|Cultural origins||Early 20th century, American South|
Country blues (also folk blues, rural blues, backwoods blues, or downhome blues) is one of the earliest forms of blues music. The mainly solo vocal with acoustic fingerstyle guitar accompaniment developed in the rural Southern United States in the early 1900s. Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson (Texas), Charley Patton (Mississippi), Blind Willie McTell (Georgia) were among the first to record blues songs in the 1920s. Country blues ran parallel to urban blues, which was popular in cities.
Folklorist Alan Lomax was one of the first to use the term and applied it to a field recording he made of Muddy Waters at the Stovall Plantation, Mississippi, in 1941. In 1959, music historian Samuel Charters wrote The Country Blues, an influential scholarly work on the subject. He also produced an album, also titled The Country Blues, with early recordings by Jefferson, McTell, Sleepy John Estes, Bukka White, and Robert Johnson.
Charters's works helped to introduce the then-nearly forgotten music to the American folk music revival of the late 1950s and 1960s. The acoustic roots-focused movement also gave rise to the terms "folk blues" and "acoustic blues", especially being applied to performances and recordings made around this period. "Country blues" has also been used to describe regional acoustic styles, such as Delta blues, Piedmont blues, or the earliest Chicago, Texas, and Memphis blues.