Blues Music

Pictured: Bobby Rush performing at Red’s Lounge in Clarksdale, Mississippi

It’s a fact that every Mississippian will proudly tell you: Our state spawned the genre that is the taproot of modern popular music. Whether you're a die-hard blues fan or a casual traveler in search of entertainment, you'll discover facts you never knew, sights you've never seen and a whole new appreciation for the area that gave birth to the blues.

So where do you start?

The Mississippi Blues Trail

Throughout the state, the markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail tell the stories of blues artists both renowned and obscure through words and images. From sprawling cotton fields and rustic train depots to cemeteries, clubs and churches, you’ll see firsthand how the people, places and culture around them influenced and shaped their music.

The Delta — and Beyond

It’s true — blues in Mississippi is not just in the Delta. The Mississippi Delta is known around the world as the birthplace of the blues and remains home to historic stages, modern venues and major landmarks. For example, the infamous “Crossroads” is where blues legend Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for musical ability to put mere mortals to shame. But the blues can be heard and seen all over the state.

Live Blues Performances

To catch a performance, look up local music listings in the town or region you plan to visit. From Bentonia to Clarksdale, Jackson to Tupelo, Hattiesburg to Natchez, along the Gulf Coast and anywhere in between, musicians pour their heart out on the stage night after night.

Festivals and Events

Of course, you don’t have to set foot in a juke joint or blues club to find authentic blues music in Mississippi. Thanks to the numerous blues and music festivals that draw thousands of fans to our state every year, blues is as easy to find in Mississippi as hospitality itself. Check out our annual calendar of entertainment and events in all parts of the state.

Museums and More

In between performances, music fans can still find plenty of applause-worthy attractions (and escape the summer heat into some much-needed air conditioning). It’s amazing what can be learned about Mississippi-born blues musicians like B.B. King and the genre as a whole by visiting Mississippi’s many museums, homes and cultural attractions dedicated to giving casual visitors and enthusiasts alike an inside look at the roots of the blues — and the rise of America’s music.

  • Great Mississippi River Balloon Race

    October 19 @ 8:00 am - October 21 @ 5:00 pm

    The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race is the most colorful annual event in Natchez, with gorgeous hot air balloons filling the skies over the river as local and national talent fill the air with live music.

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  • 7th Annual Delta Hot Tamale Festival

    October 20 @ 8:00 am - October 20 @ 5:00 pm

    Proclaimed as the “Hot Tamale Capital of the World” this unique festival features multiple tamale vendors, music, eating contest, famous chefs and much more.

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  • Sanderson Farms Championship

    October 22 @ 8:00 am - October 28 @ 5:00 pm

    A great annual stop on the PGA Tour. Enjoy the hospitality, the serenity of the Country Club of Jackson, the pristine course, great food and great people.

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