Thursday, April 02, 2009

Texas blues

Growing up in Louisiana, in the shadow of the great state of Texas gives you a different perspective on things. Especially music. Especially blues music. I feel like I really understand what those great Texas blues musicians were singing about, you know what I mean?

People like Lightin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, T-Bone Walker and Leadbelly. Living there for a few years, and going to college there only served to make me appreciate the state, the people and the great Texas Blues music even more.

According to Wikipedia;

Texas Blues began to appear in the early 1900s among African Americans who worked in oilfields, ranches and lumber camps. In the 1920s, Blind Lemon Jefferson innovated the style by using jazz-like improvisation and single string accompaniment on a guitar; Jefferson's influence defined the field and inspired later performers, like Lightnin' Hopkins and T-Bone Walker. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, many bluesmen moved to cities like Galveston, Houston and Dallas. It was from these cities that a new wave of popular performers appeared, including slide guitarist and gospel singer Blind Willie Johnson and legendary vocalist Big Mama Thornton. Duke Records and Peacock Records were the most important labels of the scene.

In the 1960s, however, the record industry moved north, reducing Texas's importance in the blues scene. The area's importance returned in the 1970s when a Texas blues rock sound developed, led by Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, ZZ Top and the The Fabulous Thunderbirds. This set the stage for the revival of the 1980s, which produced Stevie Ray Vaughan and moved the blues capital of the state to Austin.
Notable Texas Blues performers

  • Albert Collins

  • The Fabulous Thunderbirds

  • Lightnin' Hopkins

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

  • Billy Gibbons

  • Freddie King

  • Leadbelly

  • Delbert McClinton

  • Guitar Shorty

  • Big Mama Thornton

  • Jimmie Vaughan

  • Stevie Ray Vaughan

  • T-Bone Walker

  • Johnny Winter

  • Canned Heat

  • Mance Lipscomb

  • ZZ Top

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