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Piedmont blues facts for kids

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Piedmont blues (also called East Coast Blues) is a blues music style from the East Coast of the USA. The name came from the Piedmont, a hilly coastal area between Richmond, Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia. But the style is also played in Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The main instruments are guitar, vocals, drums and bass. The Piedmont style is played on acoustic instruments. The main difference to the Delta blues is the ragtime based rhythm. The style is influenced by ragtime, country string bands, traveling medicine shows and popular song of the early 20th century. East Coast Piedmont Blues blended both black and white, rural and urban song elements in the diverse urban centers of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic region. In contrast to Delta blues, the Piedmont blues were influenced by white music.

In the early twentieth century artists such as Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell, Rev. Gary Davis and Sonny Terry made Piedmont blues popular. Women also played the Piedmont guitar style, including Etta Baker and Elizabeth Cotten, whose “Freight Train” is one of the most recognized Piedmont tunes. Before the Second World War Piedmont blues was a style that was very popular with the African-Americans of the South. The heyday was the 1920s and 1930s.

List of Piedmont blues musicians

Blind Willie McTell LOC
Blind Willie McTell recording for John A. Lomax in an Atlanta hotel room, 1940
"In the convict camp in Greene County, Georgia", 1941. Buddy Moss is playing guitar; other men unidentified.


  • Blind Blake
  • Gabriel Brown


  • Blind Willie McTell (William Samuel McTell)
  • Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks)
  • "Laughing" Charley Lincoln (Charlie Hicks), Barbecue Bob’s brother.
  • Peg Leg Howell
  • Eddie Mapp
  • Curley Weaver
  • Buddy Moss
  • Tampa Red
  • Bumble Bee Slim (Amos Easton)
  • Baby Tate (Charles Henry "Baby" Tate)
  • Andrew and Jim Baxter
  • Clifford Lee
  • Jonas Brown
  • Buddy Keith
  • Georgia Cotton Pickers

South Carolina

  • Pink Anderson
  • Alvin "Little Pink" Anderson
  • Simeon "Simmie" Dooley
  • Reverend Gary Davis
  • Willie Walker
  • Josh White
  • Henry Johnson
  • Peg Leg Sam
  • Ted Bogan
  • Julius Daniels
  • Cottie Stark

North Carolina

  • Blind Boy Fuller (Fulton Allen)
  • Carolina Slim (Edward P. Harris)
  • Sonny Terry
  • Etta Baker
  • Elizabeth Cotten
  • Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council
  • Richard Trice
  • Willie (Welly) Trice
  • Roy Dunn
  • Alden “Tarheel Slim” Bunn
  • George Higgs
  • Ephen Lee
  • John Dee Holeman
  • Quentin "Fris" Holloway
  • Lesley T. Riddle
  • Preston Fulp


  • Brownie McGhee
  • Cripple Clarence Lofton
  • Howard Armstrong ("Louie Bluie")
  • Joe Evans (Billy Bird)


  • Jimmie Strother
  • Luke Jordan
  • John Jackson
  • James Jackson (son of John Jackson)
  • Archie Edwards
  • Stephen Tarter
  • Harry Gay
  • William Moore
  • Carl Martin

Washington, DC

  • John Cephas
  • Phil Wiggins


  • Sam Butler (Bo Weavil Jackson)
  • Bayless Rose
  • Chicken Wilson and Skeeter Hinton

See also

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