Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. His 2019 is much like that of any other, heavy schedules, sold out shows, and repeat. Joe Bonamassa is definitely one of the greatest blues players we’ve never heard of! The 50 best guitarists of all time pays homage to the string benders, the finger tappers and the whammy wranglers, as voted by you. Here, we present the best blues guitarists of 2018. You will receive a verification email shortly. Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram: “I can’t be the kid wonder forever”. 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. 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. 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. Nichols scores highly for blues face, too, which, on the anguish scale, sits somewhere between passing kidney stones and stubbed pinky toe. The Traveler was a reminder in case you needed it. Most have reached #1 on the Billboard Blues Charts. Expect some new music next year. 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. 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. There are all kinds of floral endorsements we could make to this prodigious south Wales talent, about a melodic sensibility that’s write large through Buck & Evans’ work, and how their latest, Write a Better Day, was recorded live to retain that spontaneous feel that keeps Buck’s on the right side of his instincts. There's a tale of redemption with Gales, but it's really a backstory to the incredibly complete player he's been for years. King’s tone is so hot that you could cook a 12oz steak just by waving it in front of his speaker cabinet. 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 … Walker was born in San Francisco, California on Christmas Day in 1949. Not does his tone, which, via his Strat through a Matchless Clubman 35 and Fender Vibro King has never sounded better. Best known as the lead guitarist and vocalist of Ten Years After, Alvin Lee grew up in a family that listened to jazz and blues, but was inspired the most by rock 'n' roll music. 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. Based on 126,000 votes from the readers of Total Guitar Magazine. 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. Check out Trout’s take on Mississippi Fred McDowell’s Going Down to the River, featuring Krieger. Why didn’t he just take on a dozen classic or slept-on tracks and put his own stamp on them? Or we could co-sign Slash’s thoughts, who, upon jamming on a number of occasions with Buck describes him as “a fucking amazing guitar player.” Right on, Slash! 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. 5 guitar tricks you can learn from Gary Clark Jr. Ford can do it all and has played with everyone. No rest for the wicked. 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. Rolling Stone panel of top guitarists and experts picks 100 Greatest Guitarists, from Pete Townshend and Lindsey Buckingham to Prince and Jimi Hendrix. 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. Alvin Lee. Fish and her band are clocking thousands of miles on the road, and that sense of what listeners respond to feeds back into her music. Schofield’s iconoclastic sound sees him loosen up that right hand on command for funk and play with the precision that jazz demands. The South African player will see out the year touring his home country as the run for Perfection Kills comes to an end. 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. Rolling Stone Send a Tip Yet, there has never been an instrument specifically labelled as a “Blues guitar” on the market. You will receive a verification email shortly. 21 November 2019, Here's who you voted the finest players keeping the blues alive. But the Raw Dawg’s cover of Little Wing is proof positive he can stamp his identity on anyone’s material - on the blues itself. This year saw the release of his debut, Kingfish, and having already played in the company of Eric Gales and Buddy Guy, the best is yet to come. The 30 best blues guitarists in the world today 1. Latest Tadeschi Trucks Band album Signs found him taking it to a more reflective place that only heightened his tense of taste and restraint. “I want to start ticking off a bucket list of accomplishments and statements I want to make before I hang it up”. By There's no hype train here. BA1 1UA. Watch: Kenny Wayne Shepherd blues guitar masterclass. After all, it’s the electric guitar; sometimes tickling it is not enough. King’s played all kinds of stages this year, his set at Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival a particular highlight, and we eagerly await his debut solo album, out February 2020, which was produced by Dan Auerbach. Please refresh the page and try again. Pointless trivia: as a child Clapton had an imaginary pet horse nicknamed Bush Branch. Get ready for some surprises from the blues class of 2019, Best of 2019: Every time we think we've got the blues pegged someone will come along and shake our preconceptions. These 30 guitarists are alive, they are under 30, and they are the best. Chris Buck. Best of 2019: Sure, 'Blues the vote!' It’s not just his tone, though. He's transitioned between lap steel to electric bottleneck with ease on new album Roll With The Punches; continuing his restless story with the blues we're keen to follow. Whether he’s playing his cover of Willie Dixon’s I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man or Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues, Buddy’s playing is still off-the-charts, hold-the-bus genius - as his showmanship, gleaned from one of his all-time heroes Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones). Simply put, White made blues trendy again, and his sound touched music fans and guitarists worldwide. Great blues guitar is relative to how much of a purist you are. King has a novelist’s sensibility for story in song. Whether he is shouldering his Fender Custom Thinline Tele, complete with Bill Lawrence blade humbuckers, or a Gibson ’58 Les Paul Reissue, Lang’s tone is always heavy on the hot sauce. “Down home” or delta blues, for example, is something completely different than, say, Texas blues or the more polished blues of Robben Ford. Gomes is another power player who is at his best when his gear is in the scorched earth between blues and rock. His 2019 debut confirms a young man with an old blues soul. © Last year's winner still rides high – and as well he should. 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 … Kelly Joe Phelps (Lead Me On) The MusicRadar/Total Guitar Best in guitars 2017 polls have received over 136,000 votes, and we're ready to roll out the winners. But Jones has stepped up vocally, as a songwriter and most of all, as a player who balances muscular breaks with taste. Bath Chris Buck's five ways to unlock the neck. It’s quite the sleight of hand Mayer’s performing with that PRS Silver Sky of his. 1. It brought the house down. Last year's winner still rides high – and as well he should. It's a great vid, I had to share it. 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. His 2019 has been spent on the road in support of last year’s Born to Grow, which, well check out the talky guitar that moves around the vocal line in That for You Too for an example of how good Smith’s phrasing is. All rights reserved. This here is the future. This year saw Benoit inducted into the Louisiana Folklife Center Hall of Master Folk Artists, and launch his own label, Whiskey Bayou Records. Ry Cooder (The Dark End of The Street) 5. Six categories and six polls later, we had some results. Below, we’ll shine a light on some of the guitarists who scored handsomely in our Top 30 (yes, we’re listing only the top 30 here), including Bonamassa, Buddy Guy, Samantha Fish and newcomer Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram. He'll deliver fire and heartbreaking leads when the time calls, but moreover he's helping to craft memorable songs. The Total Guitar/MusicRadar Best in guitars 2018 polls received an astonishing 126,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. You can hear the Robben Ford influence, for sure, but Schofield has a sound of his own design, and a lyrical melodic sensibility that works gangbusters when playing off organist Jonny Henderson. And, crucially, he keeps it playful. All rights reserved. King and Eric Clapton. 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. There was a problem. Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen, is an American blues, folk, and rock guitarist, best known for his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. 7. Shares. Today, the first 15. First up: Muse’s Matt Bellamy. The 10 best blues guitarists in the world today 1. Josh Smith is the apex predator of modern blues guitarists to me. Not to mention the eminently vocal qualities of her immaculate slide playing. There's an ongoing theme with these players that goes beyond the blues; hard work ethic. There was a problem. 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. © He remains one of guitar’s most improvisational mavericks, whose solos are essential material on any blues syllabus. 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. That speaks volumes. It's that role as a band player that marks KWS as such a draw live. The nominees were what we considered to be the guitarists and guitar gear that have excelled in 2017. Sure, all great players can tell a story within the blues scale, but Whittington tells those stories with no shortage of wit. The winning guitarists make up 80 of the 100 you’ll see here. His signature Epiphone Les Paul is a straight-up rock machine. Kenny's stayed at the top of the game for good reasons. His tone, subject of several terabytes of online discussion and out-of-focus images of his pedalboard and backline from live shows, is just so dynamic. 28. He released The Traveler in May, and of course the songwriting is super-tight, but the playing is unimpeachable, always inventive. BA1 1UA. Roy Rogers (Slideways) 8. by Daniel Eriksson. The Tedeschi Trucks Band’s latest album, Signs, is poignant, life-affirming, and full of soul. Almost certainly the most dynamic and emotive of all the musical styles. After all, Joe recently called Eric Gales the greatest blues player on the planet. Joe Bonamassa. 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. This Grammy-winning classical virtuoso has performed at the Obama White House, became founding director of Juilliard’s Guitar Department, and won Guitar Player’s Best Classical Guitarist honors. June 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This Land, his third studio album, is a work of searing passion and righteous indignation, its title track appropriating some of Guthrie’s original composition and transforming it out of sight. 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. It showcased a player who sees himself as part of a bigger picture, confident and able to step back as the compositions demand. He is regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of our generation. 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. He is the master. A supreme slide player, the Brit has absorbed influences from his travels far and wide to become a world class musician. When Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in 1990, he left a void in the world of young blues musicians. Blues is one of the most dynamic and complex music genres. Hound Dog Taylor (Natural Boogie) 10. That really doesn’t work well when talking about blues guitarists. “Best tip for live sound? Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, The rise, fall and rediscovery of the Fender Jaguar, How to set up a Les Paul: 7 essential tips, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, he played While My Guitar Gently Weeps with Peter Frampton at this year’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, super-limited custom shop models from Fender, Gibson and Martin minted in his name, GW’s lesson in Clapton’s jaw-dropping off-the-cuff phrasing, Ringo Starr recruits Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh for new EP, TC Electronic adds the Helix Phaser and Viscous Vibe to the Plethora X5 in comprehensive TonePrint Pedalboard update, Tom Morello and Slash discuss how their Interstate 80 collaboration came to be and made their fiercest Guitar Hero battles come true, Joe Bonamassa is planning to make a “subway record” in New York City. Both musical forms influenced each other and as the 20th century arrived, it had become what we recognize today. The mastermind guitarist Joe, who dreamt to be remembered as the greatest guitarist in world, put out 3 studio albums and 14 solo albums of which 11 reaching on the top of Billboard Blues Charts over his entire career. His notes carry weight – and he uses that power with authority, but he's a player willing and able to buck tradition. Kenny Wayne Shepherd But hip-hop, rock, whatever; when it spills out of Clark it goes all the way back to Johnson, Walker, et al. There’s almost categories of blues guitar like slide guitar should be a category of its own. But his fluid style really sings loudest with an sense of emotion that takes on a vocal quality. Guitar players argue about so many things but we can all agree Derek Trucks is an Olympus-level player. Chuck Berry Blues for our times. Few are working harder than Mr B at being... 3. He’s got a signature Gibson ES-345 incoming, too. 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. Founding member of Gov’t Mule and with a long association with the Allman Brothers, Haynes has a spent much of 2019 on tour, and is currently in the bus with John Medeski, Lukas Nelson and others on The Last Waltz Tour 2019, playing a mammoth set each night in tribute to the Band’s 1976 farewell concert. Miles Davis! The guitar has simply done what the guitar has always done – evolved. Lush but lithe and spanky, and perfect for his pop sensibility, which never quite seems at odds with the blues. If the measure of a player is how distinctive they are within just a few notes, Chris Buck is someone very special indeed. Trower might have a formidable back catalog but his appetite to create shows no signs of slowing. 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. Harley has put years and thousands of gigging miles into this; it shows in every note he plays. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Johnny Little John (Slidin' Home) 11. Trout got the idea for Survivor Blues while driving around and listening to blues on FM radio. quite a few of your top ten blues guitarists say that one of their favorite blues players was freddie “texas cannonball” king. 3. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The Clarksdale, Mississippi, phenom is only 20 years old but already has a sense for feel, phrasing and vibrato that helps him shake the very soul out of his instrument. Reactions: East Texas An authoritative list of the 10 best guitarists of all time 19 November 2015, 14:17 | Updated: 6 January 2017, 14:45 So many top guitarist lists focus on the same old faces. 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. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. 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. It remains to be seen if we will see a follow-up to 2018’s Happy Xmas. Is Laurence Jones the hardest working bluesman in the UK? As with Trout, a blues legend tackling overlooked tracks is always essential listening, and an education. 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. 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. Less pointless: GW’s lesson in Clapton’s jaw-dropping off-the-cuff phrasing. Hendrix started his music career in 1963, after discharge from the army. Few are working harder than Mr B at being the best player they can, and few are as generous with their praise for their inspirations . Originally shot by "falkrik" Sorry dude. The Texas blues shuffle remains strong in Jimmie Vaughan, and it will never leave him. 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. 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. Damian Fanelli Fred McDowell (You Gotta Move) 7. Another vote here for Christone “Kingfish” Ingram as a current killer blues guitarist. Please refresh the page and try again. View more on Jorma Kaukonen. Rory Gallagher (Tattoo) 9. 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. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #54 on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists. We’d love to stay in touch, sign up for the Guitar World team to contact you with great news, content and offers. 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