classical, jazz and blues all blend and overlap in perfect harmony.
Nashville 2 nights

Day 8: Muscle Shoals
South to Muscle Shoals, a Mecca for music lovers. Throughout the 60s and 70s more hit records per capita were produced at the recording studios located here than anywhere else in the world. The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynrd, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett and the Stones are just some who cut hits here… the list of names who recorded here is extraordinary. Located on the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals is rapidly developing as a popular tourist destination with great restaurants, bars and live music venues emerging all the time
Muscle Shoals 1 night

Day 9 Memphis
Short drive to Memphis, the home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock and Roll. Learn more at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul and Stax Museums or the legendary Sun Studio, where Elvis recorded his first tracks. For Elvis fans no visit to Memphis is complete without a tour of Graceland, his home for many years. In the evening stroll along Beale Street, Memphis’s honky-tonk central. Don’t miss the National Civil Rights Museum located behind the restored façade of the Lorraine Motel where Dr Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated in 1968.
Memphis 2 nights

Day 11: Vicksburg
Travel down the Mississippi Delta following the Great River Road National Scenic Byway. Take your time and enjoy many side trips as you explore some of the many sights on the “Mississippi Blues Trail” including …

  • Clarksdale; once home to, amongst others, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke and John Lee Hooker. The world famous Delta Blues Museum houses an extensive collection of books, recordings, videos, and memorabilia tracing the roots of blues from its origins in the cotton fields
  •  the Crossroads; immortalised in song, visit the junction of Highways 69 and 49, believed by many to be the Crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil

With more than 120 stops along the Trail, you may want to add in an extra day en route. The 47 day siege of Vicksburg was one of the key turning points in the Civil War; the Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates this important campaign.
Vicksburg 1 night

Day 12: Natchez
Next stop, the delightful little town of Natchez. Stroll around the historic downtown and visit some of the antebellum homes along with other historic buildings, churches and heritage sites.
Natchez 1 night

Day 13: Plantation Country
Follow the Great River Road south through Baton Rouge to New Orleans Plantation Country. Wander through the grounds and buildings of some of Louisiana’s most historic Plantation homes, explore the bayou and its wildlife as you glide through the peaceful waters on a swamp tour, enjoy Cajun and Creole cuisine…
Louisiana Plantation 1 night

Day 14: New Orleans
And finally down to the Big Easy, New Orleans for the last few days of your holiday. Steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and beyond, New Orleans is proud of its multicultural heritage, its people, its beautiful buildings and its food. The French Quarter is the heart of Old New Orleans, centring on Bourbon Street, which is world famous for its jazz and blues cafes and vibrant nightlife. A great place to end your musical journey
New Orleans 2 nights

Day 16: Depart New Orleans
This is just one suggestion – it can be adapted and amended in any way to suit your own particular interests and music tastes.

Contact us and we will help you plan your perfect musical road trip.

Rhythm and roots - BB King Mural Clevand MS web Rhythm and roots - Beale Street web Rhythm and roots - Blue Ridge parkway web

Rhythm and roots - Elvis Web Rhythm and roots - Gibsons Nashville web Rhythm and roots - Jazz musicians New orleans web

Sun Studios web

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Little Gems

We haven’t mentioned Elvis Presley too much in this itinerary as he is but one part of the wider music scene.  However, if you have the time and inclination, detour to include Tupelo, the birth place of Elvis.  Learn about his humble early life and his inspiration to forge a life in music.
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Ultimate Road Trips – No. 5 – Music on your mind

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Yvonne Dann

 

Deep South – Atlanta to New Orleans is a trip to touch many senses. For those of you that are interested in history, there are a number of key Civil War sites, such as Vicksburg and the Vicksburg National Military Park where you can visit, drive and walk the battlefields. Those interested in the architecture have the modern cities interspersed with antebellum mansions, plantations and then the ordinary houses of every day Americans.  Enjoy an overnight stay at an antebellum mansion as part of your tour.  Drive the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway as you pass plantation homes, and delightful towns. 

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana - Jackie A

There are a feast of places to visit if you love music. Nashville is the capital of country music and home to the famous Grand Ole Opry. Whilst here, be sure to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Your drive may take your through Tupelo, Elvis’s birth place, which is well worth a visit, and then we come to Memphis which is not complete without a visit to Graceland.  Memphis has plenty to fill a few days – Elvis, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and many more artists recorded at the famous Sun Studios where you can now take a tour.  Include Stax museum and the Rock n Soul museum plus a night out on Beale  Street enjoying the live music shows – there will be much to keep you here. End up in New  Orleans to immerse yourselves in the jazz and rhythm and blues and the carnival atmosphere of this fun city.  Take a river cruise on the Mississippi, taste the Creole cuisine, ride the street cars, and stroll the small streets of the French Quarter. 

Courtyard in New Orleans French Quarter - Jackie A

For more information, ideas and assistance with planning your holiday, please contact us on 01323 446550 info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Region: Deep South USA

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Yvonne Dann

 

A visit to the states of the USA’s Deep South gives many stunning sights along with plenty of musical history, and great food. 

Nashville is the capital of Tennessee, and home not only to country music but also to a much broader spectrum of sounds…music for everyone.  New Orleans in the deep south of Louisiana is a strange mixture of Jazz, Creole and Cajun food.  Its friendly people with their Caribbean, French and Spanish backgrounds make this vibrant city an exciting stay.  Memphis, Tennessee is a city of music with the famous Beale Street of entertainment with its bars where budding musicians play nightly.  The Rock ‘n’ Roll museum and Elvis Presley’s home Graceland makes it “a must” for any 60’s music fan

Add to these fabulous cities with beautiful Plantation homes and drive the Mississippi Blues trail and Natchez Trace Parkway.  Visit Elvis’s birth place, Tupelo, and cruise the Mississippi on an authentic paddlewheeler in addition. 

Rhythm and Roots

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