Over the past twenty years we have seen the emergence of many talented blues guitarists. Here are 5 of the best blues guitarists of the last decade. Do you agree with our choices?
1. Davy Knowles
Davy Knowles – guitar, vocals; Andrew Toombs – keyboard; Jeremiah Hunt – bass guitar; Michael Caskey – drums.
At only 25 years old, blues guitarist and singer Davy Knowles from the Isle of Man has already released two albums. Davy has toured all over the States, originally as part of the trio Back Door Slam. He gained many fans as the opening act for Chickenfoot on their 2009 US tour. Davy plays the blues with the sincerity of someone twice his age, just listen to his cover of the Blind Joe Reynolds song “Outside Woman Blues” from his first album Roll Away, and the song “Riverbed” from album Coming Up For Air.
MattyTWall – guitar, vocals ; Stephen Walker – bass guitar; Ric Whittle – drums
Hailing from Perth, Australia, MattyTWall proves his band is indeed a musical force to be reckoned with. With blues and rock at the forefront of his ten track debut album, Blue Skies, Wall interestingly gravitates towards jazz and grunge as well, masterfully concocting his own creative and unique blend of sound. Backed by drummer Jasper Miller and bassist Stephen Walker, both also from Perth, Wall could not ask for a better rhythm section suited for his music. They really make his songs shine.
3. Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Noah Hunt, Chris Layton, and Tony Franklin
Shepherd released his first album Ledbetter Heights in 1995 when he was only 18 years old. Aside from a foray into heavy rock territory with The Place You’re In in 2004, Shepherd has stayed true to the blues. In 2007 he released a CD/DVD combo entitled 10 Days Out: Blues From the Backroads on which he traveled the deep south seeking out old grandmasters of the blues and recording with them. Recommended listening: Kenny Wayne Shepherd covered Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and released it as an all instrumental B-side to “Blue on Black” in 1997. This hybrid between Hendrix’s version and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s cover clearly illustrate who Shepherd’s two main influences are.
4. Ben Harper
Ben Harper, Juan Nelson, Leon Mobley, Oliver Charles, Jason Yates
Just like with Derek Trucks, Ben Harper‘s style of music spans many different genres, with blues being one of the underlying inspirations. Although he’s a multi-instrumentalist, Harper’s signature instrument is playing acoustic slide guitar. Just listen to songs like “Homeless Child”, “Whipping Boy”, and “I Want To Be Ready” for a taste of how Harper incorporates the blues in his music.
5. Jonny Lang
Jonny Lang rose to fame around the same time as Kenny Wayne Shepherd. His 1997 sophomore album Lie To Me was a huge hit for Lang, when he was only 16 years old. It gave him the opportunity to tour with Aerosmith on their Nine Lives tour. Aside from his very skilled vibrato-tinged guitar playing, what was most notable about Lang at the time was his mature voice that sounded more like a man in his forties than that of a teenager. Lang carried on the blues tradition on his third album Wander This World, with the excellent opening track “Still Rainin’,” but has since drifted more towards soul and gospel music.