Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Fine Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Paul Balshaw

Second Advisor

Dr. Leslie Petteys

Third Advisor

Dr. Marshall Onofrio

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Lynda Ann Ewen


In his thesis, Hillbillies and Sharecroppers: an introduction to East coast and Mississippi blues guitar styles, along with the accompanying CD performance, John Taylor discusses pre-WWII blues. The discussion includes regional guitar styles as well as physicalities involved in the performance of early acoustic blues in Appalachia and Mississippi. There is a chapter devoted to subjects covered in early blues songs with a list of lyric examples as well as a biography section devoted to both white and black performers in these styles. The live performance utilizes stories behind the songs and historical information of the performers discussed in the thesis. As Taylor performs, he also reveals the elements such as chord progressions, chord types, etc... that are involved in the performance of rural blues. The writing and performance when coupled present an introduction to early acoustic blues performance and history.


Live performance not included due to copyright. Also, the CD is not available.


Blues (Music) -- History.

Guitar -- Methods(Blues).

Blues Musicians.

Guitar music (Blues).