Texas Blues

Texas Blues

The Texas blues originated when "Father of the Texas Blues” Blind Lemon Jefferson, then a boy in his teens, started playing at Dallas street corners all night. His style was distinctive, and paved the way for future talents like T-Bone Walker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Blind Willie Johnson, Albert Collins, Freddie King, Big Mama Thornton, Janice Joplin, Jimmie Vaughan, Billy Gibbons, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin' Hopkins and many more.

That Bluesy Feeling

The Texas blues are a blend of fiery lead guitar, southern slide guitar, blues and jazz melodies, harmonicas, horns, super-fast keyboards, electrifying guitar solos and a distinct slow swing. Blind Lemon Jefferson is credited with having created this innovative style in the 1920s, by using plenty of jazz and single runs on his guitar. His unique style is known as “the Texas style”. T-Bone Walker used the same style of guitar playing on his electric guitar and gave birth to a new kind of Texas blues. The 1960s and early 1970s saw the Texas blues flourishing, but things started slowing down with record companies moving up North and the musicians moving along with them. But all that changed in the late 1970s and early 80s, when artists like the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top, Edgar Winter and Bugs Henderson brought the limelight back on Austin, Texas, as the ultimate blues hub.

Austin entrepreneur and diehard blues fan Clifford Antone opened his internationally famous nightclub Antone’s or “Austin’s Home of the Blues” in 1975, and it was Antone who gave the world the musical wonder we know as Stevie Ray Vaughn. Antone’s nightclub hosted performances by all blues musicians, from legends like B. B. King and Muddy Waters to local talent like Lou Ann Barton and Guy Forsyth.

Texas Blues - In Print and On Film

Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound by award-winning documentary filmmaker and author Alan Govenar, is a delightful 600-page account of the history of this magical sound. Fans have hailed it as the most comprehensive book on the origins and rise of the Texas blues, complete with 495 glossy photographs in both color and black/white, including some which have never been seen before. Govenar provides thoroughly researched material on top Texas blues musicians,  including Blind Lemon Jefferson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aaron "T-Bone" Walker, Delbert McClinton, Freddie Fender and Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins. The book is a collector’s item, with everything from rare snapshots to publicity photos to reproductions of concert posters.

Captivating live action from such legends like Albert Collins, Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin' Hopkins and Freddie King have been captured on an hour-long DVD titled Texas Blues Guitar.

Texas Blues – top picks

These are some of the greatest Texas Blues albums of all times:


  1. Texas Flood (1983) : Stevie Ray Vaughan
  2. Two Steps from the Blues (1961) : Bobby Blue Bland
  3. Texas Sharecropper and Songster (1961) : Mance Lipscomb
  4. The Original Peacock Recordings (1990 compilation) : Clarence Gatemouth Brown
  5. Gold Star Sessions, Vol. 1 (1990 compilation) : Lightnin' Hopkins
  6. Complete Imperial Recordings (1991 compilation) : T-Bone Walker
  7. Girls Go Wild (1979) : Fabulous Thunderbirds
  8. Let's Hide Away and Dance Away With Freddie King (1961) : Freddie King
  9. Ice Pickin' (1978) : Albert Collins
  10. The Very Best of: Gangster of Love (2004 compilation) : Johnny Guitar Watson
  11. Showdown! (1985) : Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, Robert Cray
  12. Cold Snap (1986) : Albert Collins
  13. Texas Twister (1983 compilation) : Johnny Copeland
  14. Lucy Mae Blues (1992 compilation) : Frankie Lee Sims
  15. Hound Dog: The Peacock Recordings (1992 compilation) : Big Mama Thornton
  16. Johnny Winter (1969) : Johnny Winter
  17. King of the Country Blues (1985 compilation) : Blind Lemon Jefferson
  18. Library of Congress Recordings (1966 compilation) : Huddie (Leadbelly) Ledbetter,
  19. Driftin' Blues: The Best of Charles Brown (1995 compilation) : Charles Brown
  20. Read My Lips (1989) : Lou Ann Barton
  21. Complete Recordings (1993 compilation) : Blind Willie Johnson
  22. The Complete Aladdin Recordings (1993 compilation) : Lightnin' Hopkins
  23. Couldn't Stand the Weather (1984) : Stevie Ray Vaughan
  24. Cheap Thrills (1968) : Big Brother and the Holding Company
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