Start celebrating the blues at the Chattanooga Blues Festival. Follow that up with a visit to Bessie Smith Hall, a tribute to the life of one of the blues greatest singers. Finally, stop in at Blue Orleans, for a taste of jazz and blues as well as authentic creole food.
Then head north to Knoxville for a night out Sassy Ann’s House of Blues, where the crowd is friendly and diverse, the music surprising, and the house itself like something out of a movie. While you’re near downtown, stop on Market Square and see who’s playing at Preservation Pub. It’s a tiny place with big music, well loved by the locals.
If you’re in Music City, the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar is the place to be for great blues. Past winner of the Blues Foundation “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award, they have live music every night, plus Cajun food. Since you’re already in Printer’s Alley, stroll around and take a listen you never know who might show up at any of the music venues there. And don’t forget the Nashville version of B.B. King’s Blues Club, where there’s always good music.
In Jackson, home of the Shannon Street Blues & Heritage Festival, Sonny Boy Williamson, Carl Perkins and Big Maybell and other blues greats, check out grunge blues band Ruacamole and others at the Downtown Tavern. Then stop by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame for a lesson on music fusion.
Then it’s on to Memphis, home of the blues, where just about any place in the Beale Street Historic District will be serving up some great blues. Try Alfred’s on Beale, Black Diamond and, of course, BB King’s. Spend some time at the Center for Southern Folklore on Main Street, a blend of museum, nightclub and coffee shop, where you can browse exhibits, hear some lunch-time music and stick around for the evening’s entertainment.