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Texas blues originated in the early 1900s alongside the sweat and tears of Blacks working on oilfields, lumber camps, and ranches. After a day of back-breaking labor, workers could unwind in nearby bars or on their own porches and listen to blues musicians who spoke to their own experiences.
The Texas sound is known for being more relaxed than other blues styles, with breathier vocals and a swinging feel. Bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson put Texas on the blues map with his jazzy improvisation and percussive way of playing the guitar. Jefferson's technique of picking along a single string and hammering out repetitive figures in the lower register influenced generations of musicians.
After World War II, blues went electric. With the advent of the electric guitar came increased volume and resonance‚ a sought-after sound among recording studios in northern U.S. cities. Although many musicians migrated north to join the booming recording industry, the blues still thrives in Texas today.