Nashville to New Orleans — JR


This is a Cadillac we’re talking about. An American icon, immortalized in songs like Vince Taylor’s rockabilly classic Brand New Cadillac .

So when my baby drives up in a brand new Cadillac, there is only one perfect drive: Nashville to New Orleans. How Cadillac is that? For any Cadillac, this road trip would be a rite of passage; for a brand-new one like our SRX, it’s a baptism of the highest order.

Starting in Nashville, Tennessee, the capital of country music, we’ll drive south and west via the Natchez Trace Parkway and old Highway 64 to Memphis, birthplace of the blues. First on our Memphis agenda: Graceland, home of the King, Elvis Presley, who was also the King of Cadillacs (he owned over one hundred Caddies). Then on to Sun Studio and Beale Street before arriving at the Lorraine Motel to pay respects to another fine Cadillac man, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Who doesn’t remember the iconic photo of the Lorraine Motel with Dr. King’s white Cadillac parked out front and the memorial wreath on the balcony?

After some heart-stopping Memphis barbecue, it’ll be time to make like Bob Dylan and head out on Highway 61. We’ll travel south along the Mississippi Blues Trail, keeping a lookout at the crossroads for Robert Johnson’s soul, visiting the old Dockery Plantation (home to many blues legends), making a pilgrimage at the birthplace of Muddy Waters and, as always, continuing to conduct our exhaustive research into local cuisine.

Driving down into Louisiana, we’ll eschew the impersonal interstate for the Great River Road, winding our way along the Mississippi to Baton Rouge, passing through a mix of the old (plantations) and new (petrochemical plants) South, until we cruise the causeway over Lake Pontchartrain and reach our final destination, New Orleans. In the French Quarter, we’ll park our Caddy in a shady spot, make a beeline to Central Grocery for a muffuletta and laissez les bon temps rouler for what’s left of our perfect weekend.

And y’all can come with before we go, we’ll be taking requests for our Nashville-to-Memphis-to-New-Orleans and Songs About Cadillacs playlists. Along the way, expect Tweets from the road, pics and videos uploaded at truckstops and blog posts written in the wee hours, ideally with the assistance of strong coffee and fresh beignets from Cafe du Monde.

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