2023 Blues Music Awards

The Mustard Road Trip to Memphis…

The Blues Music Awards were back to live performances after a [far too] long few years of online ceremonies. That means, this year’s visit was going to have to be something special: “Road Trip” for Mustard Report! An epic 3,300+ klm ’round trip drive from Toronto, ON, Canada, all the way down to Memphis, Tennessee USA – and BACK!

There’s so much to see and do en route from Toronto to Memphis, making it an unforgettable experience kilometre after kilometre, mile after mile.

Day 1 was a nine hour straight haul from Toronto to Kentucky. After grabbing a quick dinner, some well deserved sleep, a quick continental breakfast in the morning, it was straight off to Nashville.

Day 2, Nashville! The first stop was a visit to Marathon Village and Jack White’s Nashville location of Third Man Records, where he has various cool things to see, like a framed (broken) Robert Johnson 78rpm of Terraplane Blues, and his “1947 Voice-o-Graph machine” on display for you to hop inside and check out.

Third Man Records would book-end this trip with a stop in at the main location in Detroit MI on the way back to Canada.


The next Nashville stop… a visit to the American Pickers Antique Archaeology Store, where you will see some of the cool items that were shown on the TV Show, like Rick Nielsen’s checker-board guitar, Mickey Gilley’s wicked snake skin boots & silk tour jacket, and even Evel Knievel’s authentic leather jacket on full display for all to gaze upon (not for sale), along with many more cool items and A/A Swag. The stuff in this store ain’t cheap, but it’s mighty cool to see.

Across the street, you can also visit the Marathon Automobile Museum and learn all about the car company and its manufacturing history in TN.

Marathon Motor Museum Nashville TN

There is TONS to see, do & hear in Nashville, Mustard Report will definitely return for a follow up visit one day when there is more time to explore.

The 44th Annual Blues Music Awards 2023

To the main event! It’s 3 hours-ish drive down the highway from Nashville to Memphis TN for the 44th Annual Blues Music Awards. The Blues Music Awards, hosted annually by the Blues Foundation, is always a super fun evening with an amazing line up of talent taking the stage all night long and the various Awards presentations peppered between musical acts – it’s non-stop entertainment, which also includes a nice dinner, a silent auction to raise much needed funds for the Blues Foundation, and drinks which are available all night long at the bar.

The atmosphere is always very friendly, lots of smiles, schmoozing, picture taking & hand shaking, with FULL access to all of your favourite performers and promoters and various other personalities, both in the Hotel lobby at pre-show, throughout the evening’s festivities, and even afterwards as everyone makes their way out of the The Renasant Convention Center and back to the Hotel. If you’re a Blues Music Fan, this is a must experience event at least once in your lifetime.

The GREAT Chris Cain
Michigan’s very own Greg Nagy
The legendary Mr. Willie Buck
Rep’n Canada proud, Mr. Paul Deslaurier and his partner/wife Anika Chambers Deslaurier

If you do decide to check out Memphis for the Blues Music Awards, make sure you set aside plenty of time to explore, before & after the BIG SHOW.

There is plenty to see, do, and EAT, in and around the City itself. You can take a vintage trolley ride across the city for only a buck! Check out the legendary Beale Street, visit the Blues Foundation Headquarters, then take a quick stroll across the street to see the Lorraine Hotel/Civil Rights Museum, have lunch at the world famous “Gus’s Chicken” (if you can get in).

If you’re a little more adventurous, and have access to a car (or carpool) you won’t regret a trip down the Blues Trail and into Mississippi for a visit to Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale. Who knows, you might even run into the great Watermelon Slim throwing down a set at the Bluesberry Café Juke Joint only a few minutes down the street? And if you’re even more adventurous, why not take some time to visit Bill Clinton’s home town of Helena Arkansas, where they host the annual Rockabilly Festival every Fall.

Plan your trip beyond the Awards – you won’t regret it.

Turning this year‘s trip to the BMA’s into a road trip was a cool new way to experience the annual Blues Music Awards, and see the U.S. Deep South from the ground (not the air). It’s certainly much quicker and more convenient to fly down, but there is something to be said for road dawgin’ it, just like the ol’ school blues guys did when they toured the Country from town to town way back in the day.

The Long Road Home to Canada!

The trip back was equally as interesting, first visiting the Indianapolis Speedway, home of the Indy 500. Unfortunately there was a Grand Prix race taking place that day, and with no time budgeted to take in ‘a full race day’, it meant the planned Museum visit had to be postponed, so it was a causal walk around the track’s surrounding neighbourhood to soak up the Indy vibe and stretch the legs before it was off to find the next hotel for a bite to eat, catch the Leafs v. Panthers Play Off Game, grab some well deserved shut-eye, another continental breakfast and hit the road.

The last leg of the trip would be a nail biting marathon drive straight up I-69 to I-469 through Fort Wayne, Toledo and right into the Motor City. Rolled into Detroit with less than an hour to spare before closing time at Third Man Records DETROIT!

The Detroit location is the BIG one, it houses the record plant, library, souvenir shop, and even an in-store stage for live performances. Jack White is ‘all-in’ when it comes to ‘all things’ music and everything entertainment, one interesting cat.

Inside Third Man Records record manufacturing plant

From Detroit, it’s a 3 hour (or so) drive back to Toronto, so instead of another costly hotel stay, Mustard Report made the executive decision to hammer it all the way home. Gas up, cross the US/Canada border, grab a road coffee & bagel in Windsor… and GO! Home before 11pm!

It doesn’t matter how you get there, it’s well worth a trip to the wonderful City of Memphis TN and all it has to offer, Mustard Report highly recommends the venture.

Mustard Report would like to thank:
Andrew Galloway, President of Electro-Fi Records for his supreme Navigation skills all the way down and back.
The Blues Foundation’s Interim President & CEO Kimberly Horton.
Executive Show Producer Joe Whitmer.
Former President Barbara Ballin Newman and
The Blues Foundation itself for once again offering up the Media Access to cover this fine Event, see you again, you can count on it!