Songlines | The music of the USA – Guides, Interviews and Features

USA Profile

  • Related Artists: Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn
  • Related Genres: Cajun, Blues, Americana, Zydeco, Bluegrass

For more than 400 years, successive waves of immigrants to the USA have brought with them their own music, resulting in a rich and varied tapestry of roots styles.

Ancient folk ballads which survived for centuries in the Appalachian mountains helped to create the troubadour tradition that gave us Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan as well giving birth to country and bluegrass.

African immigration led to the creation of blues, jazz and gospel. French settlers bequeathed Cajun and zydeco, polka and klezmer arrived with Eastern European immigrants, while Tex-Mex and Tejano infiltrated from south of the border.

The music of America’s original native population has also flourished in recent years.

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