Tracing the Roots of American Music
Our last tour returned A good time was had by all. It would seem many have added to their CD and album collections.
We have a new tour for 2016.
Helen Jennings was leading this tour for our last 2 departures. Due to personal reason Helen will not be leading the 2016 tour. The new leader will be Matt Frederick from the 'Juke Joint' programme.
Comments from 2013 tour
Hi Brent, just sending a very belated thanks to you for all of the organisational work with the PBS Blues Tour. The trip was absolutely fantastic, anything I do after this will not come remotely close to any of the adventures. Thanks to you & Helen I had the best time each & every day, no glitches, & no disappointments, accommodation & travel between all destinations was great, everything just unfolded beautifully. A couple of friends wondered if the package cost was a bit high, but I can see where everything was well covered & thought through in the planning-I would do this again in a heartbeat ! My only negative-it was way too short for me-I was just getting used to new experiences each day & it was time to return home & contemplate the return to work-oh well, reality is tough. Anyhow, many thanks to you & the Passport team for making it happen for me. Thanks for the memories-Kris B.
Comments from 2011 tour
A great Blues history journey with like minded folk. A memorable journey through Blues and US history well done Didn't want the trip to end, so much to see - so little time! A great Blues experience with a great knowledgeable host Great itinerary with great company
Thank you for an unforgettable Blues experience
Norm and Iszy Hudson - Blues Tour 2011
Attend two major music festivals
This is a small group tour so we do not have large numbers on the bus!
Day 1 Sunday 25th September Chicago
Day 2 Monday 26th September Chicago
That night we’ll visit Blue Chicago in The Loop for more authentic Chicago blues. The musicians in the group may at their option visit Buddy Guy’s legends and join in the jam.
Day 3 Tuesday 27th September Chicago
Morning: A morbid but important trip. We'll travel out of the Loop into the suburbs and Visit Restvale Cemetery in Alsip - Final resting place of Muddy Waters, Hound Dog Taylor, Earl Hooker, Big Walter, Hound Dog Taylor and more. On the way back to The Loop we'll drive past 4339 S. Lake Park Ave - The house where Muddy Waters lived for nearly 20 years from 1954. It's closed to the public but this is really "Ground Zero" of Chicago Blues!
For those who need to clear their head from the previous night’s events, try the glass enclosed Ledgebox which suspends you 1,353ft above the streets below!
Chess Records promo Chicago skyline Apollo Theatre
Day 5 Thursday 29th September Chicago/Memphis
Day 6 Friday 30th September Memphis
In the afternoon we head back to Beale and visit the Gibson Guitar Factory. In the spring of 1935, Gibson enlisted musician Alvino Rey to help develop a prototype pickup with engineers at the Lyon & Healy company in Chicago. Later that year, research was moved in-house, where Gibson employee Walter Fuller came up with the final design. Gibson introduced the distinctive hexagonal pickup on a lap steel model in late 1935. The pickup was installed on an F-hole archtop guitar, dubbed the ES-150 ES for Electric Spanish), and the first one shipped from the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on May 20, 1936. The evening is once again free for anyone who wants to explore Beale and beyond.
Graceland Mansion BB King in concert Sun Studio Memphis
Day 7 Saturday 01st October Memphis
The evening is once again free to explore however those who are willing to cross the tracks (hopefully everyone!) are welcome to join in on a trip to the incredible Wild Bill’s, the most authentic urban juke you can imagine. The joint doesn’t get jumping until 11:00 and the party can go until late but it’s a guaranteed good time.
Day 8 Sunday 02th October Memphis/Nashville
Day 9 Monday 03rd October Nashville
We’ll visit the legendary RCA studio B where everyone who’s anyone has recorded. From there it’s off to the Country Music Hall of Fame. After having been to Memphis and seen the links between blues and soul we'll now see where they meet Country. After the razzle dazzle of the Hall of Fame we'll visit the more down home Johnny Cash Museum - Small but full of history! The evening is free to explore The District. For those who are musically inclined it’s jam night at the Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar so why not jump up and join in?
Day 10 Tuesday 04th October Nashville/Muscle Shoals
Day 11 Wednesday 05th October
The Cotton Museum Natchez Mississippi Beale Street Memphis
Day 12 Thursday 06th October
Day 13 Friday 07th October
Day 14 Saturday 08th October
Day 15 Sunday 9th October Clarksdale
Day 16 Monday 10th October
Night time: Live music at the Bluesberry Cafe (Most likely Watermelon Slim although it can vary).
Day 17 Tuesday 11th October
We’ll explore the myths, legends and realities surrounding Robert Johnson. Using Greenwood as a base we will visit all three of his rumoured graves, with a side trip to Avalon to visit the home of Mississippi John Hurt (now a Museum).
Day 18 Wednesday 12th October
We’ll travel down South to Bentonia, home of the Bentonia school of blues, made famous by Skip James. We’ll visit Jimmy Duck Holmes in his world famous Blue front cafe and that night we’ll celebrate juke joint style with local musicians who’ll teach us how they do things down in the Delta.
Day 19 Thursday 13th October
Travelling from Yazoo City we’ll reach Baton Rogue in time for lunch . We’ll visit the Southern Life museum to get a taste of Louisiana rural culture. That night we celebrate Louisiana Blues style in the one of a kind Teddy’s Lounge, Baton Rouge.
Day 20 Friday 14th October
Travel down to New Orleans. We’ll explore the historic French Quarter and then meet up in Lafayette Square for the start of the Blues & BBQ festival. First day of Blues & BBQ (5:30pm- approx 8:30pm)
After approx 8:30pm the night is free or we can arrange to visit Frenchman St as a group and visit venues such as The Spotted cat and d.b.a.
Or possibly Dinner/Music at Mulate’s, the original Cajun zydeco Restaurant. The food is fantastic.! the crawfish etouffe rocks. For an opener, try the Zydeco meat pies. Enjoy live Cajun music while you dine. Don't be afraid to get out there and dance, the locals aren't shy. Cajun dancing lessons: Grab a partner, nail one foot to the floor, rotate. Simple, cher!
Day 21 Saturday 15th October
Blues & BBQ day two.
After approx 8:30pm the night is free or we can arrange to venture further a field as a group. Depending on who's on.
Day 22 Sunday 16th October
Blues & BBQ day three. Frenchman street.
Day 23 Saturday 17th October
Breakfast at the Cafe du Monde. An opportunity to explore the city and get to know it up close. Visit Preservation Hall, go on an optional Voodoo tour or cemetery tour. We’ll travel together to the Treme and visit the where the Mardis Gras Indian costumes are kept when not in use.
Day 24 Saturday 18th October
Our last day! Spend the morning shopping for those last minute souvenirs and tucking into one more Po Boy and then it’s off to the airport for the journey home.
Depart afternoon for Airport for our departure flight. This can be either connecting through Los Angeles home, stopping off at L.A. or joining our extension tour to vibrant Cuba!!!. Naturally you can depart to other destinations in the U.S. if you have other plans.
Price - Land only A$7569.00 per person twin share.
Single supplement A$2493
We will offer to introduce people who wish to share, to others with a similar aim.
The price is based on an US$/AU$ exchange rate as of January 2016. Until the balance is paid we reserve the right to amend the above cost due to changes in the exchange rate.
Who really knows (this far in advance) what flight deals will be for this time. Prices now will not reflect prices later in the year. The last tour used United as the designated group flight. We will set a designated airline and those that arrive on this can avail themselves of the included transfers. At present we favour United Airlines due to their past record for price and ease of connections allowing an easy stopover for Los Angeles for those that desire this. BUT we will check a little bit later in the year.
You can book other airlines - some may wish to use frequent flyer points. The start point for those people would then be the first night hotel. You can get an idea of what flights will be by using our web flight enquiry/booking engine. Take the link that says 'Advanced Search' and then enter your Australian city to Chicago and the return being New Orleans to your home port.
We have noted copies of our personally designed tours appearing elsewhere, yes copying is the highest accolade - but....