Country blues

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Country blues is the generic term for a style of blues that has its origins in rural regions of the American south and is mainly played with acoustic guitar accompaniment.

The regional characteristics such as Delta Blues , Atlanta Blues , Piedmont Blues or Texas Blues differ significantly and have many local characteristics. In addition, there were musicians like Skip James or Mississippi John Hurt who developed very personal styles that were rather untypical for their home region.


The country blues arose around the turn of the century from elements of traditional African music, minstrel , European songs and church music . It is not clear whether it originated in several places (especially Texas and Mississippi ) independently of one another or whether it spread from one place. The earliest reports about him came from Ma Rainey and WC Handy , who were inspired to do their own pieces. The earliest blues musician known by name, Henry Sloan, was also the musical foster father of one of the most influential and important musicians of the country blues, Charley Patton . Patton began to make a living from music around 1906 and made a lasting impression on the Delta Blues in the small town of Drew around 1912.

The most important exponent of the Texas Blues was Blind Lemon Jefferson , who was the first country blues musician to become widely known through his recordings. Country blues became more widespread in the southern United States from the 1920s after American record labels began producing black artist's shellac records for African American audiences. Jefferson's fame in particular sparked a wave of more country blues recordings, and his career was a model for other country blues musicians.


In the 1930s, the urban blues (later rhythm and blues ) developed in the larger cities from the country blues ; indirectly, the country blues also influenced rock 'n' roll and, via the British blues, also influenced rock music .

Neither the development towards urban and electric blues nor the extinction of the first generation, most of which had already made recordings before the Second World War , have so far led to the disappearance of the country blues. In addition to Taj Mahal, white artists such as Rory Block , John Hammond Jr. and Bonnie Raitt have been committed to this style since the 1960s . Since the 1990s, a new generation has shaped contemporary country blues. These are mainly African-American musicians like Alvin Youngblood Hart , Corey Harris , Guy Davis and Keb 'Mo' , who have made the country blues their own and reinvigorated it in innovative ways.

Typical representatives