Like so many legends, the Blues Crossroads is shrouded in a bit of mystery and confusion.
As a theme the Crossroads weave themselves in and out of Blues music and literature from the Delta region. Selling your soul. Getting mad guitar skillz. Booze, women, hellhounds, musical showdowns.
Read an in-depth exploration of the Crossroads theme, and an argument about where the actual crossroads are.
A Devil of a Time
We had a devil of a time getting to the crossroads. Coming in from the north, the town is bisected by a train track that has low-clearance underpasses.
We went round and round, having to back up once in the middle of a street, until finding a main street over the tracks.
It became a bit stressful in the truck - with one of us getting more determined to overcome obstacles to find the spot and the other questioning how worthwhile the effort was.
The Crossroads we found are at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49. It’s a busy spot! The photo isn’t great but I wasn’t willing to risk my life to get a better one.
After finding it - I’m not convinced. It seems too convenient to have the Crossroads be in the middle of town. I can’t imagine anyone ever standing here feeling lonely and blue.
A dusty, lonely stretch of road is more fitting. Somewhere a man with a guitar slung over his shoulder can stare off in the distance and wonder what kind of people are behind those approaching headlights.
Time to Go
At some point I’d like to find the “Other Crossroads” but this wasn’t that time. It was late afternoon and we still had some miles to go to get to a spot where we could spend the night.
Have You Been?
Have you been to the Blues Crossroads? Which one?