Types of blues styles?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Larry F, May 16, 2021.

  1. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    From my reading about blues, I often come across these terms to describe styles:

    downhome
    lowdown
    gutbucket

    What is the difference between these styles? Are they synonymous? I'm not thinking of names of styles (piedmont, jump, Texas, Chicago, etc.), but rather the terms that are used to describe the features of blues songs and performances.

    What are the musical characteristics of downhome, lowdown, and gutbucket styles or types? Based on my reading, these terms are sometimes used by modern writers to describe particular features of a style. I'm not sure if I've come across musicians that actually use these terms very much.
     
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  2. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Gutbucket- a strident, uninhibited, and forcefully rhythmic style of jazz or blues;
    Synonym: barrelhouse (Merriam Webster)

    Lowdown- deeply emotional (blues); (Merriam Webster)

    Downhome- acoustic folk blues with usually acoustic guitar accompaniment
    Synonym: country blues; (The Free Dictionary)
     
  3. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's has always been about how we want to build the box to put them it.

    Let's say you heard an Artist you enjoy.
    If you took up a conversation with that person and, said how much you Enjoyed their "Downhome" style of Blues, who is to say they would claim their Music isn't Downhome?

    Cheers
     
  4. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Missed out R&B- repetitive and boring!
     
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  5. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Rhythm and business, baby.
     
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  6. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    those are just words that writers write when they run out of ideas. they don't mean anything in particular.
     
  7. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I appreciate the comments, but want to make clear that these three terms are in use by writers on blues. Some notable books on blues include Blues People, LeRoi Jones (aka Imamu Amear BarakaImamu Amear Baraka), Deep Blues, Robert Palmer, and The Chitlin' Circuit: and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll, Preston Lauterbach. When books like these describe music as down home, lowdown, or gutbucket, what does it sound like and who are its practitioners?
     
  8. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    'Rap & BS' per De La Soul

    I dunno about these terms. Only time I've heard downhome and gutbucket is relation to country and they don't fit many folks super well there either.
     
  9. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Holic

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    I take it all back
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  10. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    I got nothing. I’ve never heard the expressions before now, that I am aware of
     
  11. Old Smokey

    Old Smokey Tele-Meister

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    I would say gutbucket is raw and a bit loose (the opposite of buttoned-up). Lowdown would be melancholic or heavy-hearted. Downhome to me implies rural or deeply rooted in tradition.

    The terms are not synonymous, but they could easily overlap.
     
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  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I think, "Deep Blues" by Robert Palmer got it right and @Stringbanger's dugged up definitions fit very well with my understanding. I'll have to think of some classic examples, but beware that cross pollinization happened very early on in history. It seems like I hear these terms often in early blues documentaries. There are some good ones on YT these days that might help.
     
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  13. Dostradamas

    Dostradamas Tele-Meister

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    These are the 3 I think of

    Texas blues (think SRV)

    Delta Blues (think Robert Johnson)

    Chicago Blues (Blues Brothers)
     
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  14. drlucky

    drlucky Tele-Holic

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    Where's noah330 when you need him...:cool:
     
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  15. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

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    These are the 3 I think of

    Texas blues (think SRV)

    Delta Blues (think Robert Johnson)

    Chicago Blues (Blues Brothers)


    Piedmont, Hill Country, West Coast, Jump Blues,...


    "Repetive and Boring"

    Congrats on the dumbest thing I've read all week....of course it's only Monday.
     
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  16. Dostradamas

    Dostradamas Tele-Meister

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    Vaguest soliloquy so far
     
  17. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    So much evolution and derivative work... it's all a blend.
     
  18. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    They’re using these terms but not specifically applying them to any musicians? That seems mighty rude of them.
     
  19. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I found it easier when lecturing in blues to demarcate by Région. Texas, Chicago, Piedmont, Mississippi, Louisiana, Memphis, etc. there’s not a lot of consistency in Moe descriptive terms at least as far as I can find. My approach showed some anomalies - John Lee hooker (who called himself Texas slim on some records) had a Texas approach. Some of the Texas guys sounded like Chicago. A lot of this is probably explained by records snd the normal means of folk transmission.
     
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  20. pixeljammer

    pixeljammer Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    There are quite a few record collections illustrating the different styles.

    Spotify has a bunch, too: https://open.spotify.com/genre/classic_blues

    Allmusic can point you to records in individual styles: https://www.allmusic.com/genre/blues-ma0000002467 (twirl open the + sign half-way down the page.)

    YouTube has examples of everything, just put the subgenre in front of the word Blues in search:
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=piedmont+blues

    Edit: Oops, I think I might be trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs.

    You might write to the authors that you're reading and ask them the same question.
     
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