Old time, blues, country, gospel, bluegrass, and all that kind of distinctly rustic American music.
This is an area I haven't look too far into. The only CDs I own of it are a couple Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee albums. I'm familiar with most of the key blues guys like Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Skip James, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt and all the blind- guys etc. I do like these but haven't picked up any albums of theirs yet. Leadbelly and Mississippi Fred McDowell are on my wanted list as well.
I'm less familiar with the Appalachian and southern country music of that time. Apart from some banjo pickers like Dock Boggs and Uncle Dave Macon, and big names like Jimmie Rodgers or the Carter Family, I don't know much. I can't get into this as much as blues, even though I quite like the yodelling stuff.
Those field recording made by Lomax and others are real gems though. I like the idea of someone going round the wilderness of the US with a great big phonograph recording local musicians.
The folk revival stuff I don't like as much because it seems full of too much nostalgia for the past and comes across a bit trite. Although, some Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan tunes are excepted from this damning criticism.
However, I love the American Primitivism movement with John Fahey, Robbie Basho and Sandy Bull being amongst my favourite guitarists.
Who are your favourite early American folk musicians?