The blues — the authentic American musical genre born in the Mississippi Delta — has found a new home in St. Louis. Visitors can explore the music’s history at the National Blues Museum, now open in downtown St. Louis.
The National Blues Museum pays homage to the blues’ African roots and takes visitors chronologically through the music’s history. It begins with chants and work songs in the slave fields of the American South.
Exhibits focus on the blues’ many variations as African-Americans moved north during the Great Migration.
St. Louis’ own impact on the blues is examined with W. C. Handy’s St. Louis Blues, one of the blues’ first big hits, as well as the legendary songs Stagger Lee, and Frankie and Johnny.
A section of the museum is dedicated to female blues singers.
In addition to a multitude of see-and-read exhibits, the museum has an interactive component. Stopping at various stations throughout the museum, visitors can create their own blues song adding harmonica, piano and guitar tracks along the way. After mixing their recording in the studio, guests can even design their own album cover for their music and email their masterpiece to themselves.
Groups of 20 or more receive a discount on admission, and motorcoach drivers receive free admission. Visits are self-guided, but for an additional cost, groups can go on a guided tour of the museum.
While there is no on-site motorcoach parking, a nearby loading zone and surface lots can accommodate motorcoaches.
For more information, call 314-925-0016 or visit nationalbluesmuseum.org.
Article by Kathie Sutin