It may seem like a typical 1,500-mile stretch of highway, one that connects Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans.
However, it is anything but typical. It attracts million of visitors yearly, all coming to the area for one reason - music, making it the number one music destination in the world.
And with recently launched Americana Music Triangle
, many more will learn about (and potentially explore) the area that Aubrey Preston, a proprietor of Nashville's RCA Studio A and founder of the Americana Music Triangle, says has the strongest music pedigree.
The Americana Music Triangle encompasses over 30 communities along the “Gold Record Road” (the Natchez Trace Parkway, I-10, Highway 90, Highway 61 and I-40) that has had an impact in establishing nine American genres of music - Blues, Jazz, Country, Rock & Roll, R&B/Soul,Gospel, Southern Gospel, Cajun/Zydeco and Bluegrass.
With this preservation project Preston points out they are "erasing state lines and
telling the story of music in an organized and intuitive way."
"While fans know about the musical contributions of the big cities, many aren't aware of the significance roles played by the smaller cities and towns."
The website, optimized for smartphones, brings it all together in one place for music lovers.
Here you can browse through the calendar featuring upcoming music festivals and events, read history timelines for each genre and view photos in the gallery. However, possibly the section that'll draw the most interest is the driving trails
. Offering five different routes, you can find inspiration for creating a musically based road trip.
For instance, New Orleans to Natchez, Miss
., guides you through such
destinations as Lafayette, La
., and recommends visits to Blue Moon Saloon
The Tupelo, Miss., to New Orleans
suggests visiting Elvis Presley Birthplace
, Tupelo Hardware
and Elvis Homecoming Statue
while in Tupelo. Then when in Meridian, stopping at the Jimmie Rodgers Museum
to learn more about the "Father of Country Music."
With a focus on the Mississippi Delta
, the Vicksburg, Miss., to Memphis
highlights attractions like the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center
in Indianola and Dockery Plantation
in Cleveland. In Clarksdale, suggested sites include the Crossroads
and the Ground Zero Blues Club
Also, you will also find trivia facts, side-trip options and suggestions for one-of-a-kind experiences.
Whether you consider yourself to be a passionate music fan, enjoy history or just like exploring the South, Americana Music Triangle provides another way to celebrate the South's many gifts.
photos: personal collection; (top right) Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette, La., (top left) Elvis Homecoming Statue in Tupelo, Miss., (mid right) Randol's in Lafayette, La., (bottom left) Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Miss.