Tunica’s Gateway To The Blues Museum Makes the Blues Come to Life

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(TUNICA, MS) – You’re in a cotton field in the Mississippi Delta at midnight. Your eyes are closed. Moon is shining; crickets are chirping. Then you hear it: a rhythm like a heartbeat, licks on a guitar and voices singing of real-life struggles and joys.

Now open your eyes and see where you really are: in Tunica, Mississippi, on Blues Highway 61 at the Gateway To The Blues Museum, a fully restored train depot circa 1895. With its striking neon sign and authentic rustic charm, this fascinating site not only is a must-stop for music lovers and fans of art, history and folklore, but also the gateway to Tunica and the blues.

Where the Blues Comes to Life

Your blues journey begins! Inside this larger-than-it-looks museum, you will learn where the blues genre came from, why it’s called the blues, and how the blending of cultures—African, European, Native American—would ultimately birth the blues. Through interactive exhibits, videos and recordings you can see and hear blues performers. Learn what makes the Delta unique. Hear how Robert Johnson traded his soul to the devil to be able to play the blues like a master. Learn to play the lap steel guitar and the diddley bow. See more than 20 famous guitars on display. There’s even a recording studio where you can record your own blues song, then take it with you via email. That’s just a short list of what awaits you.

And inside a mesmerizing “starlit” room, encircled by artist George Hunt’s deeply evocative paintings of eight blues greats, you will feel like you’re right there:  in a field, in a juke joint, on the front porch listening to the true stars of the Delta sing the blues as naturally as breathing air. It’s truly magical.

Tunica:  Where it Began, Where it’s Going Strong

Almost all of the most influential blues artists were born and raised in the Mississippi Delta: B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Charley Patton, Son House, Sonny Boy Williamson, and many others. These bluesmen gave birth to the distinctive high lonesome sound forever after equated with the Delta. Tunica is located on the Mississippi Blues Trail, which features over 200 historical markers throughout the state. If you’d like to visit the six markers in Tunica, the Visitor Center staff is happy to assist with the next leg of your journey, as well as help you find the perfect Tunica souvenir in the gift shop. 

Then make sure to visit Tunica’s seven resort casinos for table games, slots, live entertainment, lip-smacking dining and more. And plan a stop in the charming town of Tunica itself, cozy, welcoming and steeping with southern charm. 

After experiencing Gateway To The Blues, you may agree with what many say:  the blues is a universal language. As bluesman John Lee Hooker says, “The blues will heal you.”  In fact, instead of discovering the blues, you may find the blues has been inside you all along.

For more information on the Gateway to The Blues Museum, visit Gateway to The Blues Museum.


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