Delta Blues

The Blues, like many other genres of music, are deeply influenced by the region in which they are created.  Politics, religion, customs, dialect and traditions can all be heard in the various styles of the Blues.  The regional differences allow us to “define delta blues, or the blues of Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia….in an acceptably concrete manner, taking as our raw data the work of all the blues singers who learned their music from oral tradition in these regions.”[1]  The Mississippi Delta Blues are often argued as the father of the Blues.  The vocal tradition of Delta Blues musician’s is gritty, raw, has a melodically confined style that was much closer to the ‘field hollers’ than any other form of music.  The instrumental characteristics of the Delta Blues are definable as well; “guitar and piano accompaniments were percussive and hypnotic, and many Delta guitarists mastered the art of fretting the instrument with a slider or bottleneck; they made the instrument “talk” in strikingly speechlike inflections.”[2]

[1] Robert Palmer.  Deep Blues. New York: Penguin Books, 1982.

[2] Ibid