Loosely speaking, Country Blues is best described as the first flowering of acoustic, mainly guitar-driven forms of the blues, often incorporating elements of ragtime, gospel, hillbilly and Dixieland jazz. The term also provides a convenient general heading for all the multiple regional styles and variations (Piedmont, Memphis, Texas & Delta etc). This makes for an incredibly varied selection of tracks, from sublime bottleneck guitar playing and upbeat rags to classic songster tunes and holy blues. Half a dozen of the featured artists hailed from the Eastern US states where the influence of ragtime was instrumental in creating the unique and much loved ‘Piedmont' guitar style. Blind Blake was the first commercially successful performer of this style, whose intricate fingerstyle technique influenced many, including Blind Boy Fuller. Away from the East Coast, Mississippi John Hurt was another who had a huge influence on guitarists past and present with a syncopated and danceable style of guitar playing, completely different to that of his Mississippi regional brethren. Further guitar classics abound by the likes of Blind Willie McTell, Big Bill Broonzy and Blind Willie Johnson, whose magical recordings still resonate with guitarists today, nearly a century on.