This piece is a map of the guitar players I've enjoyed these many years. It is by no means all inclusive, and although I still listen to almost all of these players my tastes have grown to include different styles. New discoveries have often sent me back to explore earlier times, too. My interest began with the British Blues boom of the ’60s, moved through Progressive Rock into Jazz Rock, and on to ECM Jazz. I also listen to some Jazz guitarists. I have written about many of the guitarists who inspired the British Blues in Blues for beginners. My focus here is mainly on electric guitar, but I love Segovia, too.
If all of this verbiage is too much, just read my shorter short list.
1 The British Blues Boom -
The guitar is the fundamental instrument of the Blues. From Charley Patton to Robert Johnson,
and on through the electric, urban sound of Muddy Waters, Elmore James and B.B.King up to the
British Blues revival of the 1960s...
More British Blues Boom
2 White American Blues -
The States produced a slew of fine guitarists. Many of whom I have been blithely
ignored for decades. It is ironic that the record companies only went looking
for White Blues in the US after the success of Cream, who had made
the Blues commercially viable...
More White American Blues
3 Back to the Brits -
Back to Blighty, and Clapton and co had made the guitar an essential piece of
kit in the burgeoning Blues Rock scene...
More Back to the Brits
4 Progressive Rock -
The extraordinary Robert Fripp was a leader of the wave of Progressive guitar
players, who began to emerge in 1969. Here were a bunch schooled in the Blues,
but also quite often familiar with Classical guitar...
More Progressive Rock
5 Jazz Rock and Jazz Not Rock -
Holdsworth is the perfect combination of Jazz and Rock, which probably explains
his lack of the huge audience he deserves. During the late ’70s, a
number of fine stylists and virtuosos appeared, among them Steve Vai,
Eddie van Halen and Joe Satriani, but the age of the guitar was coming
to an end...
More Jazz Rock and Jazz Not Rock
6 ECM -
I drifted further into Jazz in the ’80s, as Rock seemed to have arrived
at midlife crisis and degenerated into stadium prancing. The themes had all
been stated and were now being consolidated...
7 Ever Since -
After a decade with few highlights, Rock music grabbed a new boost of energy
with Grunge in the early '90s...
More Ever Since