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.

Not only is he the best blues guitar player, but the best guitarist ever.

V34 Comments
2Jimi Hendrix

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!

JIMI HENDRIX WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST A BLUESMAN, THEN HE CREATED BLUES ROCK, PERIOD...

A category (the top one) on his own

V14 Comments
3Eric Clapton

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.

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.

Best guitarist. Perfect solos, excellent technique. I do not think Jimi Hendrix is better than him. Best blues guitarist.

No one can make a guitar cry and joy like Eric

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4Roy 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.

This guy never got his due and that's a shame

V7 Comments
5Joe 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

Joe is the Blues. Saw him live recently. Great seats. He plays the guitar better than any other Blues player I've seen or heard. His singing has also improved exponentially. Not much of a personality, just pure Blues business in a classy way. Show started at exactly 8pm, to the second. This guy plays articulately, with great speed. He sweats like a true pro. Can't wait to see the hardest working Blues giant again. The band is so tight, it's scary. Pure Tonal Heaven

Joe is unparalleled. Has taken the baton from the Greats.

V34 Comments
6Buddy Guy

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

Buddy invented the electric blues! BB King and Muddy Waters were his idols and predecessors, but no one else played with the volcanic intensity he did right through the 60's, 70's and 80's through to today! To mention the others on this list without Buddy leading this list is laughable! Now, at 78, Buddy plays and sings as intensely as he ever did. Long live Buddy Guy!

Simple the best blues guitarist ever.

V6 Comments
7BB 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 greatest simply I'm horrified he's way down here can't believe it

V8 Comments
8Gary Moore

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.

Love a lot of blues guitarists, but Gary Moore is my all time favorite.

V6 Comments
9Albert King

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.

Albert is the best there is... White guys like clapton and all the rest are just copy cats. They can play, for sure but do they really have it... I don't think so. The guy who came the closest was SRV

THE TWO BEST BLUES ALBUMS, BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN AND BLUES POWER, ALBERT KING, THE MAN..

Solos are incredible listen to ill play the blues for you

V3 Comments
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! !

V41 Comments

The Newcomers

?Arthur Neilson

One of the most melodic blues guitar players. Beautiful soloist and fine song writer.

?Davy Knowles

The Contenders

11Rory Gallagher

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.

Saw Rory live at Long Beach Arena back in early 70s appeared with Deep Purple before they went on, Rory was sloppy then hit lot of bad notes, but did give it his all, never saw him again, riot broke out and cops maced the place trampled people busted out the glass shoved folks thru it bad scene, that's what I remember most-although Deep Purple was OK

God! Just listen to his version of pistol slapping blues, unrated and sorely missed

V6 Comments
12Elmore 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...

V1 Comment
13Peter 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.

If the Green God had not destroyed himself with psychedelic drugs, he would be a household name. Beautiful tone played from the heart.

V3 Comments
14Muddy Waters

The absolute king of blues!

15Albert Collins

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

16Robert Johnson

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".

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

Without him there would be no blues or rock n roll
Has to be number 1 - rocker1796

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

V3 Comments
17John Lee Hooker

The Godfather of the Blues!

V1 Comment
18Robben 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.

He's simply the best modern guitarist hands down!

V2 Comments
19Jimmy Page

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

V2 Comments
20Duane Allman

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!

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

After Hendrix, he is the best

V2 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 6 Feb 2016

1,000 votes
91 listings
7 years, 151 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Steve Ray Vaughn
2. Roy Buchanan
3. Freddie King
willy17
1. Roy Buchanan
2. Steve Ray Vaughn
3. Joe Bonamassa
HittsLake
1. Jay Jesse Johnson
2. Steve Ray Vaughn
3. Roy Buchanan
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