Article and Photos by Dana L. Weigel ST. LOUIS, MO - The National Blues Museum Grand Opening was held last Saturday in downtown St. Louis to an actual parade throughout the streets of downtown as visitors lined up for the doors to open on this one of a kind Blues experience. There are museums centered on a particular artist or region, but no other museum offers comprehensive coverage of the blues like the National Blues Museum. With international exhibits like the African Lyre, a predecessor to future versions of the banjo, to current day Rock and Roll exhibits, this museum has a little bit of everything. Unique instruments and sounds abound starting with roots based classics in the interactive production exhibit. Visitors are invited to play the spoons and strum the washboard while mixing in harmonica, jug band bass and other sounds. A Pianola is exhibited across thehall with accompanying music rolls. And yet another exhibit displays 900 shiny harmonicas, drawing crowds throughout the day. Last but certainly not least is a brilliantly displayed red Gibson six string played by Blues and Rock and Roll greats alike. A nearby Muddy Waters quote documents the transition, stating “The Blues had a baby and they named it Rock and Roll”. In addition to the instruments on display, visitors will find interactive exhibits and live music along with photographs, clothing, albums and a variety of other iconic items from music legends such as St. Louis’s own Mr. Chuck Berry. Berry was the first artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and played monthly at the nearby St. Louis Landmark, Blueberry Hill Restaurant and Music Club, for nearly 20 years. The National Blues Museum offers entertainment and education for visitors of all ages. The location is ideal with plenty of unique dining and lodging options within walking distance or just a short Metro stop away. St. Louis has a rich music history and the National Blues Museum is sure to bring in new visitors to the city, further enriching a musical culture that is officially on the map for Blues lovers worldwide.