Let's talk festivals

There are so many great festivals around the world! Music festivals, religious events, celebrations of historic events, events showcasing art. They all can enrich travels if you get a chance to experience them. We’ve been to a few, and there are many more we’d like to go to.

How about you? Have you been to any local festivals or events on your travels?

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“As far as I’m concerned, blues and jazz are the great American contributions to music.” – Edgar Winter

Oh, dem blues! And jazz! They’re the roots of American music. Late last week I embarked on a month-long exploration of American musical roots, and there’s no better place to start such a journey than in the Mississippi Delta. Clarksdale, the home of the blues, hosts the Juke Joint Festival in mid-April each year, and it’s the place to be to hear blues old and new. This year over 100 blues musicians converged on the little, run-down town for a long weekend of blues, barbeque and meetin’ friends old and new. The action started on Thursday and ran through Sunday, and people came from all over the country and around the world.

I stayed in a former sharecropper’s shack at the Shack Up Inn just a few miles outside of town, and it was the perfect place to be. The shacks are simple but comfortable, it’s a short drive into town, and just about every time I opened my door, blues wafted in on the breeze. There are 2 venues on site that hosted some of the best musicians at the festival. There’s even a cotton field out front to get you in the right frame of mind. I highly recommend both the Juke Joint Festival and the Shack Up Inn if you want to learn more about the evolution of music in Americ.

Tomorrow I’m going to head south, through small Delta towns that contributed to the evolution of the blues and the civil rights movement, on my way to New Orleans for Jazz Fest. I’ve never been, and I’m so looking forward to it!