Country Blues

City Blues

Spontaneous expression of thought and mood Planned, arranged texts and music
Wide range of subjects Concentration on love
Fluid Use of Form Precise classical form, predictable 12-bar structure
Non-European harmony, use of drones, tendency toward single chord accompaniment Standard chord progressions, clearly defined use of tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords
Unaccompanied voice, or most commonly solo performer accompanying himself on a guitar; in groups, reliance on folk and sometimes home-made instruments (guitar, harmonica, fiddle, percussion [foot-tap, washboard])

A. For the accompaniment of the so-called "classic blue singers" of the early 30s, women like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith . . ., etc., the use of a group of formal instruments, piano, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, plus a rhythm section, playing in the idiom of the small jazz band of the 1920s

B. With the supplanting of the "classic blues singers" by mostly male performers, whose singing and playing were rooted in country styles, the use of some informal instruments for accompaniment, guitar, mandolin, piano, plus a rhythm section of drums and b ass

Source: Oster, Harry. Living Country Blues. (1969)