Courier October Courier - Page 27

National Blues Museum Move to the music Musical tours and attractions hit all the right notes BY GABE WEBB APPRECIATING MUSIC and appreciat- ing travel aren’t so different, and some- times we might even turn to music and travel for the same reasons. Putting on a record or popping in your earbuds and listening to your favorite songs offers comfort—just like returning to a familiar place. And when a new song on the radio catches your ear, or when you go off the beaten path to see someplace new, you’re seeking to add a little bit to the edges of your map of experience. It’s comfort, but with a little something extra. That’s also the story of countless generations of music makers; they build on the sounds they grew up with. Read on to discover (or rediscover) the places travelers can hear the songs they loved. The following pages take a look at the Blues, from the birth of rock ’n’ roll and soul to the hip-hop radio hits of recent decades. The Blues and St. Louis “Two places in St. Louis you need to look into are the National Blues Museum and the Delmar Loop,” says Anthony Paraino of Explore St. Louis. The National Blues Museum opened in St. Louis in April of 2016, and the attraction’s 15,000 square feet of exhi- bition space is dedicated to telling the story of the genre’s legendary perform- ers and drawing connections between the Blues and today’s popular music. In addition to housing a permanent collection of artifacts and multime- dia exhibits, the museum regularly welcomes traveling exhibitions and hosts live performances. “Kirk West, Photography” will open next month, displaying images taken by West, a photographer for the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times whose sub- jects included James Brown, B.B. King, Etta James and other household names of rock and the Blues. Regular music events include the Howlin’ Fridays and Soulful Sundays concert series. Special pricing and interpreter-guided tours are available for groups of 20 or more. The Delmar Loop is a six-block neighbor- hood packed with restaurants, live music venues and the St. Louis Walk of Fame. “The Loop has some historic per- formance venues, including Delmar Hall, the Pageant and Blueberry Hill, an eclectic restaurant where Chuck Berry used to play gigs in the basement per- formance hall,” says Paraino. Many more musical attractions and performance venues are included in Courier ’s Guide to Theaters, which begins on page 41. Attractions listed in bold type are NTA members. 25