Music

Steal Away to The Shoals

Florence, Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals, and Sheffield, Alabama

There is more to The Shoals than their world-famous music recordings—the whole area is a wellspring of uniquely Alabama art and culture

From Athenian Ashes: Georgia Theatre Reborn

Athens, Georgia

When this century-old iconic music destination went up in smoke in 2009, restoration was hopelessly out of reach—until the magic of love and music turned it all around

Ma Rainey, Mother of the Blues

Columbus, Georgia

Defying the odds, Ma Rainey laid a foundation for all the blues-singing women who followed in her wide wake

4 Guitarists Who Changed Southern Music (Part 4): Peter Buck

Athens, Georgia

From a small Georgia college town rose the alternative-rock, indie-band revolution, R.E.M. and its jangling guitar leading the way

4 Guitarists Who Changed Southern Music (Part 3): Stevie Ray Vaughan

Dallas, Texas

Although cut short by tragedy, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s phenomenal career had a profound and lasting effect on America’s musical landscape

Jesse McReynolds, In Part (Part 2)

Coeburn, Virginia

From barn shows to the Grand Ole Opry, Jesse McReynolds has given the music world his same humble yet brilliant style over and over again for three quarters of a century

Down in the Delta: Greenwood, Mississippi

Greenwood, Mississippi

Take a day or two to discover this charming Delta town

Jesse McReynolds: In Part (Part 1)

Coeburn, Virginia

These 87-year-old Appalachian-born fingers still know how to burn up the strings on a mandolin—and like nobody’s business

4 Guitarists Who Changed Southern Music (Part 2): Scotty Moore

Gadsden, Tennessee

Not just Southern music—Scotty Moore’s guitar in the shadow of Elvis changed the future of rock and roll, and the world of music has never been the same

4 Guitarists Who Changed Southern Music (Part 1): Chet Atkins

Luttrell, Tennessee

If Chet Atkins’ only accomplishment had been creating the Nashville Sound, he would still have changed the course of music

Morning to Midnight in Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama

If you haven’t seen Montgomery, Alabama, lately, you need to give it a second look—follow these instructions to have your best day in this capital city of the American South

7-Song History of the Fiddle in the South

The South has a unique claim to the fiddle and its ever-evolving contributions, and here are 7 songs to prove it

Meet Meridian, Mississippi

Meridian, Mississippi

Take a day trip to this Mississippi city to explore its impressive musical heritage and get a glimpse of a million-dollar guitar

Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues

Chattanooga, Tennessee

She was the best. And sang with the best. In part, at least, because she sang those blues from the depths of her soul—about heartache and oppression, poverty and desperation.

Presidential Minstrel: Josh White and the Roosevelts

Greenville, South Carolina

With the release of Southern Exposure: An Album of Jim Crow Blues, America’s racial woes got the ear of the White House—and blues musician Josh White got their genuine friendship

Barefoot and Bedraggled: Josh White Beginnings

Greenville, South Carolina

Josh White became the most prominent and prolific black artist of his time, but his musical entrada began under modest circumstances, to say the least

Greener by the Dozen: 12 Months of Celebration in Greenville

Greenville, South Carolina

There’s always something to celebrate in Greenville!