About The Delta Blues And The Texas Blues

1124 words - 5 pages

It is hard to say that one place or time is the true home of the blues. From the Delta to Texas, the blues seeped into American culture. The music helped create and define a generation of people. But what is the difference between two different regions of blues music? And how did different artist fit into the genre itself? All these questions can be answered by taking a simple look into the past.The Delta blues is one of the earliest styles of blues music. The term Delta refers to the Mississippi Delta region, an alluvial plain which stretches from near Memphis, Tennessee south to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and whose east-west boundaries are the Mississippi River to the west and the Yazoo Ri ...view middle of the document...

The famous ZZ Top was at the, excuse the pun, top of the movement. Soon, the blues and rock found a premanite home in Texas. Now, Austin is the capital of the blues within the state. Despite the Texas blues involvement in everyday life, back in the 1900s, it wasn't until Blind Lemon Jefferson that the genre truly took off. Jefferson brought in the jazz-like improvisation and single string accompaniment on guitar than now is regular in the Texas blues.Delta blues was an ever changing style. Due to the amount of artists floating in and out of the Delta, style changed and evolved over time. From Skip James, Elmore James, and even Blind Lemon Jefferson, moved about the Delta, performing and spreading the blues. Blind Lemon, himself, was an interesting part of the blues. Considering his stance as one of the most popular blues artists of the 1920's, very little is known about him. Drawing from the name, Blind Lemon was a blind man, and had possibility been so since childhood. Between 1925 and 1929, he made at least 100 recordings, including original material and alternate versions of songs. Forty Three records were issued in his name, all but one on Paramount. In 1929, he died in Chicago, for unknown reasons. He was buried in his hometown of Wortham, Texas on New Year's Day, 1930.Though his place is music is defined as part of the blues, it is unclear as to which region he would be better defined in. He helped advance the Delta blues, yet was born and raised in Texas, where Blind Lemon began his musical career by being a street performer. When living in Dallas, Texas he met up with Leadbelly, a blues musician nearly ten years older than he. Leadbelly was known for his large repertoire of songs and his musical capacities. However, "it was the younger man who had the greater command of the blues" (Bill Salmon, 1).Another artist connected to the Delta blues scene is Muddy Waters. Waters, also known as McKinley Morganfield, was born in 1915, and died in 1983. He was an amazing blues singer and guitarist. Although he was musical for all of his childho...


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