Probably the most influential of the numerous styles of blues music, Mississippi Delta blues, also known as Delta blues, rose from the abundant agricultural triangle situated between Vicksburg, Mississippi, to the south east and Memphis, Tennessee, to the north east, and bordered by the Mississippi River to the west and the Yazoo River to the east.
Inside this area, where cotton was the main cash crop, much of the property was owned by white plantation owners and worked with black sharecroppers. Poverty was rife through the Delta, and working conditions were harsh.
Delta Blues Tradition
Traditional blues songs were handed down by word-of mouth from one performer to another, and musicians would frequently add new lyrics to old song and make it their own.
The guitar and the harmonica had been the key tools of the Delta bluesman, largely due to the ease of transporting them around. A lot of the musicians of the ancient blues era were sharecroppers or worked on one of the numerous plantations which dotted the Mississippi Delta.
The Delta blues are identified with the music’s highly abbreviated structure, sometimes including clashing rhythms, followed by strong vocals. Even though the lyrics of this music tend to be easy, with recurrent lines a trademark of the style, they also have a tendency to be extremely personal and reflective of the hard life of the African American farmer in the South.
An acoustic guitar is the tool of choice to playing Delta blues, though many musicians adopted the National resonator guitar for its louder sound. The National firm finally merged with Dobro, manufacturer of a well known resonator, and some of those resonators are also known as Dobros. The harmonica is also utilized, albeit as a secondary tool. Delta blues is among the numerous forms of what’s known as state blues.
Mississippi Delta Blues Artists
Charley Patton is usually regarded as the first Delta blues celebrity, and he traveled during the Delta region, frequently with his fellow bluesman Son House. Ishman Bracey, Tommy Johnson, Willie Brown, Tommy McClennan and Skip James are regarded as the most creative and powerful of the Delta blues musicians.
Even though best known for their work in Chicago or Detroit, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and John Lee Hooker all came from the Mississippi Delta. This music enjoyed a business run throughout the 1920, but it came to an abrupt end when the Depression lacked many artists chances to record. Robert Johnson, who recorded throughout the 30s, is broadly regarded as the last of the original Delta blues musicians.
Mississippi Delta blues artists could end up being a major influence on the British blues rock boom of the 1960 on The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, including his rings The Yardbirds and Cream.
Even though Charley Patton’s now available records were reproduced from poor superior 78, King of the Delta Blues provides beginners a solid selection of two dozen tracks of sound quality.