West Coast blues

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West Coast blues
Stylistic origins Blues, Jazz blues, Jump blues
Cultural origins Texas
Typical instruments Piano, Guitar
Mainstream popularity United States United States
1940s — Present

The West Coast blues is a type of blues music related to jazz and jump blues, with lots of piano sounds and jazz guitar solos, which originated from Texas blues musicians that moved to California in the 1940s.[1] West Coast blues also uses smooth, honey-toned vocals, often sounding similar to urban blues.

Little Willie Littlefield, a West Coast blues performer and pianist.

Texas and the West Coast

The best known West Coast blues musicians may be guitarist T-Bone Walker, famous for the song "Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad)", originally from Texas, he had made his first recordings in the late 1920s. During the early 1940's Walker moved to Los Angeles,[2] where he recorded a lot of music for Capital, Black & White, and Imperial. Walker an electric guitar sound to the blues, prossibly doing more to make the use of electric guitar popular in blues than anyone else. Much of his material had a jazzy jump blues feel, which is typical of popular blues from California in the 1940s and 1950s. Other Texas bluesmen followed: Pianist/songwriter Amos Milburn, singer Percy Mayfield, famous for the song "Hit the Road Jack", and Charles Brown moved to Los Angeles. Guitarist Pee Wee Crayton divided his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco, while Lowell Fulson, from Texas by way of Oklahoma, moved to Oakland.

After the efforts of Tom Mazzolini, producer of the San Francisco Blues Festival, started in 1974, and the efforts of recording companies like Arhoolie and HighTone, the West Coast is one of the most important blues areas in the country.[3]

Artist/Musicians[change | edit source]

Footnotes[change | edit source]

  1. Vladimir, Bogdanov. All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues, Backbeat Books, page xii, (2002) - ISBN 0879307366
  2. Obrecht, Jas. Rollin' and Tumblin': The Postwar Blues Guitarists, Backbeat Books, page 7, (2000) - ISBN 0879306130
  3. Herzhaft, Gérard. Encyclopedia of the Blues, University of Arkansas Press, page 32, (1997) - ISBN 1557284520

Other websites[change | edit source]