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Hill Country Blues (also north hill country blues, North Mississippi hill country blues and North Mississippi blues) is a regional offshoot of country blues style characterized by few chord changes, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on the 'groove' or a steady, driving rhythm (sometimes referred to as a 'drone' style). Mississippi Fred McDowell possessed this distinctive style that was heavier on percussive elements and African rhythms than traditional delta blues. McDowell's performances would help define the hill country blues sound, strongly influencing later artists like R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. Burnside and Kimbrough would go on to popularize this sound through the Fat Possum Records label.


Hill country blues was named after the northern region of Mississippi bordering Tennessee. Holly Springs, Mississippi is often cited in reference to the style. An annual picnic is held to celebrate the region and music.

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