List of Texas blues musicians

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Texas Blues is a subgenre of the blues, and of course is not limited to Texas-based musicians. It has had various style variations but typically has been played with more swing than other blues styles. Texas blues differs from styles such as Chicago blues in use of instruments and sounds, especially the heavy use of the guitar. Musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan contributed by using various types of guitar sounds like southern slide guitar and different melodies of blues and jazz. Texas blues also relies on guitar solos or "licks" as bridges in songs. Below is a list of Texas blues musicians.

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  • Ezra Charles – (June 17, 1944–) Born in Texarkana, Texas as Charles Helpinstill. Singer, pianist, songwriter, bandleader from Houston. He had his start performing with Johnny Winter and Edgar Winter in Beaumont. Leader of Thursday's Children, seminal rock band from Houston in the 1960s. Invented the Helpinstill Piano Pickup in 1972. Led Ezra Charles and the Works band from 1983–present, now called Ezra Charles' Texas Blues Band.
  • Gary Clark, Jr.
  • W. C. Clark – (November 16, 1939–) Born in Austin, Texas, Clark was one of the originators of blues in the city of Austin. A soul music singer and electric Texas blues guitarist, he had his start performing with T.D. Bell. He also can be seen performing onstage with Stevie Ray Vaughan for a 1980s episode of Austin City Limits. Following a tragic car wreck in 1997 that resulted in the death of his fiance and drummer, Clark has slowed down on touring and recording in the years since.
  • Arnett Cobb – (August 10, 1918–March 24, 1989) Born in Houston, Texas, Cobb is most remembered as a jazz tenor saxophonist, though his contributions to Texas blues and other sounds like New York blues and jump blues should not be taken lightly. He is the person who discovered James Brown and, in his later years, he led his own band called Texas Jazz and Blues.
  • Albert Collins – (October 1, 1932–November 24, 1993) Born in Leona, Texas, Collins was one of the true greats of the Texas blues scene. An original songwriter, as well as an accomplished guitarist and singer, Collins performed with some of the best musicians the state of Texas had to offer. He released many recordings over his career, and enjoyed renewed appreciation for his art during the blues revival of the 1960s.
  • Johnny Copeland – (March 27, 1937–June 3, 1997) Born in Haynesville, Louisiana, Copeland was both an acoustic and electric Texas blues guitarist and vocalist who only enjoyed real success late in his career during the 1990s. He recorded numerous solo albums, many for Rounder Records.
  • Pee Wee Crayton – (December 18, 1914–June 25, 1985) Born in Rockdale, Texas, Crayton was a frequent member of the Texas blues scene. Both an acoustic and electric blues guitarist and singer, he also performed rhythm and blues and West Coast blues when moving to Los Angeles, California in 1935. He recorded at least nine albums over his career, in addition to collaborations with other artists. Among the labels he worked for were Crown Records and Charly Records, among others.

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  • Harmonica Slim - (December 21, 1934–June 16, 1984), was an American blues harmonicist, singer and songwriter.[3]
  • Andrew "Smokey" Hogg – (January 27, 1914–May 1, 1960) Born in Westconnie, Texas, Hogg began his career as a rhythm and blues musician. An acoustic and electric guitarist, singer and pianist, Hogg performed with musicians in Texas like Black Ace.
  • Lightnin' Hopkins – (March 15, 1912–January 30, 1982) Born Sam Hopkins in Centerville, Texas, Hopkins was an acoustic and electric guitarist and a major exponent of Texas blues. During his late career he performed mostly on electric guitar, though in the same manner that he would perform on an acoustic one. Like John Lee Hooker, Hopkins is one the better known blues musicians of history.
  • Joe "Guitar" Hughes – (c. 1938–May 19, 2003) Born in Houston, Texas. One of the unsung heroes of the Texas blues scene, Hughes was an acoustic and electric guitarist and vocalist. He performed with Bobby "Blue" Bland in the 1960s and released a series of solo albums in the late 1980s and 1990s for labels like Black Top Records and Double Trouble Records.
  • Long John Hunter – Born John Thurman Hunter in 1931, he released three albums on Alligator Records in the 1990s. His most recent release, Looking for a Party was issued by Blue Express in October 2009.
  • Alan Haynes (February 19, 1956) Born in Houston, Texas, is an American Texas Blues guitarist.
  • Rocky Hill (December 1, 1946–April 10, 2009, and brother of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill) was a blues guitarist, singer, and bassist from Dallas, Texas.

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  • Melvin Jackson – (August 16, 1915–May 30, 1976) Born in Tyler, Texas, Jackson was a regular of the Texas blues scene, an acoustic and electric country blues guitarist and singer who seemed most comfortable performing acoustic. He cut a few records for Arhoolie Records over the years.
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson – (September 24, 1893–Mid-December 1929) Born in Coutchman, Texas. One of the most widely recorded and influential blues guitarists and singers of the pre-war Country blues era, Jefferson's influence extended to artists in other geographic areas and subgenres such as Delta blues and Piedmont blues.
  • Blind Willie Johnson – (January 22, 1897–September 18, 1945) Born near Brenham, Texas was first and foremost a gospel blues guitarist and singer, an early innovator of the slide guitar (using a pocketknife). Johnson mixed his evangelical lyrics with early Texas blues, and is remembered for the 30 songs he recorded for Columbia Records in 1927–30.
  • Eric Johnson – (August 17, 1954–) Guitarist from Austin, Texas.
  • Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones – (October 16, 1948–) Born in Dallas, Texas, Jones is a guitarist, singer and songwriter, whose recorded work has been released on five albums. In 1995, he was also part of the ensemble that garnered a Blues Music Award as the 'Band of the Year'.
  • Tutu Jones – (September 9, 1966–) Born in Dallas, Texas), is an electric blues and soul blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, who has released five albums since 1994.
  • Janis Joplin – (January 19, 1943–October 4, 1970) Born in Port Arthur, Texas, was an American singer-songwriter who first rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of the psychedelic-acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist with her own backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band.

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  • Bnois King – (January 21, 1943–) Born in Delhi, Louisiana, King was the regular rhythm guitarist and vocalist for the Smokin' Joe Kubek band, and eventually full partner with Kubek, as well as supporting a solo career, especially as a composer, as of 2015.
  • Freddie King – (September 3, 1934–December 28, 1976) Born in Gilmer, Texas, King was an electric rhythm and blues and Texas blues guitarist who performed with a long list of blues greats throughout his career. He recorded extensively in the 1960s for King Records.
  • Bob Kirkpatrick – (January 10, 1934–) Born in Haynesville, Louisiana, he later settled in Dallas and has released three albums to date.
  • Smokin' Joe Kubek – (November 30, 1956–October 11, 2015) Born in Grove City, Pennsylvania but raised mostly in Texas, Kubek was an electric blues guitarist and vocalist in the Texas blues tradition. His band, "The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band", released their debut album in 1991 for Bullseye Blues entitled Steppin' Out Texas Style. He first had his start backing musicians like Freddie King and often partnered with Bnois King. Since their debut, Kubek has released other albums with his band and also has done some solo work.

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  • Ida May Mack – (unknown–unknown) – Mack recorded eight songs in August 1928, six of which were issued by Victor at that time.
  • Mark May – Born in Ohio,Blues and Rock singer, guitarist and songwriter, whose career has spanned over two decades and has released five albums.
  • Pete Mayes – (1938–2008) – Born in Double Bayou, singer, and songwriter, whose career spanned six decades.
  • John McVey
  • Luke "Long Gone" Miles – (1925–1987)
  • Mike Morgan – (November 30, 1959–) Morgan is bandleader of "Mike Morgan & the Crawl", a Texas blues band. He is a guitarist, and has released a series of albums for Black Top and Severn Records.

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  • Henry Qualls (July 8, 1934–December 7, 2003)[4] was an American Texas and country blues guitarist and singer. He found success late in his life after being "discovered" in 1993 by the Dallas Blues Society.[4][5] He released his only album in 1994 but toured globally playing at a number of festivals.

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  • Frankie Lee Sims – (April 30, 1917–May 10, 1970) Electric Texas blues guitarist
  • J. T. Smith – (c. 1890 – c. 1940), variously known as the Howling Wolf, "Funny Paper" Smith, "Funny Papa" Smith, and Howling Smith, was a blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.[6][7] He released around ten singles in his own name or variants thereof, and recorded with Bernice Edwards, Black Boy Shine, Magnolia Harris, and Dessa Foster. His best known song was "Howling Wolf Blues", of which there were a number of variants recorded.
  • Angela Strehli – (November 22, 1945–) Strehli is a singer-songwriter and Texas blues historian.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 320. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  2. ^ Bill Dahl. "James "Thunderbird" Davis | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  3. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 300. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  4. ^ a b "Henry Qualls | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-01-10. 
  5. ^ Thor Christensen. "Henry Qualls: East Texas country-blues singer found success late in life". The Dallas Morning News. 
  6. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 538. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  7. ^ ""Funny Papa" Smith Illustrated Discography". Wirz.de. Retrieved 2016-11-30.