Below the LineJune 12, 2015
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Blues greats Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Son House, and B. B. King all grew up within whistling distance of U.S. Highway 61, the storied stretch of blacktop that cuts through the heart of the Mississippi Delta and decades ago delivered the musicians north—onto the national stage and into music history. There are miles of flat, fertile farmland, and stick-to-your-ribs soul food, some of the best music in the country, and an innate hospitality and friendliness, but also poverty and the painful legacy of the Jim Crow South. Above all, though, there’s an authenticity and soulfulness here that must be experienced firsthand. There’s nowhere else quite like it.