Blues music is a pivotal marking of a musical genre in the turn of the twentieth century. The Blues phenomenon began in the Southeast developing out of African American musical traditions. Blues was derived from African American work songs, dance tunes, field hollers, spirituals, and minstrel songs. The lyrics within each blues song often portrayed the hardships of oppression during the era of the Jim Crow racism. The lyrics depicted the segregated society, sorrows of civil rights injustices and even the joys in the daily life of an African American during these times. Blues music to date remains as a releasing outlet of personal expression for those of have shared these experiences.
Early musicians who played the blues often sought out a variation of tonalities by tuning their guitars to an open chord within D or E and also used a knife or bottleneck as a slide. Originally, blues tracks had variation in song length, style and form but as time passed and blues music because more popular the songs were formalized taking to the 12 bar structure that is still used today.
North Eastern Carolina is where the style of Piedmont Blues originated. This style included finger - picking the guitar to create the blues sound. This style is influenced by the early traditions of parlor guitar, ragtime, and string band music. The Piedmont Blues style was highly popular among the large crowds that would gather at the North Carolina Tobacco auctions. These auctions where the birth place for blues artists such as George Higgs and John Dee Holman.
Rhythm and blues is used as a descriptive term for many musical styles to date. Although, the term originated in the later 1940s and referred to a musical genre that was developing from a mix of jazz and blues. Some may even argue that the term is correctly used as rhythm in blues but it has since evolved into rhythm and blues. This genre is the evolution of blues into ensembles that usually include a vocalist, saxophone, electric guitar, full rhythm section of piano, drums, and bass. These songs were very upbeat and dance worthy. The blues under tone has an apparent influence on the music with an added twist.