Chris Buck's five ways to unlock the neck. 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. 40: Eric Gale (1938-1994) King has a novelist’s sensibility for story in song. doesn’t have quite the same ring as 'Rock the vote!' Check out Resolution from his latest album, Bookends, for a novel blues-rock application of the DigiTech Whammy pedal. 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. 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. For a player who made his bones in the ‘60s with Cream and Blind Faith, back when the color TV was... 3. The world’s most high-profile blues guitarist has spent 2019 packing out pretty much every large, red-plush seated theater he can find in support of last year’s masterly Redemption. Great blues guitar is relative to how much of a purist you are. 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. 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. Most have reached #1 on the Billboard Blues Charts. 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. If ever there was a contemporary player who could shift through genre and feel without causing a ripple, it’s Mayer. The internet has given the blues a gift; the sensation – huge exposure to remarkable players through sharing. 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. Damian Fanelli There's a sense the Memphis man is going to have a landmark year in 2020 with a Bonamassa-produced new album. © “Best tip for live sound? Here, we present the best blues guitarists of 2017. 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. Gomes is another power player who is at his best when his gear is in the scorched earth between blues and rock. So the usual suspects are here, but the wide and wonderful world of the blues is clearly opening minds to upcoming names. But he wasn't exactly coasting in 2019. The world’s most high-profile blues guitarist has spent 2019 packing out pretty much every large,... 2. It’s little wonder his chops are always on-point. The nominees were what we considered to be the guitarists and guitar gear that have excelled in 2018. 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. 28. Too right. Josh Smith is the apex predator of modern blues guitarists to me. Roy Rogers (Slideways) 8. He’s got a signature Gibson ES-345 incoming, too. 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. 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. It brought the house down. Hound Dog Taylor (Natural Boogie) 10. The bearded bastion of boogie’s most intriguing moment of the year came when Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme invited him out to perform on his Desert Sessions Vol.11/12 recording, with Gibbons opening proceedings in half falsetto on Move Together. BA1 1UA. When Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in 1990, he left a void in the world of young blues musicians. Joe Bonamassa. 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. King and Eric Clapton. But his fluid style really sings loudest with an sense of emotion that takes on a vocal quality. Check out Trout’s take on Mississippi Fred McDowell’s Going Down to the River, featuring Krieger. 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. There's a tale of redemption with Gales, but it's really a backstory to the incredibly complete player he's been for years. Lush but lithe and spanky, and perfect for his pop sensibility, which never quite seems at odds with the blues. All rights reserved. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. 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. You will receive a verification email shortly. Martin Harley on Weissenborns, lap steel tips and how Nashville changed his playing. The Texas blues shuffle remains strong in Jimmie Vaughan, and it will never leave him. 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. 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. He remains one of guitar’s most improvisational mavericks, whose solos are essential material on any blues syllabus. The fact he's a humble guy too only sweetens the deal. 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. Yet, there has never been an instrument specifically labelled as a “Blues guitar” on the market. There was a problem. by Daniel Eriksson. 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. View more on Jorma Kaukonen. 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). 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. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. “I want to start ticking off a bucket list of accomplishments and statements I want to make before I hang it up”. 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. 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. The Bookends proved he's in a prolific creative period, even by his standards. June 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Green hasn’t released any new music but you can be sure he remains on heavy rotation on record decks and phones worldwide. Almost certainly the most dynamic and emotive of all the musical styles. But Jones has stepped up vocally, as a songwriter and most of all, as a player who balances muscular breaks with taste. 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. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Eric Clapton. Son House (Roll and Tumble Blues) 6. Is there a better slide player in the world right now? Another vote here for Christone “Kingfish” Ingram as a current killer blues guitarist. That really doesn’t work well when talking about blues guitarists. Reactions: East Texas Visit our corporate site. BA1 1UA. He summons a voice from guitar that seems tapped into a higher plain. 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 . 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. 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. 5 guitar tricks you can learn from Gary Clark Jr. 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. This will be the last time you see this name so far down a list like this. Blues for our times. And, crucially, he keeps it playful. Nichols scores highly for blues face, too, which, on the anguish scale, sits somewhere between passing kidney stones and stubbed pinky toe. 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. “Down home” or delta blues, for example, is something completely different than, say, Texas blues or the more polished blues of Robben Ford. Please refresh the page and try again. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #54 on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists. © 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. Less pointless: GW’s lesson in Clapton’s jaw-dropping off-the-cuff phrasing. 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. These 30 guitarists are alive, they are under 30, and they are the best. With that in mind, we encourage you to explore the work of the top vote-getters (Eric Gales, anyone? 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. 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!). Gary Clark Jr. is another player who incorporates ostensibly alien elements into the mix and yet it’s still the blues. 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. The 30 best blues guitarists in the world today 1. Originally shot by "falkrik" Sorry dude. Walker was born in San Francisco, California on Christmas Day in 1949. The South African player will see out the year touring his home country as the run for Perfection Kills comes to an end. All rights reserved. After all, Joe recently called Eric Gales the greatest blues player on the planet. Hendrix started his music career in 1963, after discharge from the army. There was a problem. There's no hype train here. He was the master. 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. His 2019 is much like that of any other, heavy schedules, sold out shows, and repeat. 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. The guitar has simply done what the guitar has always done – evolved. 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. Vaughan was most known for being a gifted blues guitarist, with a great sense of swing reminiscent of B.B. Guitar World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Why didn’t he just take on a dozen classic or slept-on tracks and put his own stamp on them? Joe Louis Walker is best known for his electric blues guitar, but he is also a singer, songwriter, and producer. That Mayer can still be pocketed in the blues tradition says much for his chameleon style. 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! (King of the Slide Guitar) 3. Is Laurence Jones the hardest working bluesman in the UK? But, what guitar do we play the blues on? His signature Epiphone Les Paul is a straight-up rock machine. 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. He released The Traveler in May, and of course the songwriting is super-tight, but the playing is unimpeachable, always inventive. 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. Anyone who caught the Texan six-string Svengali live this year will be able to attest to his undiminished ability to wring the most soulful and improvisational licks from his instrument. With such an opulent career portfolio, Today Joe is undeniably the pioneer guitarist in the world. 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. Rolling Stone Send a Tip Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram: “I can’t be the kid wonder forever”. This list needs additional citations for verification. The blues don’t quit. After all, it’s the electric guitar; sometimes tickling it is not enough. Joe Bonamassa's guide to 10 of the best blues-rock guitar solos of all time. He is the master. Joe Bonamassa is definitely one of the greatest blues players we’ve never heard of! It’s not just his tone, though. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. Grammy nominated, Joe Bonamassa, is an American blues rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, who has released 16 albums on his own label, J&R Adventures. Ana Popovic A Serbian-born, music loving, super blues shredder who gives most current blues guitarists a run for their money. 3. It is pretty hard to determine the world’s best guitar player with having all these other talents out there but the guitar solo of this song says it all. Six categories and six polls later, we had some results. 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. I get your sentiment, I’m partial to strats of course, but dropping that caveat into the mix eliminates A LOT of incredible blues players, both past and present. We’d love to stay in touch, sign up for the Guitar World team to contact you with great news, content and offers. 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). 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. Bath Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Earl Hooker (Blues Guitar) 4. 7. Pointless trivia: as a child Clapton had an imaginary pet horse nicknamed Bush Branch. Here, we present the best blues guitarists of 2018. He's definitely setting the pace, and the seventies strut of 2019's Laurence Jones Band album was a real landmark for the young musician. The idea it's a closed shop and its heroes are already determined is about to get blown out of the water…. 1. 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. 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. The Tedeschi Trucks Band’s latest album, Signs, is poignant, life-affirming, and full of soul. A supreme slide player, the Brit has absorbed influences from his travels far and wide to become a world class musician. 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