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  1. #1

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    Every now and then I get into the mood to play some blues. I think my current favorite is Luther Allison, who was a master singer and guitarist, imo. Blues guitar can get very repetitive at times, but Luther kept things interesting.

    Thoughts on your favorite blues players? I know there was a recent thread on bluesy jazz players, but I'm thinking more directly about the blues.

    Jay

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I love T-Bone Walker's early stuff - wow that dude could play and is sort of unsung these days. I'm also way into Buddy Guy's older recordings. But probably my favorite Chicago dude is Otis Rush. He absolutely kills!

  4. #3

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    cant name just one

    robert wilkins
    blind willie johnson
    lonnie johnson
    rev. gary davis
    charlie patton
    r.l. burnside
    hubbie jenkins (currently plays in carolina chocolate drops but also does heaps of blues both solo and in combos)
    t model ford
    willie brown
    mississippi john hurt
    washington phillips (tho he didnt play guitar but check him out, nobody is really sure what he played, how he tuned it or how he played it)
    sam chatmon
    john jackson

  5. #4

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    Janepaints- that's a good list man, some guys I have not dived into yet!

  6. #5

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    B.B. King

  7. #6
    Check out Roy Buchanhan, he is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. #7

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    Albert Collins !

  9. #8

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    Hubert Sumlin

  10. #9

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    Many favorites up here are players from 40 or 50 years ago or longer. Nostalgia for a happier time? Seems to be a recurring theme up here. Robert Cray is my answer.

    Last edited by richb2; 03-11-2014 at 08:21 AM.

  11. #10

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    oops! forgot albert king...who i appreciate in part because he played the way i do--lefty-playing-righty strung...i think otis rush was another 'upside down and backawards' guitarist.

  12. #11

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    oooh how did i forget blind willie mctell..thanks for the reminder...AND fer freddie king--who i was fortunate to see once, about 1975 in a tiny club in connecticut...we were like ten feet away from the itsy-bitsy maybe-8"-tall stage..WOW! it was like hearing him in a living room....jaw dropping player with an ace band....no fooling around or noodling, grooves within grooves within grooves within grooves.

  13. #12

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    Calhoun Tubbs could distill the essence of the blues into 4 bars...


  14. #13

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    My favourite for a long time has been Michael Bloomfield.

  15. #14

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    Not so much old school for me:
    Stevie Ray Vaughn
    Gary Moore
    Robben Ford
    Robert Cray
    Joe Bonamassa

  16. #15

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    @Franklearns - +1. The same list for me.

  17. #16

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    Duke Robillard
    Last edited by zigzag; 03-12-2014 at 10:48 AM.

  18. #17

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    Perhaps a sub question to the OP's question might be "favorite blues guitar style" . . because there are so many of them and it seems that most or all have been mentioned herein. But, with that not withstanding, my all time favorite blues guitarist is Eric Clapton. EC seemed to have found a way of tastefully incorporating something from almost all styles . . and then melding it all into . . . "Clapton". Hell man, look at what he did with the iconic Robert Johnson's tunes. He does it on a Strat, on a Les Paul, on a 335, on a gut string Martin. Eric Clapton may not be the best guitarist in the world . . or even close to it. But, he's a student of the blues guitar and of the blues culture. He can hang, and has hung with all the top notch players and more than held his own; the 3 Kings, SRV, Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, and on and on and on . . . . EC, is a blues man . . through and through . . and for that reason, he's my all time favorite.

  19. #18

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    Even though he played other styles, Gary Moore has always been my favorite blues guitarist, and is always in my top 5 or favorites regardless of genre.


  20. #19

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    Most of the list has already been covered, but anyway:-

    T-Bone

    Muddy Waters/Jimmy Rogers

    BB

    and, always.....Peter Green.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    Perhaps a sub question to the OP's question might be "favorite blues guitar style" . . because there are so many of them and it seems that most or all have been mentioned herein. But, with that not withstanding, my all time favorite blues guitarist is Eric Clapton. EC seemed to have found a way of tastefully incorporating something from almost all styles . . and then melding it all into . . . "Clapton". Hell man, look at what he did with the iconic Robert Johnson's tunes. He does it on a Strat, on a Les Paul, on a 335, on a gut string Martin. Eric Clapton may not be the best guitarist in the world . . or even close to it. But, he's a student of the blues guitar and of the blues culture. He can hang, and has hung with all the top notch players and more than held his own; the 3 Kings, SRV, Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, and on and on and on . . . . EC, is a blues man . . through and through . . and for that reason, he's my all time favorite.
    Well said. I have to agree. Clapton Sometimes gets overlooked by hardcore guitar guys because so much of his music is so poppy, but Clapton has the best phrasing of any blues guitar player in my opinion. The problem with blues is that it is SO repetitive that a guy like SRV can sound totally meaningless to me. Yeah, cool licks, but cool licks get old if you just play them mindlessly and feverishly over the same 3 chords for 9 minutes. Clapton plays melodically and sparingly. There is a maxim among blues players that the most important tool is knowing when NOT to play. Where to put the space. I think Clapton does that best.

    Clapton is also a guy who plays very nice fingerstyle delta blues as well. Many blues guitarists on this list have neglected that all together.

  22. #21

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    Singing the blue note language - Derek Trucks.


  23. #22

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    Clapton is one of the musicians who inspired me to pick guitar back up after a ten year layoff back in the early '70s. These days, almost all of the old bluesmen sound staid and predictable to me, including Clapton. I still love them and listen to them occasionally, and I love a refreshing new lick, but I prefer players who play blues influenced jazz.
    Last edited by zigzag; 03-12-2014 at 08:27 PM.

  24. #23

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    I bet there's a bunch of ex blues players of here !

    Learning the Jazz thing ........

    I really dug that Derek and the Trucks video , never heard him before
    good music

    widening it out from that even
    how about
    Carlos Santana ......... favorite guitar player of all time for playing a single line

    to break your heart !

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    Perhaps a sub question to the OP's question might be "favorite blues guitar style" . . because there are so many of them and it seems that most or all have been mentioned herein. But, with that not withstanding, my all time favorite blues guitarist is Eric Clapton. EC seemed to have found a way of tastefully incorporating something from almost all styles . . and then melding it all into . . . "Clapton". Hell man, look at what he did with the iconic Robert Johnson's tunes. He does it on a Strat, on a Les Paul, on a 335, on a gut string Martin. Eric Clapton may not be the best guitarist in the world . . or even close to it. But, he's a student of the blues guitar and of the blues culture. He can hang, and has hung with all the top notch players and more than held his own; the 3 Kings, SRV, Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, and on and on and on . . . . EC, is a blues man . . through and through . . and for that reason, he's my all time favorite.
    John Scofield is also a student of the blues guitar.
    I saw him with Dr.John.
    but to play three chords blues progression of all time - may be for him is to easy...

  26. #25

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    Clapton got me chased through the streets of Cardiff by skinheads for a Rock Against Racism t-shirt when I was a student.

    Old news for some, think what you like for others, but that's not going away for me.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangotango
    Clapton got me chased through the streets of Cardiff by skinheads for a Rock Against Racism t-shirt when I was a student.

    Old news for some, think what you like for others, but that's not going away for me.
    "CREAM" was my favorite rock group...When I started to play jazz I"ve stoped to interested in Clapton...anway I like his singing.

  28. #27

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    Clapton's covers got me into a very conspicuously absent name here: Robert Johnson.

  29. #28

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    Cray, Magic Sam, Chief Clearwater!


  30. #29

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    Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Blake and myself.

  31. #30

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    For me: Peter Green



    BB King once said "Peter Green has more talent in his little finger than I have in my entire body" and "He was the only one that gave me the cold sweats".

    I think it's enough to explain everything.

  32. #31

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    Hearing this song on the radio as a kid is when I decided to start playing guitar.




    Just for kicks...


  33. #32

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    Albert King
    Buddy Guy
    John Lee Hooker

  34. #33

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    Clapton circa Bluesbreaker days...still the best phrasing ever for electric blues, in my opinion (especially on live cuts). Try transcribing that stuff...man, the phrasing is seriously hard to nail! Also as good but a matter of taste would be Duane Allman and Mike Bloomfield. In my view everyone else comes a far, distant second to these three cats. Wait, Jimi is in this top group too. I haven't listened to Jimi in a while. Maybe I should go back and re-assess. He did an album of blues tunes which killed. "Red House" comes to mind in particular.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    Clapton circa Bluesbreaker days...still the best phrasing ever for electric blues, in my opinion (especially on live cuts). Try transcribing that stuff...man, the phrasing is seriously hard to nail! Also as good but a matter of taste would be Duane Allman and Mike Bloomfield. In my view everyone else comes a far, distant second to these three cats. Wait, Jimi is in this top group too. I haven't listened to Jimi in a while. Maybe I should go back and re-assess. He did an album of blues tunes which killed. "Red House" comes to mind in particular.
    Agree about the early Clapton phrasing. Still kills me. The live version of Sleepy Time. How in the pocket can a player be? To my ears still the best sustaining guitar sound I've ever heard although Derek Trucks is definitely in that tonal dept.
    Raw power, volume and that freakish timing/phrasing that he lost in later years.
    The day he picked up a Strat was the day the music died IMHO.



    But when you listen to this clip you have to wonder if Clapton wasn't very hip to this guy….check the time and the tone..
    Remind you of someone?


  36. #35

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    I have a soft spot for Guitar Slim.



    As a kid, I idolized Albert King more than B.B or Freddie King, thought the older I get, the more I listen to Freddie and the less I listen to Albert (-but I still love Albert!)

    But I don't know if anyone is better at a variety of blues styles than Johnny Winter. And the guy's still out there, playing the hell out of his guitar.


  37. #36

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    I like lots of the old acoustic pickers such as Robert Johnson, Skip James and so forth; of the electric players, Freddie King and Peter Green do it for me. Then there's this guy - pin me down to name just one, and this is the one for me - great, great slide player, tremendous driving rhythm and a good singer too, he's the real deal.

    Last edited by reventlov; 06-12-2014 at 12:22 PM.

  38. #37

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    Elmore James !

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by pubylakeg
    Elmore James !
    +1. Always love the way he did this one:


  40. #39

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    Since you guys bumped up this thread, I'll throw in a name of a more contemporary (read: living) player. Chris Cain- superb singer, guitarist and songwriter. Check him out-definitely worthy of support.

  41. #40

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  42. #41

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    Robben Ford.

  43. #42

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    Not my favorite, but Hound Dog Taylor always makes me happy. "Give me back my wig!"



  44. #43

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    Duane Allman and Dickie Betts were stellar together. The whole "Fillmore East" album is classic, but I think this is as good as it gets (live) on a slow blues.

    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 06-12-2014 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Wrong YouTube link

  45. #44

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    Of the current players..Derek Trucks by far. I saw his band with his wife Susan Tedeschi (no slouch in her own right) and it was by far the best non-jazz show I've seen in memory. Eleven people all at the top of their game just getting it done in the best, most musical way.

    Like a good jazz player, Derek has learned to build a solo and take it on a journey instead of just blasting away like many of the "blues-rock heroes" of today. In addition he's done some cross-genre playing, a few Indian influences along the way all make him a pretty complete package.

    The outro solo on this gives me chills every time I hear it.


  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by srlank
    Johnny Winter was my first guitar hero, and I still love him. I saw an interview, where he looked a bit compromised health-wise.
    When has he ever looked healthy? :-/

    Joe Bonamassa is IMO the guy with the best chops around. And still developing as a player. One of my all-time favorites is Mississippi John Hurt - he has a syncopated yet raggedy kind of playing that is incredibly complex. He has a wonderful delivery - I can't hear his music without feeling better about life in general.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by srlank
    Johnny Winter was my first guitar hero, and I still love him. I saw an interview, where he looked a bit compromised health-wise. I pray the best for him!
    Me too! There's a Facebook group devoted to seeing Johnny get into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. I belong to it and see lots of clips from Johnny's recent shows. He always seems to be sitting down now... I sit down to play too and I'm younger than him, but he's not doing it because he want's too.

    The Johhny Winter And "Live" album was probably my first guitar-hero record. I had blues records before but not by anyone who seemed to have absorbed everything that came before them and blew it back out in a ball of fire.

    Here's "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl" from there. The other guitar player is Rick Derringer.


  48. #47
    Freddie Robinson on John Mayall Jazz/Blues Fusion all the way through the record


    He reminds me of GG a bit and Boogaloo Joe Jones but its prop coincidental .

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalko
    For me: Peter Green

    BB King once said "Peter Green has more talent in his little finger than I have in my entire body" and "He was the only one that gave me the cold sweats".

    I think it's enough to explain everything.
    If you like that version of "I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living", you absolutely must check out the Mike Bloomfield version from the album East West (Paul Butterfield Blues Band). It will kill you.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Me too! There's a Facebook group devoted to seeing Johnny get into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. I belong to it and see lots of clips from Johnny's recent shows. He always seems to be sitting down now... I sit down to play too and I'm younger than him, but he's not doing it because he want's too.

    The Johhny Winter And "Live" album was probably my first guitar-hero record. I had blues records before but not by anyone who seemed to have absorbed everything that came before them and blew it back out in a ball of fire.

    Here's "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl" from there. The other guitar player is Rick Derringer.
    I met Johnny a few times in the early 90's when he was living in NYC.....without going into specifics he was a mess back then with a bunch of issues....but was really trying to get it together. Not sure if he ever got it worked out.... I will say that at the the time he was about 45 or 46 but looked about 65. He's also a pretty small guy which also probably made him look a bit older. Was always a really nice guy despite all the problems.

  51. #50

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    Hubert Sumlin, Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Jimmy Rogers