The Blues

The beginning of most American popular music can be traced back to the “blues” which are rooted in early African-American culture. Its earliest forms came from “field hollers” which were created for communication and to ease the monotony of backbreaking labor. Then the blues moved indoors to churches and bar rooms in the Deep South.

Although the blues was first expressed almost exclusively with the human voice, it’s first instrumental voice was the guitar. Hence, the stylist list below is almost all guitarists. It then was adapted to other instruments and evolved into what has come to be known as “Early Jazz” and “Swing” which in turn were a huge influence on R&B and Rock & Roll.

Finally, the blues ended up being the main inspiration for most forms of contemporary popular music – not the least being jazz.

In our Blues section, you will hear a great many modern versions of the blues, and we are working to obtain examples of Early (turn-of-the-20th-century) blues.