A couple of weeks ago, Robin Parry blogged about one of his favorite guitar solos, and Rodney blogged about his trip to blues clubs in Memphis. That got me to thinking about my favorite guitarists. Eric Clapton has been my favorite since I was a teenager (and he wasn’t much older), when I bought “John Mayall and the Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton” (1966). But getting a DVD of “Crossroads: Eric Clapton Guitar Festival 2007” a couple of years ago brought to mind two things: that Jeff Beck’s guitar virtuosity has only increased over the years, and a new generation of first-rate blues guitarists has risen up. Real show-stoppers for me are Derek Trucks and his wife Susan Tedeschi as well as Doyle Bramhill II.
Beck is now 68, and he just gets better all the time. I bought his first album, Truth, in 1968. You can see him on the web performing his straight-ahead rock (“Hammerhead,” written by Beck and Jason Robello), jazz-fusion (“Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers,” written by Stevie Wonder), and opera(!) (Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot). This is a guy who has total mastery—not only of the sounds of his instrument, but of an amazing musicality.
Derek Trucks came up as the son of the drummer in the Allmann Brothers Band, Butch Trucks, and Derek started touring at age 12! The combination of Derek’s guitar work, Susan’s vocals, and the vocals of Mike Mattison creates something very special on “Any Day” Doyle Bramhill II is also the son of a bluesman, Doyle Bramhill. He has developed an amazing Delta blues sound, and he sings the blues terrifically. Check out his rendition of “In My Time of Dyin’.”
I hope these tips are of interest to a few of you.