Willie Salomon plays Traditional Country Blues, Roots Fingerstyle Guitar, Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano.
The roots approach to music emphasizes the diversity of American musical traditions. Many Roots musicians do not consider themselves to be folk musicians. The main difference between American "Folk music" and "American Roots music" is that Roots music covers a broader range, including blues, country, gospel, early jazz and the innovative contributions of musicians working in these traditions today.
also known as Traditional Blues or Folk Blues, it is considered an early form of the genre. It was first recorded in the mid-1920s. There are several regional styles of country blues, including among others Delta blues from the Mississippi Delta, Texas blues, and Piedmont blues from the Southeast. Country blues was usually recorded by a single male singer (sometimes female), self-accompanied on the guitar or piano, with perhaps an accompanying harmonica or simple percussion. Many of these musicians had bright, piercing voices. For instance, in his first recordings, Blind Willie McTell sounded almost like a woman and quite different from what in later years and until today has often been termed a typical blues voice.
Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Papa Charlie Jackson, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, Robert Johnson and Memphis Minnie were among the most famos Country Blues artists. Lonnie Johnson from
Fingerpicking or Fingerstyle
is playing the guitar with the fingertips or fingernails, rather than with a plectrum.
American fingerstyle guitar includes elements of blues, gospel, ragtime, folk, jazz and many regional music traditions. While it is played on just about every type of guitar it is commonly and characteristically played on steel string acoustic guitars with 6 or 12 strings. Music arranged for American fingerstyle playing can incorporate chords, arpeggios, artificial harmonics, classical guitar techniques, hammering on and pulling off with the fretting hand, using the body of the guitar percussively and any other technique to achieve the artist's goals.
Slide or Bottleneck Guitar
is a particular technique for playing the guitar. The term slide is in reference to the sliding motion of the slide against the strings, while bottleneck refers to the original material of choice for such slides, which were the necks of glass bottles. Instead of altering the pitch of the strings in the normal manner (by pressing the string against the frets), a slide (of metal or glass) is placed upon the string to vary its vibrating length, and pitch. The slide is moved along the string without lifting, creating continuous transitions in pitch.
Playing Slide Guitar in the fashion of the great prewar Blues masters is Willie Salomon's speciality.
Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano
While the guitar is clearly his main instrument, Willie Salomon also plays Blues and Boogie Woogie Piano, inspired by the great masters of the genre like Otis Spann, Roosevelt Sykes and Memphis Slim.
During his concerts Willie Salomon usually plays a couple of tunes on the harmonica. The rack (around the neck) holds the harmonica while he plays the guitar.