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100 Greatest Blues Guitarists

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100 Greatest Blues Artists

100 Greatest Blues Guitarists

Top 100 blues players of all time.

1. T-Bone Walker

2. B.B. King

3. Stevie Ray Vaughan

4. Robert Johnson

5. Albert King

6. Eric Clapton

7. Buddy Guy

8. Mike Bloomfield

9. Peter Green

10. Johnny Winter

11. Otis Rush

12. Muddy Waters

13. Ronnie Earl

14. Freddie King

15. Earl Hooker

16. Elmore James

17. Albert Collins

18. Hubert Sumlin

19. Duane Allman

20. John Lee Hooker

21. Son House

22. Robert Cray

23. Jimmie Vaughan

24. Billy Gibbons

25. Lonnie Johnson

26. Roy Buchanan

27. Duke Robillard

28. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

29. Blind Lemon Jefferson

30. Charley Patton

31. Ry Cooder

32. Mississippi John Hurt

33. Robben Ford

34. Son Seals

35. Robert Nighthawk

36. Magic Sam

37. Luther Allison

38. Mississippi Fred McDowell

39. Jimmy Thackery

40. Roy Rogers

41. Warren Haynes

42. Lonnie Brooks

43. Kelly Joe Phelps

44. Mick Taylor

45. Lightnin' Hopkins

46. Jeff Healey

47. Earl King

48. Lonnie Mack

49. Blind Willie Johnson

50. Johnny Copeland

51. Alvin Lee

52. Gary Moore

53. Big Bill Broonzy

54. Kim Simmonds

55. Elvin Bishop

56. Walter Trout

57. Taj Mahal

58. Guitar Slim

59. Sonny Landreth

60. Robert Jr. Lockwood

61. Scrapper Blackwell

62. Shuggie Otis

63. Fenton Robinson

64. Amos Garrett

65. Steve Cropper

66. Coco Montoya

67. Joe Bonamassa

68. John Hammond

69. Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart

70. Lowell Fulson

71. Keb Mo

72. Smokin' Joe Kubek

73. Rod Price

74. Rory Gallagher

75. Little Charley Baty

76. Wayne Bennett

77. Southside Lenny

78. Blind Blake

79. Tinsley Ellis

80. Hollywood Fats

81. Derek Trucks

82. Guitar Shorty

83. Hound Dog Taylor

84. Kid Ramos

85. Dave Hole

86. Bonnie Raitt

87. Matt 'Guitar' Murphey

88. Pee Wee Crayton

89. Harvey Mandel

90. Joe Louis Walker

91. Eddie Taylor

92. Snowy White

93. J.B. Lenoir

94. Skip James

95. Anson Funderburgh

96. Chris Vachon

97. Little Milton

98. Blind Willie McTell

99. Luther Tucker

100. Stan Webb

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Maybe I breezed through the list too fast, but where the hell is Duane Allman?

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Thanks, Melanie. Great to see him in the Top 20, though personally I'd put him in the Top 10.

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For what it's worth Gatemouth should be in the top 5. He has a very unusual percussive style and is one of the most emotive guitarists I have ever heard. That man defines blues. B)

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Ridiculous list.

They always are. There is no way to judge this type of thing. So, the lists end up having the imitators at the top of the list, and the originators thrown in as afterthoughts much further down below. I don't know where that list came from, but they're all the same. Any rock fan would tell you that Clapton was a great blues guitarist. But how could one place Clapton above Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Elmore James, Freddie King, Hubert Sumlin and all of the other pioneering guitarists that Clapton and his peers were imitating? Total nonsense.

Speaking of which, any list which includes Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks, Stevie Ray Vaughan and NOT Jimi Hendrix, is completely absurd. Hendrix was the original inspiration for all of the white boys in the US who currently play "the blues". They can claim that they were really inspired by the original blues masters from the 20's and 30's all they want, but that's the standard canned response to hide their true influence: blues via pop and rock records. Hendrix's "Red House" was THE template for all subsequent blues playing in rock and roll in the US and England. Marshall Amp + Fuzz Face. Undeniable. Makes Vaughan, Bonamassa, Trucks, and countless other dudes in jam bands completely meaningless as contributing players.

Stevie Ray Vaughan's ranking at #3 in particular shows the true nature of the list. Seriously, a Hendrix imitator, with a one-dimensional schtick wearing those hats poncho and boots, pretending to be some kind of traveling blues nomad, gets placed as the third "greatest" blues guitarist? Seriously? Over Robert Johnson, who essentially INVENTED the blues guitar as we know it.

No my friends, no.

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SRV is one of the greats when it comes to blues. puting him on the same list with joe bonamassa and derek trucks is a total disgrace.

SRV #3 is a very reasonable place for him, i dont love any list cause i like them all, but not giving SRV the respect he deservs is somthing that makes you really really deaf.

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Much as I love Jimi Hendrix, when it comes to favorite blues guitarists he's not exactly the first person to come to mind. Probably because I tend to think of psychedelia first when it comes to Hendrix.

As for SRV, his appreciation for Hendrix aside, I never saw him as an imitator or an imposter of any kind. In the 80s, he put the blues back on the map amidst a sea of empty synth pop and rudderless MTV New Wave that had more to do with fashion than music. He didn't do that by imitating Jimi Hendrix, he did that by being true to himself and all of the blues artists he'd been influenced by. When I first heard of him he was cutting records with the likes of Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland, recordings that were cemented in the blues.

In regards to the blues, the reason I first sought out records by Son House, "Howlin'" Wolf, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson in the 70s was because of Clapton, Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin. To my way of thinking, there's a place for all of them on any list of blues guitarists. The order of the list is going to be different for everybody.

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This is not any imatation, this is SRV himself. damn i miss him...sad.gif

Edited by JimmyGun

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To override the other people I'm going to vote for number 1: Peter Green.

His Tone, phrasing, passion, melody, some technical abilities (especially amongst contemporaries in the 60s) and he was a white blues musician that could sing (no offence Eric). Also made it into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Pagey should have been in their sometimes he is much better at the Blues then people like Joe Bonamassa

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Ridiculous list.

They always are. There is no way to judge this type of thing. So, the lists end up having the imitators at the top of the list, and the originators thrown in as afterthoughts much further down below. I don't know where that list came from, but they're all the same. Any rock fan would tell you that Clapton was a great blues guitarist. But how could one place Clapton above Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Elmore James, Freddie King, Hubert Sumlin and all of the other pioneering guitarists that Clapton and his peers were imitating? Total nonsense.

Speaking of which, any list which includes Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks, Stevie Ray Vaughan and NOT Jimi Hendrix, is completely absurd. Hendrix was the original inspiration for all of the white boys in the US who currently play "the blues". They can claim that they were really inspired by the original blues masters from the 20's and 30's all they want, but that's the standard canned response to hide their true influence: blues via pop and rock records. Hendrix's "Red House" was THE template for all subsequent blues playing in rock and roll in the US and England. Marshall Amp + Fuzz Face. Undeniable. Makes Vaughan, Bonamassa, Trucks, and countless other dudes in jam bands completely meaningless as contributing players.

Stevie Ray Vaughan's ranking at #3 in particular shows the true nature of the list. Seriously, a Hendrix imitator, with a one-dimensional schtick wearing those hats poncho and boots, pretending to be some kind of traveling blues nomad, gets placed as the third "greatest" blues guitarist? Seriously? Over Robert Johnson, who essentially INVENTED the blues guitar as we know it.

No my friends, no.

You're exactly right.To place Stevie Ray Vaughn ahead of Muddy Waters as a blues artist is just plain incorrect. Stevie Ray Vaughn, as good as he was, never surpassed Muddy Waters. Muddy Waters could roll one song out after the next from sheer memory and a seemingly endless repertoire, and he played guitar. As a front man and vocalist, Stevie Ray could not top Muddy Waters.

And Stevie Ray Vaughn learned from Albert King, who was already outstanding, but I seriously doubt that he ever surpassed Albert King in all that he did, despite the niche that Stevie Ray carved for himself.

And James Cotton and Sonny Boy Williamson are missing from the list, I guess because they're not guitarists.

But Howlin Wolf played guitar, and as a vocalist and front man, good luck in topping him.

And no Hendrix? Red House was/is a blues song.

Edited by Silver Rider

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I also think SRV is one of the best. List are list, at least this one has some really great names. As BB King is my favorite blues guitarist...then put a few more of the greats with him.... :guitar_mood:

Rock Me Baby-BB King/Eric Clapton/Buddy Guy/Jim Vaughn

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A joke of a list. Failure to mention Jimi Hendrix!

With no Hendrix, many of those on the list (including the late great Stevie Ray) would be very different players.

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A joke of a list. Failure to mention Jimi Hendrix!

With no Hendrix, many of those on the list (including the late great Stevie Ray) would be very different players.

Really..listen to this interview:-)

B.B. King and Buddy Guy on Meeting Jimi Hendrix

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Good to see Johnny Winter get a mention as he's seemingly forgotten by most and is left off most any list of great guitarists. He's also yet another person that's deserving of being inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame but most likely never will be.

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For anyone that's never seen it, I highly recommend checking out this very excellent documentary. I didn't know until just now that it's available on DVD. That means I can finally upgrade my well worn VHS copy after all of these years.

518AS3yczSL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Edited by Jahfin

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For anyone that's never seen it, I highly recommend checking out this very excellent documentary. I didn't know until just now that it's available on DVD. That means I can finally upgrade my well worn VHS copy after all of these years.

518AS3yczSL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

That's a worthy inclusion for sure.I'd also suggest searching for the Biopic "Can't you hear the wind howl" narrated by Danny Glover which has an interview ,among others with Johnny Shines who travelled and played with RJ for a time.It goes into the "soul selling" deal and the "possible poisoning" of Robert Johnson too.Keb' Mo' acts as RJ.

As for the list,it's just another list,like polls.They all mean different things to different people.

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Where is Sonny Terry?

Sad to say I'm over the blues and have been for some time.

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Big Bill Broonzy and Rory Gallagher need to be higher...much higher. And yes, if you're going to have Eric Clapton, SRV, and Billy Gibbons on the list, then you'd damn well better have Jimi Hendrix, too.

And where's Robin Trower? I'd put him on before Gary Moore and Snowy White.

But what really irks me is that there is no citation of where this came from. I hate posters that post uncredited lists...hell, uncredited anything.

Sorry to be so anal, but it's a pet peeve of mine.

So is this list from some blues magazine, a music blog, or made up by the poster himself?

Edited by Strider

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There's some greats missing...I agree Robin Trower for one.

Jimmy as well but I guess he's not considered a Blues purist.

But it's not bad.

I'm very glad to see the late Rod Price included. (though he deserves to be placed higher than #73)

AMAZING SLIDE GUITARIST .... check out his 2 solo albums OPEN and WEST 4.

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Muddy Waters for my money is the greatest of all Blues artists but really, was he a great guitar player? SRV has gotten ripped here but having actually seen him live several times at his peak, I dismiss that entirely. He was real, authentic and played with emotion. That's rare in a guitar player, most can play blues easily but not many can dig deep emotionally. SRV always did.

Johnny Winter should be in the top five though. Not to get racial but out of all the white guitar players who are considered "blues men", Winter is the best of them all. He's authentic in every way.

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