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Early Blues Essentials

Crucial artists and albums from the early blues period (1910-1950).

Classic Female Blues Singers
The decade of the 1920s was the era of the female blues singer. With origins in the worlds of vaudeville and jazz music, female blues singers like those listed below enjoyed great commercial fortune throughout the decade, selling a considerable number of records and selling out performances in clubs and theatres alike. As the pendulum turned during the 1930s and female blues singers fell out of f…

Piedmont Blues Pioneers
Originating in the region on the eastern coast of the United States, ranging from the state of Virginia, south to the northern tip of Florida (including the Carolinas), and west to Georgia and eastern Tennessee, the Piedmont blues style is characterized by a finger-picked guitar technique. Although many Piedmont style country-blues songs remain popular today, the style has never received the resp…

Blues: The Devil's Music?
Long known as the "devil's music," thanks to the legend surrounding bluesman Robert Johnson's alleged deal with the devil at a Mississippi crossroads, "Old Nob," as he's known, has become firmly identified with blues music. The devil is often just a metaphor used by blues singers to describe a cheatin' woman, a bad boss, or even the evil in...

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