I was driving down Highway 61, craning my neck in the soupy heat of the American south, trying to find the crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil.
usty silos off-road were smothered in kudzu vines, signs advertised $1 buck buffets, and the Mississippi ran a muddy brown. Back in Memphis, I’d been to Graceland, to Sun Studios, and was now searching out the best blues legend in the Mississippi Delta. I felt electric.
America is full of sweeping, super-sized moments like this; of places where history, popular culture and mind-blowing landscapes combine to make you feel like you’ve stepped out of a cinema seat and walked straight into the screen. But it’s full of small moments, too. Biting into the perfect bagel in New York. Wrestling a stack of blueberry pancakes in a Nashville diner. A lost afternoon in one of Chicago’s dive bars. Yellow cabs, flags in lawns; the thrill of finding cheap jeans in an outlet mall or Caramel M&Ms in a corner store. It’s the sheer American-ness of it.