McTell's blues are often considered as examples of the Piedmont blues.
Here's a quote describing the Piedmont blues:
|Piedmont blues refers to a regional
substyle characteristic of African-American musicians of the Southeastern
United States. Geographically, the Piedmont means the foothills of the
Appalachians West of the tidewater region and Atlantic coastal plain stretching
roughly from Richmond, VA, to Atlanta, GA. Musically, Piedmont blues describes
the shared style of musicians from Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia
as well as others from as far afield as Florida, West Virginia, Maryland,
and Delaware. It refers to a wide assortment of aesthetic values, performance
techniques, and shared repertoire rooted in common geographical, historical,
and sociological circumstances; to put it more simply, Piedmont blues means
a constellation of musical preferences typical of the Piedmont region.
The Piedmont guitar style employs a complex fingerpicking method in which
a regular, alternating-thumb bass pattern supports a melody on treble strings.
The guitar style is highly syncopated and connects closely with an earlier
string-band tradition integrating ragtime, blues, and country dance songs.
It's excellent party music with a full, rock-solid sound. ~ Barry Lee Pearson
The quote is from All-Media Guide.
|As a commercial center and geographically
favored recording location, Georgia drew a host of musicians offering many
modes of playing, especially those of the technically sophisticated East
Coast states and those of the Deep South who preferred a driving, emotive
approach. The resulting mix offered an incredible array of styles. Atlanta
musicians like Barbecue Bob may have favored 12-string instruments, but
Georgia itself offered as many bottleneck guitarists as Mississippi. Intricate
ragtime guitarists contrasted with musicians who often worked out of one
cord; some, like Willie McTell, managed to encompass several different
formats with equal vigor.
The quote is from YaZoo Blues Mailorder.