What is the Blues The different Blues genres


At the end of the Fifties, the popularity of American Blues musicians such as B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters were such that it inspired many young English people.

Among the best known artists one can quote: Rollings Stones, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Cream, Fletwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Ten Years After, Them, The Yarbirds, Stan Webb' S Chicken Shack, Steve Winwood, Gary Moore, Derek & the Dominos.


Chicago Blues, also called "Classic Chicago style" developed towards the end of the Forties/beginning of the Fifties. It is an evolution of the Delta Blues 8acoustic guitar and harmonica), amplified and to which one added instruments like the electric guitar, the bass, the drums, the piano, and sometimes horn sections (West Side Chicago Blues).

The composition of the Chicago Blues bands gave place to the current line-up of Blues bands.

Among the best known artists one can quote : Luther Allison, Buddy Guy, Joh Lee Hooker, Albert King, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin' wolf, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker.


Country Blues, also called Folk Blues or Rural Blues defines mainly an acoustic music made up of string instruments. It is also a generic term to define and gather various regional styles of Blues like : Memphis, Detroit, Acoustic Chicago, Texas, Piedmont, Louisiana, Western, Atlanta, St-Louis, East coast, Swamp, New Orleans, Piedmont, Delta and Kansas City Blues.


The Delta Blues holds its name of a part of the South of the United States, the Delta of the Mississippi. It is the area in which was born the Blues. The Delta Blues is characterized by interpretations of artists being accompanied only with a guitar (often played with a bottleneck) or with the harmonica., and interpreting their songs at the same time in an introspective and melancholic way or impassioned

 and feverish.

This way of playing alone is still characteristic nowadays, although this style has also evolved to small musical formations.

Among the best known artists one can quote: R.L. Burnside, James Cotton, Son House, John Lee Hooker, Skip James, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Hound Dog Taylor, Bukka White.


East Coast Blues gathers primarily two categories : Piedmont Blues and Jump Blues.

Piedmont Blues describes musical techniques developed by the musicians from the area of Georgia, Carolina, Virginia as well as other musical forms originating from Florida, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware according to geographical, historical and sociological criteria. It is a complex and highly syncopated music inspired by the ragtime and the country.

Among the best known artists one can quote : Reverend Gary Davis, Lonnie Johnson, Brownie McGhee, Charlie Parr, Cephas & Wiggins.

Jump Blues is a fast blues inspired by the Jazz of the Forties. It is often characterized by a singer accompanied by an imposing horns section. Jump Blues was used as footbridge towards the big bands of Jazz of the Forties.

Among the best known artists one can quote : Louis Jordan, Jimmy Nelson, Big Joe Turner.


The Harmonica Blues refers to all the styles of Blues in which the harmonica plays a major part.

The apogee of the Harmonica Blues is in the Fifties when this instrument could be amplified. The artist who contributed to make the Electric Harmonica Blues popular is Little Walter Jacobs, whose musical style influenced the Blues artists for long decades.


Modern electric Blues describes any kind of Blues as far as it is electrified ans amplified. It is especially present in Chicago Blues, Texas Blues, and Memphis Blues.

Although often mixing old and new Blues inspirations, it is often innovating while flirting with the rock'n'roll, the jazz, the funk New variations of the Blues were born from it like the New York City Blues, Blues-Rock and Urban Blues.


Texas Blues was born in the years 1900 among the black American workmen who worked in the oil industry, the ranches and the forestry developments. In the Twenties it is a music being characterized by swing environments, with a guitar play being more described as an extension of the song that to a musical accompaniment. In the Forties Texas Blues evolves to an electric sound characterized by a jazzy guitar play interpreted with only one cord and accompanied by horns. After a short phase of decline and change, Texas Blues reappears as of the Seventies with a more Blues-Rock sound.

Among the best known artists one can quote: Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, ZZ Top, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughan.


Since the Eighties one attends in France and in the French-speaking countries of Europe a real rise of the Blues music. While being adapted, and reproducing with talent the various musical Blues styles, French Blues has this particularity that it is interpreted in French. If one can speak about French Blues as a style with whole share it is because the French-speaking artists succeeded in preserving the essence of the Blues, but by adapting it and by enriching it with texts anchored in the reality of the today's French-speaking Europe.