By Brian Huff
The blues has been on a journey. Its roots reach all the way back to Africa and the musical traditions enslaved Africans brought with them to the rural South. African slaves fused those traditions with the European styles and instruments of early settlers, and they told new stories about their hardships and poverty. Out of that, the blues was born in the late 1800s. And later when African Americans moved north and west (known as the Great Migration), they took the blues with them. As their lives and surroundings changed, so did their blues. This journey has made the landscape of the blues as diverse as our country’s rivers, prairies and mountains. So here we take a look at some of the major regional styles and the artists and songs that helped define and illustrate them.