List of Delta blues musicians

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The Delta blues is one of the earliest styles of blues music. It originated in the Mississippi Delta, a region of the United States that stretches from north to south between Memphis, Tennessee, and Vicksburg, Mississippi, and from east to west between the Yazoo River and the Mississippi River. The Mississippi Delta is famous for its fertile soil and the poverty of farm workers living there. Guitar and harmonica are the dominant instruments in Delta blues. Vocal styles range from introspective and soulful to passionate and fiery. Below is a list of Delta blues musicians.






  • David Honeyboy Edwards (June 28, 1915, Shaw, Mississippi – August 29, 2011). Grammy Award–winning guitarist and singer; at the time of his death he may have been the last living Delta blues player of the twentieth century.


  • Boyd Gilmore ((June 1, 1905 – December 23, 1976)[1] was a Delta blues singer, guitarist and songwriter. Amongst the songs he wrote were "All in My Dreams", "Believe I'll Settle Down", "I Love My Little Woman" and "If That's Your Girl". Gilmore also recorded a version of fellow Delta bluesman Robert Johnson's track, "Ramblin' on My Mind".[2]







  • Sonny Boy Nelson (December 23, 1908 – November 4, 1998). Multi-instrumentalist, playing the banjo, guitar, harmonica, horn, mandolin and violin.


  • Jack Owens (November 17, 1904 – February 9, 1997). Singer and guitarist.


  • Charley Patton (between April 1887 and 1891 – April 28, 1934). Guitarist, slide guitarist and singer, considered by many to be the "father of the Delta blues" is credited with creating an enduring body of American music and personally inspiring just about every Delta bluesman.
  • Pinetop Perkins (July 7, 1913, Belzoni, Mississippi – March 21, 2011). Pianist who played with some of the most influential blues and rock and roll performers in American history
  • Robert Petway (possibly October 18, 1907 – May 1978). Singer and guitarist who recorded only 16 songs was an influence on many notable blues and rock musicians.



  • Johnny Shines (April 26, 1915 – April 20, 1992). Singer and guitarist.
  • J.D. Short (February 26, 1902 – October 21, 1962). Singer, guitarist and harmonica player.
  • Henry "Son" Sims (August 22, 1890 – December 23, 1958). Fiddler and songwriter, best known as an accompanist for Charley Patton and the young Muddy Waters.
  • Freddie Spruell (December 28, 1893 – June 19, 1956). Singer and guitarist, generally regarded as the first Delta bluesman to be recorded.
  • Houston Stackhouse (September 28, 1910 – September 23, 1980). Guitarist and singer best known for his association with Robert Nighthawk.



  • L. C. Ulmer (August 28, 1928 – February 14, 2016). Singer, songwriter and one-man band, playing up to 12 musical instruments at one time.


Timeline of some well-known Delta blues artists[edit]


  1. ^ "Illustrated Boyd Gilmore discography". Retrieved 2016-11-15. 
  2. ^ "Boyd Gilmore | Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-11-15. 
  3. ^ Mississippi John Hurt
  4. ^ Bob Eagle; Eric S. LeBlanc (2013). Blues – A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California, United States: Praeger Publishers. p. 217. 
  5. ^ "Hayes Mc Mullan | Light In The Attic Records". Retrieved 2017-03-05.