Compare and Contrast the Blues and Country Music
Are the blues really blue? Were the whites the original singers of blues during the rock and roll era? Was country music originally a different and separate genre from blues? Are they performing the same type of music? The answer to all of these questions is NO.
Today, blues and country music are considered as significantly different forms of American music.
Blues music is a combination of African, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Irish and Scottish folk traditions that was originally developed by the African-Americans during the nineteenth century. However, both white and black people first recorded blues that it lead to the first categorization of the genre: “Hillbilly” or country music for whites and “blues” for blacks (“Blues Categorizations”). These categories, however, expanded later on and include delta blues, classic blues, jazz, ragtime, boogie woogie, boogie blues, rhythm and blues, jump blues, rock and roll, soul, black pop music, hillbilly blues, rockabilly, bluegrass, hillbilly boogie, western swing, honky tonk, Chicago blues, novelty blues, and country music. (“Blues Categorizations”)
Country music, on the other hand, is also known as country and western music or country-western music. It originated from the Southeast and the Southwest (“Country and western music”) and is a combination of folk, Celtic, blues, gospel and old-time music and directly descended from English, Scottish and Irish folk songs of the Southeastern coastline (“Country Music”). Country music includes the following: Nashville sound, bluegrass, Western, Western swing, the Bakersfield sound, outlaw country, zydeco, Appalachian, among others (“Country Music”).
The next time somebody asks what music is playing, whether it’s the blues or just plain old country music, point them towards the path of enlightenment and show them the subtle differences that may enhance their appreciation of both of these art forms.
“Blues Categorizations.” 2000. November 13, 2006.
“Country and Western Music.” Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. November 13, 2006.
“Country Music.” Wikipedia: Free Encyclopedia. November 13, 2006.