There are two different schools of blues music explored in Trail of the
Hellhound. While they are not formal schools in the sense of classes and
instructors, each has a distinct form that distinguishes it from the other.
The two schools identified in Trail of the Hellhound are the Delta school
and the Memphis school. Delta Blues is
distinguished by its chord structure, relying heavily on a "flattened"
E string or note when the musician is playing. Slurred vocals are typical
of Delta musicians unlike the better-enunciating Memphis musicians. Memphis
Blues generally followed then-current trends in popular music; the
jug band craze took hold of the Memphis music scene during the late 1920s.
Memphis musicians were generally familiar with "hit" songs, and it is
no accident that Memphis musician Jim Jackson waxed one of the most popular
blues records of the day, "Kansas City Blues."