Thread: Best blues guitarist.

blackey - 11/28/2019 at 09:30 PM

Guitar World conducted a survey which had over 60,000 respondents as to who is the best blues guitarist today. Dozens of players got votes but the top 5 were:

1. Joe Bonamassa

2. Eric Clapton

3. Derek Trucks

4. Buddy Guy

5. John Mayer




allmanfan21 - 11/29/2019 at 12:28 AM

Freddie King deserves to be in it!!


JimSheridan - 11/29/2019 at 12:59 AM

Best living blues guitarist is tough, man. I guarantee you that in Memphis or Nashville, there are 50 guitarists who play hotter, nastier blues than the Brit Blues elder statesmen or obvious arena rock choices that I know.


CanadianMule - 11/29/2019 at 02:33 AM

List makes sense for people responding as those are probably the Top 5 in ticket sales although not sure I would put Mayer in the genre.


cmgst34 - 11/29/2019 at 04:03 AM

quote:
Freddie King deserves to be in it!!


Yeah. Id agree. On pure blues. Not a blues rocker who plays a lot of blues. But pure blues. Give me Freddie all day.

Peter Green?

And I have a pure blind spot for Eric. I think he is sublime. Tone. Vibrato. Touch. Not too much, not too little. Dude is just a pros pro.

In baseball they have a saying that hes a professional hitter. If you know what that means, that describes Eric perfectly for me.


WarEagleRK - 11/29/2019 at 04:04 AM

quote:
Freddie King deserves to be in it!!


I'm pretty sure the list was for best living blues guitarist.


blackey - 11/29/2019 at 12:02 PM

That is correct. Living guitarist.

If they did one with living or dead it would look different and probably need to show the at least the top 20.


robslob - 11/29/2019 at 01:57 PM

I nominate Daniel Castro problem is unless you live in the Bay area you will have no idea who he is.


blackey - 11/29/2019 at 03:24 PM

Let's change that.

https://youtu.be/pnt0ffxAwbs


mikesolo - 11/29/2019 at 03:28 PM

Ronnie Earl belongs near the top of that list. Far more original in style and tone than the top 2 IMO.


Psy - 11/29/2019 at 04:08 PM

quote:
Ronnie Earl belongs near the top of that list. Far more original in style and tone than the top 2 IMO.


Good call on Ronnie Earl. He came to my mind, as well.

I might put Clapton and Guy in my personal top 5 but the other 3 wouldn't even make it into my personal top 10 of current, living favorites.


cmgst34 - 11/29/2019 at 04:09 PM

Living, and at current levels, Id throw Tab Benoit into the mix.

I dont think of Derek as a blues guitarist.


redhouse1969 - 11/29/2019 at 04:24 PM

My top 5 "living" blues guitarist

1. Ronnie Earl ( to me he is the definition of stratocaster tone)
2. Jimmie Vaughan
3. Eric Gales
4. Joe Bonamassa
5. Robben Ford


OldDog - 11/29/2019 at 09:00 PM

The replies here are amazing to me. There seems to be a tendency on this site to elevate lesser known players and to dismiss the more well known. I have seen all of the guys mentioned and while they are good I don't put them on the level of others here. Talk about putting Jimmy Vaughn and these guys ahead of Eric Clapton and Derek Trucks amazes me. Oh well to each his own.


cmgst34 - 11/30/2019 at 02:28 AM

quote:
The replies here are amazing to me. There seems to be a tendency on this site to elevate lesser known players and to dismiss the more well known. I have seen all of the guys mentioned and while they are good I don't put them on the level of others here. Talk about putting Jimmy Vaughn and these guys ahead of Eric Clapton and Derek Trucks amazes me. Oh well to each his own.


Id put Eric at the head of the list.

Derek is the best thing going right now and has been for some time. But I think hed tell you hes not a blues guitarist.

And, by the way, when Mayer gets after it, hes freaking awesome.

Id also add that a lot of these dudes are lesser known precisely because they play only the blues.

[Edited on 11/30/2019 by cmgst34]

[Edited on 11/30/2019 by cmgst34]


oldcoot - 11/30/2019 at 03:13 AM

Sign me up for Tinsley Ellis.

Brilliant musician. There's a reason for every note he plays.


blackey - 11/30/2019 at 02:37 PM

I too really like Tinsley and agree that Derek Trucks doesn't come to my mind when thinking about a "blues" guitarist. Derek, like all former Allman Brothers guitarists, played the blues very well but played as much jazz and rock unlike the Kings or Buddy Guy etc. Clapton isn't a straight up blues player.

I guess because many guitarist play some blues, the Guitar World magazine readers included some of them in the poll.


OldDog - 11/30/2019 at 03:15 PM

I don't agree that you have to play the blues exclusively to be a brilliant blues guitarist. I happen to think Derek is a better blues guitarist than all mentioned ( other than Clapton ) and the fact that he can play other styles only enhances his playing. I agree with the comment about John Mayer, that he can bring it when he wants, IMHO he is a very underrated player.


allmanfan21 - 11/30/2019 at 07:15 PM

Robben Ford's another great player. Chris Duarte as well.


BIGV - 12/1/2019 at 01:17 AM

quote:
Talk about putting Jimmy Vaughn and these guys ahead of Eric Clapton and Derek Trucks amazes me. Oh well to each his own.


Agreed, Jimmy Vaughn bores me to sleep.....

Walter Trout
Roy Rogers
Taj Mahal
Jimmy Thackery
Tab Benoit
Marcus King
Samantha Fish


stormyrider - 12/1/2019 at 02:45 PM

Agree with the comments that Derek isn't a "blues guitarist" but plays the blues better than anyone alive.

Also agree with comments re Mayer. Sometime in the 90's (94 or 95 I think, not sure) I was in Chicago and went to Blue Chicago. the band was great, there was this kid wearing a leisure suit, playing guitar and blowing us all away. I didn't catch his name during the band introductions, but remember that he was from Connecticut. I was thinking how bizarre it was that some kid from Ct was playing in this bar, in Chicago, with those guys, and blowing us away like that.
A few years later, I saw Mayer with his blues trio on TV on a fundraiser for 9/11 and was impressed, never knowing he had a pop career until I saw him touring on Continuum, where he mixed it up.
A little later, I was wasting time on the internet and clicked on celebtrity HS pics. I saw the guy who blew us away in that bar in Chicago - it was Mayer.


Sang - 12/1/2019 at 06:12 PM

Hard to beat Buddy in my book - and he's still doing it......

Kenny Wayne Shepard can be pretty good too.... and Bryan Lee ain't too bad either.....


blackey - 12/2/2019 at 05:20 PM

Yes sir pops42. I remember when he and Buddy Guy played at the White House when Obama was there.


blackey - 12/2/2019 at 11:09 PM

Yeah. Forgot about Robert Cray. I saw him several years ago and he can sing as well as he can play. His albums sell just modestly now but he had a huge selling album years ago. I'm sure it sold over a million copies.


blackey - 12/2/2019 at 11:25 PM

Robert's last few albums didn't chart except on the blues chart. But in 1986 Cray released Strong Persuader which went to number 13 on the Billboard 200 best selling albums chart and sold over 2 million copies in the US and over 500,000 copies overseas. That 1986 album was his only huge hit. His Brothers and Sisters

His influences are Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters.


BIGV - 12/3/2019 at 12:10 AM

quote:
Robert's last few albums didn't chart except on the blues chart. But in 1986 Cray released Strong Persuader which went to number 13 on the Billboard 200 best selling albums chart and sold over 2 million copies in the US and over 500,000 copies overseas. That 1986 album was his only huge hit. His Brothers and Sisters

His influences are Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters.


Robert Cray = Jimmie Vaughn

Zzzzzzzzzzz


robslob - 12/11/2019 at 05:02 AM

Had to revive this thread. Here's a little Daniel Castro for you, something I shot almost 3 years ago. Maybe my favorite guitar player anywhere not just here in the Bay area. Love his Tele tone. Daniel's solo starts at 2:17. This is one from his great Desperate Rain record. Tony "Macaroni" Lufrano keyboards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8lZoiDgGvg


jszfunk - 12/11/2019 at 12:41 PM

There is no best.

Rewind the clock 70-100 yrs ago and give me someone sitting down and pickin the blues on an acoustic or resonator. That's where its at for me.


https://youtu.be/c0IAXHKiKFo


Stephen - 12/11/2019 at 01:01 PM

quote:
There is no best.

Rewind the clock 70-100 yrs ago and give me someone sitting down and pickin the blues on an acoustic or resonator. That's where its at for me.

https://youtu.be/c0IAXHKiKFo


When I read that, Muddys The Real Folk Blues came to mind immediately - & to ears later on today - great Bukka White & Daniel Castro clips too


JimSheridan - 12/11/2019 at 01:43 PM

One of my favorite blues albums is "Showdown!" which is Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Robert Cray. Mid/ late 80's. It is definitely not field hollers - it's more along the lines of BB or EC rather than something raw - but it grooves and stings.


Breezy - 12/11/2019 at 02:57 PM

Pretty much imposible to say who is or even was the best. So many groundbreakers that brought us more styles and visions then was even thought possible, back when Robert Johnson was stumbling in and out of gin joints
But yes this one, just a great , great record

quote:
One of my favorite blues albums is "Showdown!" which is Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Robert Cray. Mid/ late 80's. It is definitely not field hollers - it's more along the lines of BB or EC rather than something raw - but it grooves and stings.

Another one of the collaboration records I really like is The Super Super Blues Band (Diddley, Wolf & Waters) Its just fun. Not really sure, but it sounds like one mic, one take.
A more recent collaoration is another great listen Triple Fret (Bernard Allison with Larry McCray, Carl Weathersby & Lucky Peterson)
Express - Bernard Allison & Cedric Burnside
2 man wrecking crew Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcom


playallnite - 12/11/2019 at 04:08 PM

You really can't label Ry Cooder a blues guitarist, to me he's more like a musicians' musician.


redhouse1969 - 12/11/2019 at 04:17 PM


Robert Cray = Jimmie Vaughn

Zzzzzzzzzzz


They play with SOUL. Something that you dont get.


no need to slam others... you like what you like, no right or wrong here.

My list could easily include other given to what I'm listening to at the time... Chris Cain, Walter Trout, Kirk Fletcher, Josh Smith, Tommy Castro.... you could make a list a mile long if you wanted to... it's music, It's all good.


cmgst34 - 12/11/2019 at 04:31 PM

quote:

Robert Cray = Jimmie Vaughn

Zzzzzzzzzzz
They play with SOUL. Something that you dont get.


no need to slam others... you like what you like, no right or wrong here.

My list could easily include other given to what I'm listening to at the time... Chris Cain, Walter Trout, Kirk Fletcher, Josh Smith, Tommy Castro.... you could make a list a mile long if you wanted to... it's music, It's all good.


Cray and Vaughn bore me greatly too. I cannot even really get through their songs. May seem harsh, but they seem to me the Muzak version of blues guitar.

Jimmie's rhythm playing has its moments for sure, but Cray is really tough for me to get into.


mikesolo - 12/11/2019 at 08:58 PM

I do like Jimmie Vaughan and like Robert Cray on his Strong Persuader album and on Showdown with Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland (a fun album). Around the time of Strong Persuader I went and saw Robert Cray and I remember thinking that I might as well have just listened to the album as it was essentially the same experience with no added live spark or energy.


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