is a subgenre of the blues, and of course is not limited to Texas-based musicians. It
has had various style variations but typically has been played with more swing than other blues styles.
blues differs from styles such as Chicago blues in use of
instruments and sounds, especially the heavy use of the guitar. Musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan contributed by using various types of guitar sounds like southern slide guitar and different melodies
of blues and jazz. Texas blues
also relies on guitar solos or "licks" as bridges in songs.
Texas Blues began to appear in the early 1900s among African Americans who worked in oilfields, ranches and
lumber camps. In the 1920s, Blind Lemon Jefferson innovated the style by using jazz-like improvisation and single
string accompaniment on a guitar; Jefferson's influence defined the field and inspired later performers, like Lightnin' Hopkins and T-Bone Walker. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, many bluesmen moved to cities like Galveston, Houston and Dallas. It was from these cities that a new wave of popular performers
appeared, including slide guitarist and gospel singer Blind Willie Johnson and legendary vocalist Big Mama Thornton. Duke Records and Peacock Records were the most important labels of the scene.
In the 1960s, however, the record industry moved north, reducing Texas's importance in the blues scene. The area's importance returned in the 1970s when
a Texas blues rock sound developed, led by ZZ Top and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. This set the stage for the revival of the 1980s, which produced
Stevie Ray Vaughan and moved the blues capital of the state to Austin.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Blind Lemon Jefferson
Big Mama Thornton
Stevie Ray Vaughan