THE BLUEESSS

INFLUENCERS OF THE GENRE

Some major influencers of the genre include names such as W.C Handy, B.B King, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddly, and Howlin’ Wolf. These names are household names because of their impact and what they have contributed to the blues genre. Some other notable pioneers include Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly and Charlie Patton. These artists teamed up with their fellow bluesmen to perform in juke joints and shacks of the deep south. Blues bands have evolved from early jazz bands, gospel choirs and jug bands. When the country blues began to spread to cities and other locales, it took on the different regional characteristics. This is what brought about the St. Louis blues, the Memphis blues, the Louisiana blues etc. John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters were the first bluesmen to electrify the blues by adding drums and the piano in the late 1940’s. 

 

CHARACTERISTICS

ORIGIN

When tracing the blues back to its roots of enslavement, you find that the enslaved passed the time by singing. They used it to communicate and the pattern they often used in their work songs was called call-and-response. In this singing, the leader sings a line and everyone else answers. 

One of the easiest ways to identify a blues song is by the pattern fo the lyrics or the words. There are typically 3 lines of rhyming lyrics that express very strong emotions. The singer will sing a line and repeat it a second time, typically with more emotion or emphasis. The singer will then sing a third line that responds to or reflects the previous 2 lines. (This pattern is referred to as AAB). 

There are many different forms of the blues. These forms include

Traditional country blues: The rural blues of the Mississippi Delta

Jump Blues: A danceable form of swing and blues

Boogie-Woogie: A piano-based blues

Chicago Blues: Delta blues electrified

Blues is a musical genre that originated in the Deep South of the United States. It was formed in the late 1800s after the Civil War. The origins of the genre are deeply rooted in sadness which is how the genre got its name. Hundreds of years of slavery brought about songs that were sung in the fields. The enslaved people expressed their sufferings through music that became known as the blues.The earliest forms of blues music are from the 1920s as many original songs from the genre went to the graves with the enslaved people. Artists like Leadbelly, Charlie Patton, Son House, and Blind Lemon Jefferson are some early blues artists. Today their are many forms of the blues. A lot of them have developed in a particular region with their own unique characteristics. Other genres like rock, R&B,  and Jazz have hints of blues elements because of the strong influence the genre has.

BY: TAYLOR JENKINS

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