Most Talented Blues Guitarists

July 3, 2015 - Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Steve Ray Vaughn
No one improvised liked Stevie, he could play 50 licks off of the top of his head or rather from his heart... buttery smooth every song all night long. No one played as clean, no one had the tone...
There will never be another Stevie Ray Vaughan... the current boys ain't got the chops or the soul... not even close... the people are still waiting for the next SRV ~ They're gonna be waiting for a while...
Hendrix was the innovator, SRV the ultimate technician.
Stevie seperated himself from every other blues guitarist. He made the guitar talk like it had it's own voice.
[Newest]Thank God for Stevie!

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...
[Newest]You know you're good when people take you fro granted. His influence and sound is as ubiquitous in rock/blues as the pentatonic scale itself.

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.
[Newest]No one can make a guitar cry and joy like Eric

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.
[Newest]This guy never got his due and that's a shame

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 has taken blues to a new level in the 21st century. Great innovation and style that is a combination of both past and present. Keeps getting better and has not forgotten the roots of the blues or tries to compromise his artistry with commercialism.
[Newest]Joe is nothing less than phenomenal. He is letter prefect on all of the music he and his group of truly professional musicians perform. (A 76 year old "blues junky"! )

6Buddy Guy
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!
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

[Newest]When your talking the blues your talking buddy guy!

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.
[Newest]The greatest simply I'm horrified he's way down here can't believe it

8Albert 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
He is the best I've ever heard... Hands down
[Newest]8th on this stupid list? You should all be ashamed.

9Gary 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.
The best hands down!
Should be in top 5 at least one of the best
[Newest]Love a lot of blues guitarists, but Gary Moore is my all time favorite.

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.
[Newest]All around fantastic player. Gives 100%,100% of the time

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

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...
Greatest slide player of all time.

13Muddy Waters
The absolute king of blues!

14Peter Green
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!
Listen to "The Stumble" live and realize the year it was recorded. He smoked almost everyone.
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.
[Newest]If the Green God had not destroyed himself with psychedelic drugs, he would be a household name. Beautiful tone played from the heart.

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

[Newest]Johnny dickey eric al say this Guy is the maN

17John Lee Hooker
The Godfather of the Blues!
I can not believe that nobody ever wrote a comment about this legend guitarist of blues. The Groundhog, was one of mine and millions others favorites, very traditional, interpretative blues. honest and from the heart of a soul that beat in time with life. He will forever be a master in his field and cherished, loved, respected and constantly reminding people of how true the blues can be.

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.

19Duane 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

20Jeff Beck
One of the greatest Guitar Players

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This list was created 6 years, 297 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 5 times.

Updated Thursday, July 02, 2015


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