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Texas

Texas Blues began to appear in the early 1900s among African Americans who worked in oilfields, ranches and lumber camps. In the 1920s, Blind Lemon Jefferson innovated the style by using jazz-like improvisation and single string accompaniment on a guitar; Jefferson's influence defined the field and inspired later performers, like Lightnin' Hopkins, Lil' Son Jackson, and T-Bone Walker. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, many bluesmen moved to cities like Galveston, Houston and Dallas. It was from these urban centers that a new wave of popular performers appeared, including slide guitarist and gospel singer Blind Willie Johnson and legendary vocalist Big Mama Thornton.