Country blues (also folk blues, rural blues, backwoods blues, or downhome blues) is acoustic, mainly guitar-driven forms of the blues, that mixes blues elements with characteristics of folk. After blues' birth in the Southern United States, it quickly spread throughout the country (and elsewhere), giving birth to a host of regional styles. These include Memphis, Detroit, Chicago, Texas, Piedmont, Louisiana, West Coast, St. Louis, East Coast, Swamp, New Orleans, Delta, Hill country and Kansas City blues.
When African-American musical tastes began to change in the early 1960s, moving toward soul and rhythm and blues music, country blues found renewed popularity as "folk blues" and was sold to a primarily white, college-age audience. Traditional artists like Big Bill Broonzy and Sonny Boy Williamson II reinvented themselves as folk blues artists, while Piedmont bluesmen like Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee found great success on the folk festival circuit.
Seminal compilations of pre-WWII country blues recordings assembled in the 1950s are the Anthology of American Folk Music and The Country Blues.