One Century of Country music

One Century of Country

Country music is a popular music genre that originated in 
the southern United States around the 1920s.

With its roots in States of the south-east, Country Music was influenced by 
European Folk Music (Irish, Scottish and English) that was 
played especially in theAppalachia region. 

Country has taken up some elements of the Blues (and vice versa), 
the cowboy ballads, where you can hear the British origins (such as the classic 
"Cuckoo Song", which seems an Irish melody, but faster.)

Among its influences, we find dance melodies with a simple structure, 
often accompanied by strings (banjo instruments, electric guitar and acoustic, 
Dobros, violins and harmonicas.

Important guitarists:

Sam McGee -


He grew up in Franklin, Tennessee, he learned to play guitar from local black 
musicians,who teached him the technique of alternating the lowest string and 
play the melody on the higher strings- differentiating itself from other 
guitarists who played in local strings band , where the guitar's role was 
playing in sync with the bass, simply accompanying the violin.

Listen to these typical songs: Railroad blues and Buck Dancer's Choice...

two of the finest early examples of fingerpicking style
Cliff Carlisle


Carlisle was a "Yodeler" and has been a pioneer in the use of the Hawaiian 
steel guitar in country music. He was the brother of country star Bill Carlisle.
Steel guitar technique is usually performed with a small cylindrical metal object
called "steel or" bottleneck "-or" bottle neck " in the left hand-the guitarists
play above the fingerboard rather than fretting the strings with 
the fingers.

During the first phase of Country music, it is interesting to note that 
there are links to the blues form as structures or melodies, and same thing 
I did for the blues, there are examples of songs that can be considered
important for the birth of rock n roll: listen to "Johnny Barfield - Boogie Woogie
for example, the song has got exactly the same melodies and chords... 

Merle Travis 

Incredible guitarist with a stunning fingerpicking technique, Merle Travis 
used to sing songs while playing this difficult style (referred as the "Travis 
Picking") that alternates the thumb (for the bass strings), the index and
the middle finger for playing the treble notes -It's got something in common
with classical guitar techniques...

Listen to Lost John- MIdnight Special -I'll See You In My Dreams to have
just a taste of his amazing style...



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