Most Talented Blues Guitarists

The Top TenXW

1Steve Ray Vaughn

I've been waiting for the next great guitarist since SRV passed in 1990. Many fantastic technicians have come along, fewer still who play with true soul, but no one has come close to fusing the two with that immeasurable something extra Stevie had. His emotionally sensitive ferocity is unique in the annals of electric blues rock playing, possibly music history in general. He could simultaneously make your spine tingle, drop you to your knees, and bring you to tears in the same tune. There seemed to be an infinite supply of devastating licks and musical concepts he pulled from as easily as breathing. Imagine what he would have produced these last 25 years, as he had yet to reach his peak. Imagine him on stage with Hendrix. Rave on Stevie, and God bless

Stevie seperated himself from every other blues guitarist. He made the guitar talk like it had it's own voice.

Purely in terms of broadening the fan base of the genre we owe more to him than any musician. Stevie had all of the blues qualities, feel, soul, power, even pain but he also had a musicality which had a hugely broad appeal and led to record sales.

Agreed the only guitarist to play Hendrix, better than Hendrix..!

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2Eric ClaptonEric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.

Face it. Vaughan and Hendrix are dead. As in gone. Bye bye. And while they were with us they played only one style of guitar. Ever. Clapton has been with us half a century, is still with us, is still evolving and has mastered every style he encountered including reggae, acid rock, delta blues, gospel, bluegrass, southern rock... the list keeps getting longer. Nobody has EVER done that before. I doubt anyone ever will again.

14 places between Clapton and Robert Johnson, Clapton's self professed greatest guitarist and inspiration ever. What's wrong with this ranking? Everyones got an opinion granted but this is way off. Clapton's most technical and creative outing was with Cream which was obviously a blatant ape at The Jimi Hendrix experience including that ridiculous afro hairdo he spotted. But unfortunately while Cream was great in their own way, it did not have the impactful innovativeness of the jimi hendrix experience. With just 3 albums the boundaries of blues, rock, funk, psychedelia were pushed to new grounds. And No. Blue eyes blue, change the world and tears in heaven are not exactly ground breaking. Nice songs though.

Tough list but Clapton first... And I don't see Muddy Waters, David Gilmour, Joe Bonamassa, Dwayne Allman... Come on. Jimmy Page? Gimme a break... Most overrated guitarist ever.

Possessed everything but a humble heart.

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3Joe Bonamassa

Listen and watch all on this list... Joe Bonamassa is the most talented blues guitarist the genre has ever seen. The throne has a new king of the blues for years to come. Long live the king.

Joe Bonamassa. This guy is the epitome of blues. He has the quality to play all sorts of styles from John Henry to Woke Up Dreaming

In his own words - " its 50% music and 50% business. With wobble heads, mugs, T shirts, hoodies, he walks the talk. Yes he can channel Clapton, BB king and Albert King convincingly and also does an excellent impersonation of Eric Johnson when shredding. Finally he gives great live shows. BUT to be in the top 5 in any list, a guitarist has to bring something new to the table. The only way Bonamassa qualifies to be in the TOP 5 of this list is if this list is based on the MOST impressive guitar / amp collection...

I saw him live

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4Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most ...read more.

As far as pure talent on/off stage goes in any genre of music he is super human no doubt. He created his own music by converting traditional blues into rock which was then enjoyed by generations of rock and hard rock fans all over the world.

Ok Jimi Hendrix was more acid rock/heavy metal but if you even listen to half a Hendrix album you'll see that Jimi is the best blues guitarist ever!

SRV, Bonamassa and Clapton before Hendrix? Are you people high on rotten magic mushrooms? All 3 of them owe a debt to Hendrix, were inspired by Hendrix and covered more than a few of his songs. Bonamassa while an electrifying and technically proficient guitarist actually brought nothing new to the blues table except for maybe wobble heads, mugs, hoodies and more self promoting merchandise... Owns a ton of vintage gear and then make them all sound the same through his rig...

Jimi was greatest guitarist of all time. He good at blues, or any genre. He was born to be a legend.

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5Roy Buchanan

Anybody who is a real blues fan will know who Roy Buchanan is. he is the worlds greatest unknown blues guitarist as said by Rolling Stone. Just listen to some tracks like When a guitat plays the blues, his cover of Hey Joe and so many others. His guitar playing will put you in a trance.

Roy was incredible live - Roy's Bluz, I'm Evil, The Messiah Will Come Again - had as much fireworks as a Hendrix or SRV. Definitely his older stuff was better and I especially liked that he was straight Telecaster and amp. His record "Second Album" is one of the best ever - Side 1 is a must listen - for me "5 String Blues" is electric blues guitar perfection (and he played most of it with only 5 strings! ).

Oh hell ya! Listen to THE MESSIAH WILL COME AGAIN. AFTER THE OPEN VOCAL, THE GUITAR SCREAMS SEND SHIVERS UP AND DOWN FOR A LONG TIME. True talent. So underrated.

Such expression, unique but so tragic a life.

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6Buddy GuyGeorge "Buddy" Guy is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is an exponent of Chicago blues and has influenced guitarists including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Buddy Guy is at the pinnacle of Chicago blues, with enough technique to outpace many of the older blues masters but vastly more soul in his playing than the contemporary style-over-substance figures who play an altogether too large role on this list.

Isn't it odd that Buddy Guy is the only black blues artist on the list? In fact all the others should be called "contemporary" blues artist. Guy is the only true blues guitarist on the list. You missed a bunch of great ones...

Simply the essence of blues. The greats of Britain as well as many guitarists from American(such as Hendrix) owe this guy big time. - cruciel

Simple the best blues guitarist ever.

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7Albert KingAlbert King Nelson, known professionally as Albert King, was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing.

Extraordinary guitarist and a master of a single string solos. His bends and vibratos had a huge impact on generations after him. For example SRV to just name a few.
Extraordinary voice as well. Also my personal favourite.

He is the best I've ever heard... Hands down

Solos are incredible listen to ill play the blues for you

8th on this stupid list? You should all be ashamed.

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8BB King

At the time I right this 'comment' I can tell you B. B king is 47th. That will NOT do. If you were to ask competent gifted and phenomenal guitarists such as Buddy guy, eric clapton, stevie ray vaughn(RIP) or even modern artists such as joe bonamasa. Ask anyone who there key influence was I can tell you they will say BB king. His elegance and unique tone was unbeatable, still is. To paraphrase jimmy vaughn 'everyone is trying to work out what BB king did and we are ALL trying to sound like him' BB king, is THE KING OF BLUES. It is an embarrassment that The king is so low. Blues artists would be ashamed, buddy guy, clapton or vaughns would all be let down or annoyed. The king is a legend

Made just as huge impact on blues as Albert King. A true legend that can't be replaced. Hard to say which one of them is better guitarist they are both legends.

Ask any blues legend to come after him, they will admit that B. B is their influence and what blues guitar is all about. He is the king of blues.

The Green's God. Absolute class and such tone.

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9Gary MooreRobert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer, songwriter, and virtuoso rock and blues guitarist.

Arguing who is the best guitarist is nothing but subjective and dumb. However if I had to pick one, that would be Gary Moore. He could literally play on stage with every guitarist from blues to shred metal and wipe his ass with every single one.

Should be in top 5 at least one of the best

Best modern guitarist, blues or rock. He even wrote some great blues that did not relay on twelve bar progression.

Top 5 best ever

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10Jay Jesse Johnson

Merging the rock genre with the blues, Johnson has his own unique style and tone. It's blues based but he goes for it. Where others play it safe with same old riffs, Johnson digs in deep and creates a modern yet classic statement. Some say he's In the style of Trower, Travers and Marino and there is some truth to that but I think this guy stands up to some of the great guitarist of the world.

Been a fan of Jay's since the '80's when rock was his world; fast forward and Jay has matured into his own style of rock 'n blues. You can hear many of the great guitarist's influences in some of his music, but it is classic Jay Jesse Johnson's tone and inflection that comes through on every song. Hoping he will record his rendition of Over the Rainbow one of these days, as it is killer!

I have had the pleasure of listening to Jay perform his craft since the early 70's. His talent shines in everything he does. Very few can make you feel their music the way Jay does. Mirrored of Trower and Hendrix Jay's talent amazes. There are a lot of guitar players, but very few with talent at this level.

We ride our bikes three hours just to see this man! HE IS A TRUE PERFORMER! He never disappoints and his music just gets better and better! HE WILL STUN YOU! ! MUST SEE! !

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The Newcomers

?Pigmeat Jarrett

Long forgotten and was still performing into his 90's. Coolest moniker in all of blues.

The Contenders

11Rory GallagherWilliam Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader.

I'd put Rory Gallagher at the number 2 spot personally...He was a way better guitar player than clapton. While Hendrix was a better guitar player, he really wasn't so much a blues player...so I'm not even sure if I'd put him on that list. Joe Bonamassa even says on a youtube interview that he doesn't consider himself at Rory's level (when he was being interviewed where he got to play Rory's guitar at 2 london gigs), while he, clapton, slash, gary moore and many others were very influenced by Rory's playing style.

My vote goes to the late great Corby Yates (1981-2012). I've seen all the greats. Corby was self taught from age 6. No one in history Ever played blues/rock guitar with the continuous ferocity than he. His shirt was drenched withheld sweat after the first song. He was as mild mannered and humble as they come, but Corby coulda mopped the floor with SRV. If you don't believe me, buy the "Into Oblovion" cd. Admittedly, it is a dark album, as it turns out that Corby was a paranoid schizophrenic, which led to his early passing. But if you listen to the heart and intensity he pours into his insane solos (he was also the singer), I think you'll become an instant admirer and fan.

No frills, just chills. If Hendrix showed us what the guitar could do, Rory showed us how to play it. Amazing live. He played for three or four hours sometimes and sweated the paint off his guitar. Rory died before his time and is greatly missed.

Easily, hands down the greatest lie performer ever not just in the blues

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12Muddy WatersMcKinley Morganfield, known by his stage name Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician who is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues".

I don't care what anyone says this man is my idol! Love to sit back an turn up the volume an just listen to his music! The earliest music has the soul of a poor hungry blues mantryin to make it! Hen you have the hoochiecoochie man! I just love Muddy Water music! 😉

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13Elmore James

Let's see here. What rock n roll player who also plays good blues on this list before this man... Did not idolize him, and play his tunes?. The Sky is crying... Albert K and Stevie Ray. Bleeding Heart Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix had called himself "Jimi James at one point." Come on... Folks put away yer rock hats and put on yer Madison Blue Shoes...

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14Peter Green

Listen to "The Stumble" live and realize the year it was recorded. He smoked almost everyone.

I can listen to this man play guitar over and over! Oh well part one and two blow me away every time. But the one true record that gets me is "i need your love so bad" his voice coupled with just simple expressice guitar playing is just breathtaking. I urge all walks of life to listen to this!

A player of great feeling and sensitivity. The notes he didn't play were almost as expressive as the ones he did.
BB was right.

Listen to the BBC recording of Jumping at Shadows. Say no more.

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15Albert Collins

One Of The Best Ever Blues Guitarists Of all Time! Without A Doubt!

16Robert Johnson

He 'invented' the blues. His guitar playing was so revolutionary for that time that generations of guitarists strived to immitate him with varing success.

An innovator at a time when there was less information and it was much more difficult to excel in the manner Johnson did. This is why he is considered "ahead of his time".

If you listen to him, you know where the blues came from. Everyone is influenced by his music. Everyone.

You're out of your mind's Robert johnson all time greatest

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17John Lee Hooker

The Godfather of the Blues!

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18Duane AllmanHoward Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, and co-founder and leader of the Allman Brothers Band until his death in a motorcycle crash in 1971, when he was 24 years old.

Duane Allman was just 24 years old when he died. What he left behind in just a few short years was nothing short of amazing. Of course we all know about his great guitar work with the Allman Brothers but people often forget about all of his session work with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and so on. That's without his contribution to Derek & The Dominoes "Layla & other assorted love songs". Raw, powerful, bluesy/rock bordering sometimes on jazz... How good he could have been we will never know!

Duane is not number one. Him and Dickey are #1. Here's why. They as a duo rewrote blues guitar. They showed the world that two guitarists when synchronized as one takes the whole definition of blues lead to whole new level. Never been matched since. Individually, it comes down to your choice since music is an art form. No problem. Combined, nothing has touched (before or after) the phrasing these two put together on the Live at Filmore album...and we haven't really thrown in that he rewrote the book on electric slide. Now I love SRV, cause I love the blues but Stevie's slide work reminds me of the slide work Fleetwood Mac played on their live Chicago album 20 years earlier.

I was a teenager when he died, just eight years or so younger than him. For the ensuing 42 years, I have listened to his work countless numbers of times and have lamented his untimely death. He was not a casualty of the excesses of the late sixties and early seventies, which makes his passing even more poignant. Damn, he was good, so good.

I just loved his work. We lost a real blues man the day he died. not a day goes by that I don't listen to him... Thank you Duane for all the memories

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19Robben Ford

As with previous posts... Just an amazing player with nice vocals! Recently saw him at an intimate venue in New Hampshire (Tupelo Music Hall). He is so connected with his music and plays with a lot of passion. You will not be disappointed when you see him. Tasteful with a lot of blues soul as it should be! Can easily play with the very best!

Very tasty, incorporates elements of jazz in the blues. Has a much better understanding of music than many blues guitarists. As Miles said: Why do you need another guitar player after Robben Ford...

Listen to the entire family band, The Ford Brothers. Music to the core when its all you've known since you were a kid. Those guys are connected right down to the blues bone.

Hands down - number one. Outside of classical guitar - most masterful, virtuosic musician and guitarist to have ever played.

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20Jimmy PageJames Patrick Page is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

This guy is my all time favorite guitar player. He was as good at blues as any other blues guitarist and better. Listen to songs like Since I've been loving you, Traveling Riverside Blues, When the Levee Breaks, In my time of Dying and I can't Quit you baby and you will see what I'm talking about.

enough said

Most definitely, the best blues guitar god!
He can do any song of any guitarist.
Clapton doesn't come close.
Not that clapton isn't awesome. You know what I'm saying.

My opinion is you. Only the best blues guitarist in the world but the best all-round guitarist in the world. He can play just about any type of music.

Doesn't belong in this list not a blues man

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List StatsUpdated 28 Sep 2016

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1. Albert King
2. Buddy Guy
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1. Steve Ray Vaughn
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