Blues  •  Texas Blues

Acoustic Texas Blues

Earmarked by a lazier, more relaxed approach than its nearby Delta neighbor, the earliest incarnation of Acoustic Texas Blues occurred in the mid-'20s, scoring some of the very first guitar driven blues hits in the marketplace. Featuring acoustic guitar work rich in filigree patterns -- almost an extension of the vocals rather than merely a strict accompaniment to it -- the music was already working out defined lead solo patterns and embellishments, even in an unaccompanied context. This ground floor version of the Texas style embraced both the songster and country-blues traditions, with its lyrics relying less on affairs of the heart than in other forms. It's also a lyrical tradition that spawned many of the now commonplace blues metaphors (mean black snake, etc.) and its songbook can boast of some of the hardest indictments on life in prison ever etched into black phonograph records.