stevie ray of course he is the master still
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Hey Jaybo - Michael is one of my all-time favs. "Live at Bill Graham's Fillmore West" has some great tunes, and Bloomfield really shines on it. But also, if you are unaware, you need to pick up this release by Nick Gravenites, "My Labors". Not so much for Nick, but Michael Bloomfield is astonishing on some of the extended live cuts, which were also recorded at the Fillmore West, just released under Nick instead.
I guess this isn't a BB King crowd - I'd have guessed his name would come up first among the electric guitarists.
Albert Collins was a great live act and Michael Bloomfield is a good call, too. Gatemouth was a terrific performer, but he spent as much time on fiddle as guitar. Among the younger set, Robert Cray is a really good player and I also like Duke Robillard.
Many jazz players like John McLaughlin and Wes Montgomery also played a fair bit of blues and did a wonderful job.
For those looking at rockers who are bluesmen at heart, I'd also add Peter Green, Sonny Landreth, and arguably the omni-genre David Hidalgo (Cesar Rosas is also a wonderful blues player),
The ladies usually get overlooked (although Susan Tedeschi has some profile), but I also like Joan Armatrading and the criminally underappreciated Bonnie Raitt.
BLIND BLAKE played alot of ragtime as well as the blues, but ROBERT JOHNSON (as a guitar player) was just one of many phenomenal musicians in his time. B.BLAKE is pictured using a primitive looking acoustic guitar, so i would suggest that if someone had ever handed BB an Electric guitar, he would have done something similar to what Art Tatum could do on the piano. my guess is that it was his use of the thumb doing very complex bass lines while busy fingerpicking the melody, but it sure as heck sounded like a piano when he played. btw, he also played the piano...
i have all four alblums on "Biograph" records in case anyone is wondering if i made all of this up.
as for Stevie Ray, i think he would disagree with many of you guys. because when i saw him play in one of his last concerts, his last selection was by Jimi Hendrix; at the end of the song he gently placed the guitar (still feeding back the final notes) on the stage and walked off as the lights dimmed...
Jimi Hendrix. Electric Ladyland - Track 4 is what got me in to the mess to begin with. I can just shut my eyes and just get lost in a lot of what he did. Most of his best blues work has never been released however, I've been fortunate enough to amass quite a collection of bootlegs over the years and thank god for the internet - torrents!
SRV obviously the close second. I'm thankful he came along to ween me off my Hendrix addiction. Great, great artist - sorry to lose him as well.
The next guy to pick it up for me has been mentioned very little in this forum - Mato Nanji of Indigenous. Most definitely inspired by my first picks. Excellent guitarist - once again had me hunting for the rare stuff. Might I suggest Indigenous - Live at Pachyderm Studios.
Have also enjoyed who's been listed here - Clapton, Collins, etc. I wish David Gilmour would have/would release an all out blues album. He's a guest on a cut from Paul Rodger's Muddy Waters tribute album and just smokes that version of Standing Around Crying.
Guitarist Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top deserves more credit for his blues work. The late Chris Whitley for his unique style on National Steel guitar. Other than that Robben Ford has got some licks, Chris Duarte, Tab Benoit and Michael Burkes. Been following Derek Trucks pretty steadily lately.
I know, I know - nobody can just pick one on these "favorite" threads.
Too many stellar choices to pick just one. Can't believe nobody has mentioned Kenny Wayne Sheperd. We saw him when he was 18 at a small club in Denver and I thought it was Jimmy back for a visit. Johnny Lang also has chops.
We saw Coco Montoya, John Mayalls ex-guitarist, in October and the phrase blistering comes to mind.
Certainly, Captain Trips played some awesome blues. David Hidalgo is one of my favorites.
How about a shout out to Rory Block who has been playing acoustic blues her entire career. Here she is performing a scorching Preacher Blues:
Davy Knowles of Back Door Slam is my new, non-dinosaur favorite. This kid burns, and has a decent voice as well. http://www.myspace.com/backdoorslam
Their CD is good, but in no way displays the mighty prowess of this up and coming performer.