Usually, I hear the terms Chicago blues and electric blues being used to identify the same style of blues. Is this correct? Or, is there an actual difference between these two sub genres? If so, how to differentiate between them?

  • It is well-documented that the musicians in the era of Chicago blues traveled frequently between their original family homes in the Mississippi river delta up through Kansas City to Chicago and back. Thus there was a constant interchange of influences and ideas. I don't know what you mean by "correct"; it's all "blues". If it has electric guitar or a harmonica played into a microphone connected to a guitar amplifier, then it's electric.
    – user546
    Dec 23, 2015 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


Electric blues is any blues music played with electric guitars, as opposed to the earlier blues styles on acoustic guitars.

Chicago blues is a style of electric blues associated with the city of Chicago.

Typically, electric blues are urban, associated with big cities like Chicago and Detroit, while acoustic blues are rural, and come from the deep South, having developed out of field hollers and prison work songs.


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