Modern Blues Music: A Brief Overview of the Roots and Influences
What is American music without the American blues?
Let’s face it; the music scene is nothing without the blues. It’s the bedrock of all American music. And while rock and roll got most of the fame and glory in popular culture, the blues has continued to evolve and grow in popularity in its own right, right alongside jazz and country.
Keep reading to find out more about modern blues music and the various styles in vogue now and the various major influences that brought each of those styles to the fore.
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Delta Blues is a local style of rural folk music that originated in the Mississippi Delta. It has been a major influence in modern music and has drawn elements from African-American spirituals, gospel, ragtime, and other musical forms. Delta Blues is defined by its melancholic soulful sound, often featuring sparse instrumentation and slow, rhythmic rhythms.
Modern blues music draws heavily from Delta blues, including the 12-bar technique, as well as a slower, more relaxed tempo. Other forms of music, such as:
It has also been influenced significantly by Delta Blues, leading to the genre’s widespread influence. For this reason, it is worth exploring and experiencing the roots music of this genre and learning more about it. Try it today!
Country blues was a popular way of self-expression among African American singers and songwriters who used this simple, direct form to convey stories about their everyday lives. Modern and popular blues music has evolved from this tradition and retains many of its core elements. Its primary instruments are:
- Drums, with a focus on a twelve-bar blues structure
It has also been strongly influenced by other genres such as rock and roll and jazz, giving it an added complexity and a wider range of sounds. In terms of lyrical content, modern blues often addresses topics such as:
It has also taken on a much darker tone, reflecting the increasing pressures brought on by modern society. Despite its many adaptations, the core elements of modern blues will always remain rooted in the country blues of the past.
Rhythm and Blues (R&B)
Modern Blues music is a genre that is deeply rooted in the traditions and influences of 1930s blues and 1960s Rhythm and Blues, known as RampB. It is often said that modern blues music began in the 1940s, when electric instruments and amplified sound, made popular in RampB clubs and juke joints, reverberated through live shows and recordings.
Modern blues developed by using the riffs and cutting-edge sounds of RampB, combined with a certain amount of improvisation to create something unique. The emergence of the 12-bar musical structure that has become synonymous with modern blues was popular during this era, allowing for the emotion and soulful storytelling typical of the genre to be showcased.
Exploring Some of Your Favorite Modern Blues Music Today!
Modern blues music is an essential part of American culture and has been since its inception. It is a rich history and unique sound has made it one of America’s most beloved music genres, with diverse influencers from around the globe. Explore the depths of this beloved genre today and discover how you can capture the soul of the blues in your playing.
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