Watch out Jimmy Page! Keep your head down Eric Clapton! Run for cover Pete Townsend! This Independence Day, the Merchants of Rock are making a stand with a revolutionary list of the Top 10 AMERICAN guitarists. KABOOM!
#10 Nels Cline (Wilco)
With over a hundred albums under his belt, it took him joining WIlco for the world to take notice. Nels’ guitar is like a sonic assault; equal parts jazz, avant guard, and Pete Townsend. Any man who routinely gives himself whiplash from rocking out to hard gets my vote for this list.
#9 Gary Rossington & Allen Collins (Lead/Rhythm guitarists of Lynyrd Skynryd)
Pioneers of the dueling guitar sound, these shredders collaborated on all the great Skynrd songs, including but not limited to, “Freebird”, “Tuesday’s Gone” and “That Smell”.
#8 Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs)
One of the most original styles in playing guitar, Jack White is a veritable encyclopedia of how to create strange pitches and unique effects with the most unorthodox methods. Even when he plays “Seven Nation Army” the chords sound like a bass guitar but he is actually playing a 1950s style semi-acousitc Kay Hollowbody. He never takes the easy way out, that’s for sure.
#7 Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers/Gov’t Mule)
Probably the hardest working character in our top 10, my man has got some chops. Rock, Soul, Blues, whatever, you play it he shreds it. Warren has become the go to axe-for-hire, touring with the Allman Brothers, Dave Matthews, Govt Mule, and the Dead over the last year.
#6 Kirk Hammet (Metallica)
Metal Master responsible for some of the most wicked, face-melting mind-blowing solos in history.
#5 Chuck Berry
My man invented Rock and Roll, that’s good enough for me!
#4 The Brothers Vaughan
Stevie Ray seems to get all the accolades, but his older brother Jimmie is not too shabby himself. While SRV might have had all the flair(and a really cool hat), Jimmie is a little more low key, but every bit the guitar powerhouse of his little brother.
#3 Duane Allman (Allman Brothers)
Too bad Skydog only made it to the age of 24. His slide guitar is something that is unmatched to this day. A lifetime of licks cut way too short.
#2 Buddy Guy
Buddy Guy is a bad ass. He learned the blues from Muddy Waters, and he was Hendrix’s favorite guitar player. The man got his first record contract (and quite a few bottles of booze) by winning full blown guitar duels on the Chicago streets. Still rocking it today, I would like to see someone try to duel him for his spot on this list.
#1 Jimi Hendrix
Do you really need an explanation why?
* DISCLAIMER: Slash, Eddie Van Halen and the guy from Aerosmith are all killer guitarists but intentionally not on the list because of how much we hate their bands’ lead singers. Sorry guys. Guilty by association.
** DISCLAIMER: Neil Young? Sorry CSNY fans, No Canadians.
*** DISCLAIMER: I don’t care what someone told you at a party. John Mayer is lame.
****DISCLAIMER: No disrespect to Chet Atkins or Robert Johnson, this list is not about innovation, it is about mastery of the guitar.
*****DISCLAIMER: We are well aware that we will catch some flack for leaving the Kings (Albert, Freddie, BB) off the list, but there is only room for so much blues……
Jim Marshall, one of the premiere music photographers of the 20th century passed away last night in NYC at the age of 74. The man, always on the scene, was responsible for many of the iconic shots taken of such legends as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and The Beatles. His photos have been published in magazines and books all over the globe, and his work is even in the Smithsonian Museum’s permanent archives. While the man has moved on, his irreplaceable collection of photos will forever preserve the greatest generations in rock n roll history.