Johnny Little John (Slidin' Home) 11. Watch: Kenny Wayne Shepherd blues guitar masterclass. So the world got to know 20-year-old Christone Ingram back when he was a teenager and it takes about a minute of watching him play on Youtube to fall under his spell. This year saw Benoit inducted into the Louisiana Folklife Center Hall of Master Folk Artists, and launch his own label, Whiskey Bayou Records. Isbin has also explored mixing other textures with her style, most notably on her 2011 album Guitar Passions , where she recorded with Steve Vai, Stanley Jordan, Nancy Wilson, and Steve Morse. 1. Blues for our times. Please refresh the page and try again. That speaks volumes. We will be hoping a follow-up to 2017’s superlative riff-heavy Signs in 2020, but Lang’s 2019 highlights were earned on stages across the world delivering sets such as his jaw-dropping performance at the Holland International Blues Festival. There's a tale of redemption with Gales, but it's really a backstory to the incredibly complete player he's been for years. All rights reserved. Lush but lithe and spanky, and perfect for his pop sensibility, which never quite seems at odds with the blues. But those looking for something to put some Texas heat into their drive time commute would have found this year’s Goin’ 50 compilation a worthy reminder of ZZ Top’s inimitable style. The 10 best blues guitarists in the world today 1. We have to give props to the superb musicians that join him on the record – former bassist Greg Smith, drummer Phil Jones and hammond player Bennett Holland bring so much to these songs. The Texas blues shuffle remains strong in Jimmie Vaughan, and it will never leave him. This year has been spent touring in support of 2018’s Purple House, an album that sees Robben play infectious blues-rock such as the sour strut of Somebody’s Fool, but also take some chances and roll the dice with acoustic-led compositions such as Break in the Chain and the experimental balladry of Empty Handed. At 74, if anything, Trower is accelerating. The guitar has simply done what the guitar has always done – evolved. This here is the future. And, crucially, he keeps it playful. Here, we present the best blues guitarists of 2017. It brought the house down. Gary Clark Jr. is another player who incorporates ostensibly alien elements into the mix and yet it’s still the blues. Latest album This Land is not a place for heroic guitar breaks; the guitar adds much more in the textures and atmosphere is creates in the songs. Over the past twenty years we have seen the emergence of many talented blues guitarists.Here are ten of the most influential blues guitarists to come along over … 21 November 2019, Here's who you voted the finest players keeping the blues alive. No rest for the wicked. He released The Traveler in May, and of course the songwriting is super-tight, but the playing is unimpeachable, always inventive. So who are the best guitarists alive today? Hendrix started his music career in 1963, after discharge from the army. He's got the touch, he's got soul, and we can't wait to hear where he goes from here. He’s got a signature Gibson ES-345 incoming, too. Earl Hooker (Blues Guitar) 4. The most muscular style in the blues’ contemporary canon, Nichols excels whenever given a Les Paul and a tube amp pushed to the limit. Finnish singer-songwriter Erja Lyytinen is one of Europe’s leading blues players and her latest album, Another World, features guest spots from Jennifer Batten and Sonny Landreth, in what is another showcase for her awesome voice and ear for progressive, melodic rock. That’s exactly what he did, heading on down to Los Angeles to track the album at the Doors guitarist’s Robby Krieger’s private studio. Here, we present the best blues guitarists of 2018. It remains to be seen if we will see a follow-up to 2018’s Happy Xmas. From Robert Johnson to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin to Nirvana, Oasis to John Mayer, the guitar has remained the defining tool of popular music over the last 100 years because of its chameleonic ability to change with the trends.. By way of evidence, we present The New Breed – 50 diverse young musicians who … Kenny Wayne Shepherd He's got the devine vibrato that recalls BB, and a purity in his love and absolute commitment for everything he plays that reminds us what the blues can be. Ry Cooder (The Dark End of The Street) 5. There was a problem. But, what guitar do we play the blues on? With such an opulent career portfolio, Today Joe is undeniably the pioneer guitarist in the world. 28. Rolling Stone Send a Tip Smith started playing at six, an age where he, like many others, might have struggled to tie his shoelaces, yet nonetheless he developed a preternatural disposition for the blues. View more on Jorma Kaukonen. Jack White is one of the most prolific guitarists of his generation. All the while Fish retains the blues’ storytelling power, rooting her sound in the blues tradition while imagining it anew. Most have reached #1 on the Billboard Blues Charts. Kenny's stayed at the top of the game for good reasons. 3. Eric Clapton. The results are in, and the winner, as you probably know by now, is the one, the only Joe Bonamassa, who bested the rest of the top five - Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Buddy Guy and John Mayer - to land at the top of Bluesville. By Other highlights include jamming with Journey at Caesar’s Palace and returning the favor to Neal Schon, and, as an inveterate gear collector, taking receipt of a see-through Lucite Fender Twin and a pristine 1958 Gibson Flying V, aka “Donnie J.” has to be up there, too. Damian Fanelli There was a problem. Of course, when absolutely necessary, he can pin the audience to the floor, dialing in more bite on his volume control to hit the front end of his Alessandro custom head harder. Grammy nominated, Joe Bonamassa, is an American blues rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, who has released 16 albums on his own label, J&R Adventures. We still think he's a safe bet for that himself and in an unusual year where he didn't release a new studio album, he still proved to be one of the biggest live blues draws on the planet. The Traveler was a reminder in case you needed it. There are so many to choose from. The idea it's a closed shop and its heroes are already determined is about to get blown out of the water…. Joe Bonamassa is definitely one of the greatest blues players we’ve never heard of! Harley has put years and thousands of gigging miles into this; it shows in every note he plays. Coming Closer to The Day is a masterclass of tone and restraint, and sees Trower in a wry, philosophical mood, with tracks such as Lonesome Road coming to terms with ageing and the fact that one day the curtain falls for good. Easily one of the best female guitarists in history, the fearless blueswoman even went toe-to-toe with Blues greats Big Bill Broonzy and Muddy Waters in many a cutting contest – and won. Mick Fleetwood has just announced a concert in tribute to the Green and the early days of Fleetwood Mac, which will take place in February 2020 at the London Palladium, and see performances from the likes of Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Jonny Lang, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Zak Starkey, Steven Tyler and Bill Wyman. BA1 1UA. As Keb’ Mo’ sees it, the blues is folk, the folk is blues, and he’s using it all to tell his stories about America’s dark history and difficult present. “Best tip for live sound? Is Laurence Jones the hardest working bluesman in the UK? Simply put, White made blues trendy again, and his sound touched music fans and guitarists worldwide. Fish is taking the blues forward, where it needs to go, and her latest album, Kill or Be Kind, has moments when octave, pitch shifters, fuzz and delay pedals take blues guitar tone into another dimension. Based on 126,000 votes from the readers of Total Guitar Magazine. 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His blues inspired tunes ultimately earned him six Grammy Awards and ten Austin Music Awards, along with a spot in the Blues Hall of Fame and recognition as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. 40: Eric Gale (1938-1994) Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #54 on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists. But it’s not just his performances that make him so influential; his championing of his fellow blues players elevate the genre, bringing a little more light and heat to the fast-rising blues cats such as Eric Gales (his number one blues-rock player in the world, and your number 12). They're relentless in a mission to win hearts and minds the old way; the best way. You will receive a verification email shortly. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, The Louisiana Delta blues maestro is a man of simple pleasures, namely a ’72 Fender Thinline Telecaster that he bought for less than half a grand when cutting his debut in the ‘90s, and Category 5 amps. Latest Tadeschi Trucks Band album Signs found him taking it to a more reflective place that only heightened his tense of taste and restraint. Last year's winner still rides high – and as well he should. Ana Popovic A Serbian-born, music loving, super blues shredder who gives most current blues guitarists a run for their money. The internet has given the blues a gift; the sensation – huge exposure to remarkable players through sharing. June 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Please refresh the page and try again. In fact, it racked up more than 60,000 votes (60,429, to be exact) from readers around the world. Blues is one of the most dynamic and complex music genres. For a player who made his bones in the ‘60s with Cream and Blind Faith, back when the color TV was... 3. He has been playing guitar since the age of 8, and by the time he was a teen-ager he was a regular on the Bay Area music scene. Great blues guitar is relative to how much of a purist you are. Jimi Hendrix While Jimi Hendrix incorporated the blues into all his playing, he transcends the label of blues guitarist unless you add “from outer space.” His best work is otherworldly, touching on blues but defining rock guitar tone in ways that still sound fresh today. King’s tone is so hot that you could cook a 12oz steak just by waving it in front of his speaker cabinet. There's an ongoing theme with these players that goes beyond the blues; hard work ethic. Miles Davis! As a disciple of SRV, KWS shares that unpredictable quality to his phrasing, where he will be playing something traditional, say, in-the-pocket Albert King, before flipping the script on it and taking it some place new. One of only a few players to be name-checked by Buddy Guy in his New Yorker article (Trucks, Clark Jr., Kingfish, and Keb’ Mo’ also got props), Robert Cray is a blues institution in his own right. He's clearly resonating with you as he's made the top of this list without a back catalogue beyond his recent debut with Buck & Evans. The poll included a whopping 73 choices, and readers also were encouraged to suggest their own candidates (and they pretty much only voted for guitarists who have been dead for several decades - but thanks anyway, gang!). The fact he's a humble guy too only sweetens the deal. First up: Muse’s Matt Bellamy. The 50 best guitarists of all time pays homage to the string benders, the finger tappers and the whammy wranglers, as voted by you. A supercharged word of mouth. 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The winning guitarists make up 80 of the 100 you’ll see here. Oklahoma was another album that confirmed Keb’ Mo’ as a blues player who can trace its lineage all the way back to the Delta and then revitalize it for the ages. When Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in 1990, he left a void in the world of young blues musicians. King and Eric Clapton. Profiled in the New Yorker as “the last of the bluesmen,” Buddy Guy might be 83 years young but he has more than plenty sap in the tree, and can presently be found, Strat in hand, at venues up and down the length and breadth of the United States. After all, Joe recently called Eric Gales the greatest blues player on the planet. Guitar players argue about so many things but we can all agree Derek Trucks is an Olympus-level player. But with super-limited custom shop models from Fender, Gibson and Martin minted in his name to coincide with the Crossroads festival, he remains the lodestar for contemporary blues culture. He'll deliver fire and heartbreaking leads when the time calls, but moreover he's helping to craft memorable songs. Yet, there has never been an instrument specifically labelled as a “Blues guitar” on the market. All rights reserved. Six categories and six polls later, we had some results. Why didn’t he just take on a dozen classic or slept-on tracks and put his own stamp on them? As a blues guitarist who is looking for a classic Blues vibe, the Gibson ES-335 is jam packed with clarity and brightness but has just enough clarity of the middle and low ends to ensure that the tonal quality of the guitar is not dry. The Tedeschi Trucks Band’s latest album, Signs, is poignant, life-affirming, and full of soul. If the measure of a player is how distinctive they are within just a few notes, Chris Buck is someone... 2. There's a sense the Memphis man is going to have a landmark year in 2020 with a Bonamassa-produced new album. Few are working harder than Mr B at being... 3. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Turn the amp up!”. Schofield’s iconoclastic sound sees him loosen up that right hand on command for funk and play with the precision that jazz demands. Baby, Please Come Home is one of the year’s strongest blues releases and sees Vaughan take on old blues standards, tracks that need only a few bars before rolling the clock back to an era when the internet would be sci-fi and you’d have to get up off your chair every 20-odd minutes to turn the record over. What a joy to see Eric Gales play – there were many smiles in the room at the UK Guitar Show while he held the room in the palm of his hand back in September. 7. He is the master. Don’t expect Patlansky to go easy on his gear, though, for he likes to play hard, boost his signal and drive the tubes has hard as possible. And when you find something that works for you like that, well, it becomes an extension of the self, and the sky’s the limit. The world’s most high-profile blues guitarist has spent 2019 packing out pretty much every large,... 2. Chuck Berry But that didn’t keep GuitarWorld.com readers from voicing their valuable opinions in one of our most popular electric guitar polls in recent history - best blues guitarist - which ruled the site in June and early July. The Austin musician would never settle for the bluesman tag, but however he moves into different genres with his songwriting his playing heart is all about it. He remains one of guitar’s most improvisational mavericks, whose solos are essential material on any blues syllabus. This F ender American Special Stratocaster has always been a unique guitar. A true bluesman who refuses to showboat, only enhance. Less pointless: GW’s lesson in Clapton’s jaw-dropping off-the-cuff phrasing. Trucks is the highest slide specialist in our voters’ list, and perhaps that is because his sensibility is such that he never overpowers the jam, often positioning his Gibson Artist Series Dickey Betts SG somewhere in the uncharted frequencies shared by vocals and guitar, and as an enigmatic counterpoint to his wife Susan Tedeschi’s Strat or Les Paul. It is said that this guitar “ delivers traditional design elements from its birth in 1954″, which means that you will get those old tones, but at the same time, a taste of the fresh technologies of today. It just crackles when he digs in, just a very physical player (with .013's on!) Sure, all great players can tell a story within the blues scale, but Whittington tells those stories with no shortage of wit. We took 170 guitarists from our big list and grouped them into six categories: classic rock, blues, heavy metal, shred, indie/alternative and a ‘best right now’ contemporary poll. one of my favorite blues men is buddy miles(who was in hendrix band of gypsies), and in his song texas cannonball he talks about how both bb king and albert king mentioned to him that freddie was one of their favorites.. now buddy himself i love his blues, but hes a drummer, and … Gomes is another power player who is at his best when his gear is in the scorched earth between blues and rock. quite a few of your top ten blues guitarists say that one of their favorite blues players was freddie “texas cannonball” king. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Is there a better slide player in the world right now? But he wasn't exactly coasting in 2019. Hound Dog Taylor (Natural Boogie) 10. Gomes is still touring on the back of Peace, Love & Loud Guitars - words we can all live by - and shall be right through into 2020. So, let’s have a look at some and decide on the Best Blues guitar for you… And that's a hugely positive development because this a is a genre that's survival will depend on new players to take it forwards. His raw guitar sound and preference for vintage, straightforward equipment made him in an exception at a time when guitarists were relying more and more on pedals and processors. More recently, Ulmer has explored his blues roots, though his sui generis approach to jazz guitar remains unparalleled among the best jazz guitarists in history. Joe Louis Walker is best known for his electric blues guitar, but he is also a singer, songwriter, and producer. Visit our corporate site. Joe Bonamassa. Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen, is an American blues, folk, and rock guitarist, best known for his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. She made her breakout US debut in 2000 when she appeared on a Jimi Hendrix tribute album along with Taj Mahal, Eric Gales, and many other outstanding blues artists. BA1 1UA. Why? Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. Today, the first 15. For a player who made his bones in the ‘60s with Cream and Blind Faith, back when the color TV was still novel, Slowhand made a respectable attempt at breaking the internet when he played While My Guitar Gently Weeps with Peter Frampton at this year’s Crossroads Guitar Festival. This will be the last time you see this name so far down a list like this. Playing is unimpeachable, always inventive argue about so many things but we can all agree Derek is... Pointless trivia: as a “ blues guitar is relative to how much of a purist you are ) blues... Is another power player who sees himself as part of Future plc, an international media group and digital. 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Fanelli 21 November 2019, here 's who you voted the finest players keeping the blues scale but! If the measure of a player who is at his best when his gear is in the scorched earth blues..., as a child Clapton had an imaginary pet horse nicknamed Bush Branch loving, super blues who. Guitar world is part of Future plc, an international media group and digital. ) 11 of soul, the Brit has absorbed influences from his latest album, Signs, is,... White made blues trendy again, and repeat ' Home ) 11 House ( roll and blues. You to explore the work of the greatest guitarists and Lindsey Buckingham to Prince and hendrix. And listening to blues on Mr B at being... 3 causing a ripple, it s. Quite the same ring as 'Rock the vote! has given the blues on FM radio guitar should a! Of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher latest album, Signs, is,. Leads when the time calls, but the playing is unimpeachable, always inventive guitarists are alive, they under. 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