Blues » Early Acoustic Blues » Acoustic Memphis Blues

The Memphis style of acoustic country blues is a most distinctive form, and is historically important for the rise of two distinct changes it brought to the music. First was the rise in popularity of the jug band, a style of lighthearted blues played on homemade instruments with a pronounced Dixieland jazz feel to it. The second influence -- and perhaps most important -- was the beginnings of assigning parts to guitarists for solo (lead) and rhythm work, a now-commonplace form of arranging that is part and parcel of all modern day blues bands. This version of Memphis blues was heavily tied to the local medicine show and vaudeville traditions, lasting well into the late '30s. Because of its proximity to Mississippi and the Delta, slide guitar work also crops up in acoustic Memphis blues from time to time, though in nowhere the proportion that it does in other genres.

Acoustic Memphis Blues Artists Highlights

Furry Lewis
Furry Lewis
Big Joe Williams
Big Joe Williams

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Acoustic Memphis Blues Album Highlights

Hoodoo Lady (1933-1937)
Memphis Minnie
Hoodoo Lady (1933-1937)
Memphis Jug Band [Reissue]
Memphis Jug Band
Memphis Jug Band [Reissue]
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1930)
Memphis Jug Band
Complete Recorded Works, ...
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1928-1929)
Memphis Jug Band
Complete Recorded Works, ...
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1935-1941)
Memphis Minnie
Complete Recorded Works, ...
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1930-1931)
Memphis Minnie / Kansas ...
Complete Recorded Works, ...

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Acoustic Memphis Blues Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Black Cat Blues Memphis Minnie
K.C. Moan Memphis Jug Band
Bumble Bee Blues Memphis Jug Band
She Stays Out All Night Long Memphis Jug Band
Ball and Chain Blues
Memphis Minnie
Pile Drivin' Blues
Kansas Joe McCoy / Memphis Minnie
Frankie Jean (That Trottin' Fool) Memphis Minnie
Please Don't Stop Him Memphis Minnie
Down Home Girl Memphis Minnie
Beale Street Mess Around Memphis Jug Band

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Other Styles in Early Acoustic Blues