A great blues singer, also a guitarist and composer, born on October 26, 1894 (given until recently as September 26, 1893) in Wortham, Texas, about 60 miles south of Dallas. Hugely influential because he shaped the Texas blues and put it on record, though his recording career was, typically, very short (1926-1929). He was the main blues influence on Leadbelly and, through Leadbelly, an important tutor to many, many others.
-Michale Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)
Lemon Henry “Blind Lemon” Jefferson (September 24, 1894 – December 19, 1929) was an American blues and gospel singer-songwriter and musician. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s and has been called the “Father of the Texas Blues”.
“I’m a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration- joy and pain sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll.”
― Cornel West, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir
If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.
The blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. It’s better keeping the roots alive, because it means better fruits from now on. The blues are the roots of all American music. As long as American music survives, so will the blues.
Here´s a list with 10 GREAT old acoustic blues songs. I´ve added youtube “videos” & a spotify playlist.
Blind Willie Johnson – Dark was the night, cold was the ground (1927/29)