5 Best Modern Influence Blues Guitarists

modern-influence-blues-guitaristsIf you’re a guitar music lover, no matter if you’re shaking your head on industrial rock riffs or you jump up and down when listening to some old school glam rock, no matter if your heart skips a beat every time you listen to some cold, classic guitar playing or just love to tango in a modern hot style, the guitar has been a constant presence in our lives and an influential instrument for solo musician, bands and music genres. On the other hand, blues as a music genre doesn’t need no presentation.

This world had the privilege to hear true gods of music playing their blues and mastering their art like no others, and there is no wonder that some of these sacred monsters are still huge influences on music today. It is hard to nominate only five of them, as they are dozens, but the next five names left not only a personal legacy, but an immortal testament of inspiration and influence to some of the most beloved contemporary artists. Music Radar managed two years ago to compile a list of the 25 best blues guitarists of the world, while Gibson listed the last year’s best ten modern blues guitarists of our present times. In an attempt to take a walk down the history lane, let’s see who are the top 5 modern influence blues guitarists, who influenced whom, and what each guitarist’s legacy consists of.

1. Albert Collins

This man played his blued guitar like no other and, even if he lived and performed in the shadows for some years, he is one of the main modern influence blues guitarists. His final and ultimate recognition came in the 80’s when, together with fame and fortune, also came the fans and the noobs who later on became stars of their own. We are talking late Stevie Ray Vaughn and Gary Moore, just to name a few, musicians who themselves became sources of motivation and stimulation to a new generation of younger artists.

2. Aaron Thibeaux Walker

In the words of a music lover, “T Bone Walker is the father of modern electric blues guitar and kind of the ultimate out of all modern influence blues guitarists. Pretty much everything else stems from him directly.” Himself a protégé of Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker’s influences can be found clearly in the music of BB King, Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix. These blues guitar artists are not among us anymore, unfortunately, but they have been also key-figures in other players’ careers. And if you take into account that famous glam rock superstar Slash admits his musical roots in the tunes of BB King, then you know that these musicians’ impact on modern music is still very well felt and appreciated.

3. Son House

He is a legend and only true deep blues fans can appreciate his music, or so they say. His voice, older than time itself, his guitar mastering – a work of art which transcended generations and genres and can be found in the style of Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson. His influence upon modern music will also last longer than time, as any blues student learns about this great musician and tries to recreate House’s signature playing.

4. John Lee Hooker

We would be nowhere, as music lovers and modern rockers, if it weren’t for Hooker’s ability to play a guitar and create the sound of an entire orchestra. The man had rhythm imprinted in his DNA, his guitar was a natural extension of his body and his voice still gives us the chills. Why wouldn’t we have modern music without him? Imagine ZZ Top not playing the way they play or imagine Led Zepellin not singing the way they do. Can you even dare?

5. Muddy Waters

He took everything that was good from Son House, added his own magic and passed away his eternal iconic influence on modern music, and we are talking here about none other than The Rolling Stones or even more modern hip-hop.

Contemporary blues guitarists such as Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks or Kenny Wayne Shepherd have a lot to thank to those that came before them, modern influence blues guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Lee Hooker or the Kings trio. Yet they are not the only ones. Famous modern rock stars and guitarists, from country musicians to orchestra players have still something to learn from these grand masters.

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