Greenville, Mississippi

En route from Clarksdale to Greenville, slide over to Merigold and Po’ Monkey’s (Southern-speak for poor Monkey’s). Outside, a Mississippi Blues Trail marker moves you through the evolution of juke joints from tenant houses on plantation grounds to what’s left of the ilk today (Po’ Monkey’s remains one of the few). Don’t expect live music, however – a DJ will likely be mixing Southern soul and R&B just as the jukeboxes did years ago.

In Greenville, Walnut Street Blues Bar gives you the modern juke feel with live blues; the Mighty Mississippi Music Festival (early October) stages the genre and its variations outside with an emphasis on Mississippi-bred standouts like Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside, Jimbo Mathus and the Tri-State Coalition and North Mississippi Allstars.

The Mighty Mississippi Music Festival is a continuation of Leland’s former Highway 61 Blues Festival, though Leland is itself worth a stop en route to Indianola. Take in the town’s music-themed murals and tip Pat Thomas at Highway 61 Blues Museum, where he creates blues music and art.