Guitar Essentials: 40 Badass Blues Solos You Must Hear

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PHOTOS: Gary Miller (Eric Johnson), Michael Putland (David Gilmour),

Peter Still (Gary Moore) | Getty Images

Let’s face it: Thousands upon thousands of great blues solos have been played on the electric guitar. So you can imagine how daunting it was for us to narrow our selection down to just 40.

For starters, we siphoned off more than a dozen artists and solos that have already been so widely celebrated that they hardly need additional mention. After all, who isn’t already hip to Clapton’s extraordinary solo on “Crossroads” or Jimi’s on “Red House”?

We also excluded a few legendary players who were renowned for their acoustic solos but did little of note once they switched to electric, such as Tampa Red, along with several well-known guitarists that played fantastic electric blues, but didn’t really take solos, like John Lee Hooker.

And early on we decided not to include seminal acoustic blues players like Robert Johnson, Son House, and Blind Willie Johnson, both because their numbers are too great, and because in most cases they played unaccompanied, and therefore didn’t “solo” in the same sense as the artists on our list.

Whether you hail us as brilliant or bash us as bums, we at least hope that you’ll dig reading this as much as we did writing it.

Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
“Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell”
Billy G. is one of the finest blues players around, but ZZ Top’s boogie-oriented repertoire tends to overshadow a tune like this slow-burn gem from the 1972 album, Rio Grande Mud. The song isn’t in the classic 12-bar mold, but Gibbons decorates the 12/8 groove as if it were. Deploying a moderately distorted tone for the licks he plays over a clean arpeggiated rhythm figure, Gibbons shows his usual mastery of note choice and placement, building his solo to create maximum emotion during the song’s extended outro. —Art Thompson

Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys)
“Ohio”
Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach is never flashy, but he’s naturally poignant, and the fuzz freak is largely responsible for the past decade’s dirty blues resurgence. Auerbach eschews prominent guitar breaks, and almost never strays past the pentatonic box. “I’m not much of a solo guy,” he told GP in his February 2012 feature. But I do love ‘rips.’” Auerbach really rips near the end of the single “Ohio,” which was released independently from 2010’s Brothers. The Akron native’s vibrato quivers like the shivers of a cold Midwestern winter. Auerbach eventually engages a wah, induces feedback, and then climbs up the fretboard with flurries of tremolo picking until he reaches a dramatic climax. —Jimmy Leslie

David Grissom
“Lonesome Dave”
Already astounding when he made the classic Live at Liberty Lunch with Joe Ely in 1990, Grissom has refined his style through the years in stints with Storyville (featuring the SRV rhythm section) and the Dixie Chicks. It is all there in “Lonesome Dave,” from his first solo record: the Danny Gatton organ pedal point, the pedal-steel licks (Grissom taught himself to do B-Bender licks without a B-Bender), and the ZZ Top grind. Imagine Bluesbreakers Clapton and Billy Gibbons meet Brent Mason and Albert Lee and you get the idea. Throughout, Grissom’s innate taste and musicality let him be jaw dropping without being flashy. —Michael Ross

Mike Bloomfield
“Albert’s Shuffle”
When Michael Bloomfield appeared on the scene with the PaulButterfield Blues Band in 1964 no one had ever heard guitar playing quite like that, nor did any previous blues album have a printed exhortation to “play this record loud.” Indeed, Bloomfield’s excitable, ahead-of-the-beat soloing had more to do with rock energy than blues mystery. It wasn’t until 1968’s Super Session, featuring Bloomfield with Al Kooper and Steven Stills, that Bloomfield settled into this pocket of more traditional blues playing, while retaining the desperate energy that set him apart from the traditionalists, and gave him his distinctive voice in the first place. —Michael Ross

Gary Clark Jr.
“When My Train Pulls In”
The second flight on the second track from buzz bluesman Gary Clark Jr.’s diverse major label debut Blak and Blu is a gnarly fuzz/wah solo that kicks off hissing. “We recorded that track first and cut it live in one take,” revealed the Epiphone Casino enthusiast in his January 2013 GP cover feature. “I had my Fender Vibro-King, and stomped on all of my pedals for that solo.” It peaks when Clark launches into a Chuck Berry-like lick at the 12th fret, and then starts incorporating the G at the 15th fret and the F# at the 14th fret on the high E string. “I’d been experimenting in that range,” revealed Clark. “I played that lick over and over to build momentum. We were eager to prove ourselves, and there was an overwhelming sense of ‘Let’s go for it!’” —Jimmy Leslie

Jimmie Vaughan (The Fabulous Thunderbirds)
“Tuff Enuff”
The other Vaughan is as cool as the other side of the pillow, especially compared to his fire-spitting brother. They both favor Strats, but the similarities pretty much end there. Jimmie rarely plays fast or dirty, and is never flash. He mostly sticks to stabbing single notes within a traditional framework giving them plenty of space to breathe. Jimmie Vaughan reminds us that less notes can certainly mean more, and solo on the title track from the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ 1986 album Tuff Enuff is a shining example. Vaughan doesn’t usually do effects, but in this instance shimmering reverb and delay add remarkable depth to his sparse phrasing. It’s hard to find better evidence of a pure blues solo building a perfect bridge to a crossover hit. —Jimmy Leslie

Hound Dog Taylor
“Wild About You Baby”
Famously called “The Ramones of the blues” by the Village Voice, Hound Dog Taylor and his band the House Rockers played a ferociously raw kind of boogie blues. Based on the familiar “Dust My Broom” slide riff, “Wild About You Baby” (from Hound Dog Taylor and the House Rockers) is all about a game of call-and-response between the vocals and the guitar. When the time comes for Taylor to solo, he doesn’t stray far from the main riff, and his note choices are perfect examples of a solo taking the place of a vocal line. –Teja Gerken

Greg Koch
“Chief’s Blues”
Although he’s known for his monstrous chops, Greg Koch displays tasty restraint for most of this slow blues, and the results are simply delicious. Much as the native people did with the mighty buffalo, Koch uses every part of the scale on these amazing seven minutes, blending major, minor, and chromatic lines brilliantly over the changes and milking several notes out of every bend. It’s hard to pick the coolest part, but a strong contender would have to be his jarring, pre-bent, triple-stop descending groans. This solo has it all: space, dynamics, humor, sensitivity, and bombast, with damn near every lick being of the “must steal” variety. Yes sir! —Matt Blackett

Robben Ford
“Prison of Love”
The word “uptown” is sometimes used to describe blues with more jazz-inspired harmonies—chords beyond the common I, IV, and V. Ford can take the blues farther uptown than just about anybody, as this minor-key shuffle from his 1992 record Robben Ford & the Blue Line illustrates so colorfully. He stays in familiar pentatonic territory for the first four bars, and then shades his phrases with canny chromaticism in the next four. He plays even more ear-tweaking lines in the next few measures before taking the express train back downtown for a gritty finish. —Adam Levy

Doyle Bramhall II
“Cry”
If ever there was a guy to get a handle on the SRV attitude and fire without copping Stevie’s licks, it’s Doyle Bramhall II. On this slow 12/8 number, Bramhall gets all kinds of righteous Strat tones, including spooky tremolo, clanging semi cleans, and a positively massive, exploding-amp lead tone. He does a killer, thematic break mid-tune but saves his best stuff for the end of the song. For the outro solo he coaxes awesome, howling feedback before leaning into his powerful bends that are jam-packed with emotion. His note choices and phrasing as fresh as always—due in part to playing lefty-strung-righty—but Bramhall’s super-deep pocket might be his greatest asset. —Matt Blackett

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Eric Johnson
“Texas”
This session for Johnson’s 2010 sonically superior release Up Close features guests Jimmie Vaughan and Steve Miller (vocals), who dropped by his studio and inspired him to rise to the occasion. The famously fickle and laborious Strat cat played a ’59 Les Paul Standard dubbed “Buddy” through a Fuzz Face and a 100-watt Marshall on the solo—a first-take monster in the moment. Brandishing a sizzling tone and feeding off of Miller’s vocal set up, Johnson’s searing first solo soars to the heavens. Perfectly timed major thirds sound surprisingly blue, and EJ incorporates just enough diminished and chromatic runs to add spice without pushing too far beyond the boundaries of the blues. —Jimmy Leslie

Alvin Lee
“I’m Going Home”
It’s hard to think of Alvin Lee without taking note of his solo in Ten Years After’s “I’m Going Home.” The band first recorded the song on its 1968 release Undead, and it upped the fast shuffle’s octane level during its performance at the Woodstock festival. Playing his iconic “Big Red” 1959 Gibson ES-335, Lee takes the unusual step to start his solo accompanied only by drums for a full 24 bars, playing without the comfort of harmonic guidance from the band. He then proceeds to play one of the most blistering and fluid, Chuck Berry-influenced solos you’ll ever come across. –Teja Gerken

Mick Taylor
“Slow Blues”
Released on Mick Taylor’s first post-Rolling Stones solo album Mick Taylor, “Slow Blues” is a study in how to avoid mere noodling while essentially blowing for the entire duration of an instrumental track. The fact that “Slow Blues” uses a very cool, modified, 12-bar progression with a distinctive bass line and chorused-sounding 13th chords taking the place of an actual melody certainly helps in keeping the tune engaging, but Taylor’s throaty, reverb-drenched tone and dynamic playing keep the tune moving forward in a way that is not to be taken for granted in such an extended solo exploration. –Teja Gerken

T-Bone Walker
“Call It Stormy Monday”
Chances are, you’re not old enough to remember the impact this song made when it was originally released in 1947. (By way of perspective—Clapton was only two years old then, and the first Stratocaster was still seven years off.) So you may listen now and find yourself thinking, “What’s the big whoop? I’ve heard other guitarists play that stuff.” The big whoop is: Walker invented that stuff. Without his influence, there might’ve been no B.B. King, no Chuck Berry, and no Gatemouth Brown. Go back to the source and listen, taking note of Walker’s rhythmic sophistication. Sure, there are eighth-notes and sixteenths, and some triplets. But such subdivisions were never more elastic than in Walker’s hands. —Adam Levy

Carlos Santana
“Blues for Salvador”
Santana may not be though of as a blues player per se, and “Blues for Salvador,” the title track of his 1987 solo album isn’t a standard blues form. But by playing nearly six continuous minutes of intensely bluesy melodic work Santana laid down a masterpiece that helped him win a Grammy in 1989 for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance.” Robben Ford later covered the song, and Santana has played it in concert with Buddy Guy, the Wayne Shorter Group, and Mexican guitar star Javier Batiz. —Art Thompson

Kenny Wayne Shepherd
“Blue on Black”
When Louisiana native Kenny Wayne Shepherd broke big while still a teenager in the mid ’90s, he was heralded as the next Stevie Ray Vaughan. Of course, nobody is ever the next SRV, but Shepherd’s highly rhythmic southern Strat histrionics clearly owe a debt to Austin’s patron guitar player. And like SRV, KWS has a knack for turning stock blues licks into memorable, melodic moments via clever phrasing. You know a player—especially a bluesman—believes he’s made a statement when he sticks close to the recorded version of a solo onstage night after night, year after year. “Blue on Black” is case in point. It’s hook-laden licks get under your skin and stick in your brain whether it’s the original version on 1997’s Trouble Is…, or 2010’s Live! In Chicago. —Jimmy Leslie

Oz Noy
“Steroids”
Oz Noy can get so far outside so quickly that it’s easy to think that what he plays is not blues. Despite the funk and fusion elements that he throws in here, the fact is he’s playing wild, vibey, blues-on-acid on this tune. We could all add a heaping helping of freshness to our 12-bar playing if we adopted one iota of Noy’s phrasing, note choices, or fearlessness that are so abundant on this song. —Matt Blackett

Lonnie Johnson
“Playing Around”
Alonzo “Lonnie” Johnson is best known to guitarists for his groundbreaking acoustic six- and 12-string work in the late Twenties, including his celebrated duets with jazz guitarist Eddie Lang in 1929, and his 1927 recording “6/88 Glide,” featuring what is now widely considered to be the first flatpicked single-note guitar solo. But Johnson’s career continued for decades after that, and in 1947 he began playing electric. You’ll find great electric solos scattered throughout his subsequent tunes, but the brief but rocking romp on 1949’s “Playing Around” notably foreshadows moves that early rockers such as Eddie Cochran, Cliff Gallup, and Scotty Moore will explore a few years later. —Barry Cleveland

Robin Trower
“Whisky Train”
Like Hendrix, to whom he is overly, if not unfairly, compared, Robin Trower’s blues roots run deep. Forty years into his solo career he still makes records worth listening to, these days filled with more classic blues tunes than ever. Still, the best example of his rooted playing might be “Whisky Train,” a tune he wrote for Procol Harum’s fourth album, Home. The song could be considered one long cowbell-driven guitar solo, with Trower riding one of the great guitar riffs over and over, occasionally answering brief Gary Booker vocal sections with short modern blues excursions that preview his style as a solo artist. —Michael Ross

Rory Gallagher
“Bullfrog Blues”
It’s no easy task to choose a favorite Rory Gallagher blues solo, but his slide work on “Bullfrog Blues” is a serious contender. Leaving his trademark Strat behind (several YouTube videos show him playing a Gretsch Corvette), Gallagher gets to work in open-A tuning, with a capo on the second fret. The solo itself uses licks in the I, IV, and V chord positions at the fifth, seventh, and 12th frets, and it isn’t unlike Gallagher’s acoustic bottleneck work—though a ferocious amount of gain yields one of the meanest electric slide tones that you’ll ever encounter. –Teja Gerken

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Jack White
“Ball and Biscuit”
Jack White kicked the blues straight in the nuts on “Ball and Biscuit” utilizing a bizarre, ferocious sound the likes of which had never before been heard in the history of America’s senior guitar genre. No “real” bluesman would have imagined such blasphemy as a Detroit garage punk playing a plastic guitar (’64 Montgomery Ward Airline) with a fuzz-drenched, Whammy-infected tone on a blues romp. White made it his signature tone, and his signature guitar album, Elephant, landed him his first Guitar Player cover story (June 2003). The bombastic trio of solos throughout White’s sideways statement “Ball and Biscuit” play like a blues from hell trilogy. —Jimmy Leslie

Dickey Betts
“Stormy Monday”
Half of one of the greatest guitar teams of all time, Richard Betts’ job description involved going toe-to-toe with the genius of Duane Allman night after night. At the Fillmore East, on an evening recorded for posterity, he had the unenviable task of following Duane’s incendiary solo on the blues chestnut “Stormy Monday.” After Duane comes Greg Allman’s jazz waltz organ solo. As the band breaks it down from there, Betts begins his sliding, squeezing, and screaming licks that build into a masterpiece of soul, lyricism, intonation, and tone that give away nothing to his legendary partner. —Michael Ross

Ry Cooder
“Feelin’ Bad Blues”
In interviews over the years, slide guru Cooder has shared some juicy details about his hot-rodded guitars and unusual rigs. It’s tempting to tag a particular pickup, compressor, or amp when trying to pinpoint the source of his mystical sound, but let’s face it—it’s a touch thing. That’s most apparent in his nakedest recordings, like this laid-back guitar-and-dolceola duet from the Crossroads soundtrack. Cooder has always shunned picks, and this cut shows just how adept he is with his bare hand. Working in open-D tuning, Cooder blurs the line between rhythm and lead. You may be inspired to take up a bottleneck and start practicing—or quit altogether. —Adam Levy

Robert Cray
“Chicken in the Kitchen”
Though he owes much of his success to a fairly slick, mainstream crossover sound, Robert Cray can play no-holds-barred blues with the best of them. Recorded live, “Chicken in the Kitchen” (on Cookin’ in Mobile) not only features some of the most beautiful, sparkly, out-of-phase Strat tone you’ll ever hear, it also has not one but two great solos. Number two, especially, is full of incredibly cohesive lines with blindsiding surprises, occasionally getting close enough to the edge that you start worrying whether Cray will make it out alive. –Teja Gerken

David Gilmour
“The Blue”
You could say David Gilmour has never played anything that wasn’t the blues—after all, Pink Floyd was named for blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Gilmour’s tone and vibrato have always been touchstones of the modern electric blues sound. Though he played a number of awesome solos with Pink Floyd, “The Blue,” from his own 2006 record, Islands, deserves mention for several reasons. Reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross,” the solo quickly pushes the envelope with evocative whammy-pedal work, which continues throughout, seamlessly woven into classic Gilmour licks delivered with the gorgeous tone and pocket that make him a guitar legend. —Michael Ross

Jeff Healey
“How Blue Can You Get”
Healey’s blindness and unconventional playing style never hindered his ability to turn in amazing guitar performances, one of many being “How Blue Can You Get” from his posthumous 2008 release, Mess of Blues. Healey burns white hot here, pulling off wickedly fast lines and dramatic bends that defy the physical realities of holding a guitar flat on his lap. And if that’s not enough, visit YouTube to also see what a gifted jazz trumpeter Healey was. What an incredible musician! —Art Thompson

Elmore James
“It Hurts Me Too”
No doubt, “Dust My Broom” is slide guitarist James’ signature song, but there’s so much more mojo to be found in his cover of Tampa Red’s “It Hurts Me Too”—if only for his sound. (You can bet your best bottleneck that Ry Cooder has listened to this recording more than a few times.) James takes full advantage of this throaty tone, letting his notes speak in vocal-like phrases. Whatever there is to say in open-D tuning, James says it here—with astounding character and confidence. Blues doesn’t get much bluer than this. —Adam Levy

Eric Gales
“The Change in Me”
Based on a riff that borrows heavily from ZZ Top’s “La Grange,” Eric Gales’ “The Change in Me” is a hard-driving rocker of a tune, and Gales plays highly melodic fills to provide a dynamic counterpoint to the crunchy theme. Demonstrated by several YouTube clips of the song, Gales varies the actual solo considerably from one night to the next, often employing a modern-sounding, delay-drenched high-gain tone and a great ability to allow the solo to alternately breathe and burn. –Teja Gerken

John Mayer
“Out of My Mind”
Regardless of whether or not you’re into John Mayer’s songwriting or vocal style, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the guy has chops. Sure, he may not be the most original player to come along, but whether on acoustic, electric, lead, or rhythm guitar, he is clearly in command. Eschewing the slick production found on much of his work, Mayer takes a decidedly more raw approach on the live recording of “Out of My Mind” (on Try!), giving his ES-335 a pentatonic workout with great vibrato, slightly overdriven, fat tone, and an excellent climax before resuming his vocal duties. –Teja Gerken

Gary Moore
“Still Got the Blues”
Moore emerged from early British fusion and then spent his career alternating between turning out hard rock and blues records. It would be easy to go with any of his incendiary solos on a straight blues tune, or one of his letter-perfect recreations of Peter Green on Blues for Greeny, but “Still Got The Blues” is pure Moore. Okay, this cycle of fifths progression is not “the blues” per se, but its sharp five to five resolution is blues approved. More importantly, the yearning in the gorgeous melody that Moore milks on the final solo, before tearing the roof of the sucker, is what the blues is all about. —Michael Ross

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Otis Rush
“It’s My Own Fault”
Rush takes three solos on this track from the 1967 album Chicago/The Blues/Today!, Vol. 2. His first, in the song’s intro, is amazing from the get-go—not because it’s a display of guitar fireworks, but precisely because it’s not. Phrase by phrase, Rush uses his Epiphone Riviera to masterfully tell a story here. After a couple of vocal verses, he ventures higher up the neck, ramping the thrill factor. His final break is just four stop-time measures to set up the saxophonist’s solo, with a staggering impact-to-bar ratio. Rush, now retired, is a southpaw who played his righty-strung guitar upside-down—with the high E on top. This gives his bends an unusual sound because he’s pushing the strings where most guitarists would pull, and vice versa. —Adam Levy

Earl Hooker
“Blue Guitar”
Earl Zebedee Hooker, first cousin to John Lee, recorded this instrumental on May 3, 1961, and it was released the following year. A short time later, Muddy Waters overdubbed vocals onto the track, renamed it “You Shook Me,” and released it under his own name. Now a blues staple—covered famously by Page and Beck among many others—Hooker played his immortal slide licks in standard tuning, which was novel for a Chicago blues guitarist at the time. He went on to experiment with echo, wah, and other effects, attracting the attention of Jimi Hendrix for one, but this early recording, sans Muddy, showcases one of the most original stylists of all time. —Barry Cleveland

Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
“Okie Dokie Stomp”
You can hear echoes of the big-band era in Brown’s recordings from the 1940s and early ’50s. It’s in the instrumentation—with an ensemble of horns, upright bass, and a drummer driving spang-a-lang on his ride cymbal. Rock-and-roll was about to happen, but hadn’t quite. Music from this in-between period is sometimes called “jump blues,” and Brown’s instrumental “Okie Dokie Stomp” is a first-rate example. T-Bone Walker’s influence is apparent here, particularly in a lick that Brown repeats: an up-bent 4 on the third string followed immediately by a 5 on the second string. Still, Gate had his own thing, and it’s a whole lot of fun to listen to. —Adam Levy

Sister Rosetta Tharpe
“Jesus Is Everywhere”
Tharpe may not have considered herself a blues artist—favoring gospel songs as she did throughout her career. But when you listen to her live 1964 recording of “Jesus Is Everywhere”—from The Authorized Sister Rosetta Tharpe Collection—the gap between sacred and secular doesn’t seem so wide. Armed with a thumbpick, and backed by a bassist and drummer who sound like two thirds of the best rockabilly trio you’ve ever heard, Tharpe digs in hard on her early-’60s SG-style Les Paul Custom. The first half of her solo is relatively straightforward, but when she starts swerving and swooping you’ll wonder which way is up. Glory, glory! —Adam Levy

Chuck Berry
“Deep Feeling”
Even though he recorded for Chess records, home of Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf, Charles Berry is not known as a blues guitarist but rather as one of the inventors of Rock and Roll. Nevertheless, this instrumental, released as the B-side to “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell),” is a straight 12-bar blues. Well, maybe not completely straight, as Chuck throws in a V chord where you don’t expect it, and, oh yeah, he performed it on an unusual pedal- steel guitar— thought to be a Gibson Electraharp (Google it). The country-style string bends might have been played by anyone, but the wolf-whistle slides are pure Berry. —Michael Ross

Bonnie Raitt
“Three Time Loser”
While blues and contemporary pop are not always an easy coupling, Raitt has been interlacing the two for decades now with consistently cool results. This track from her 1977 album Sweet Forgiveness is a high water mark. The chord progression here has nothing to do with the customary 12-bar form, but Raitt’s supernatural slide work infuses the song with deep blues feeling. Nobody else can make a quarter-tone glissando sound so expansive, and her overdriven Strat tone burns—the way whiskey does going down your gullet. Listen close to hear her widen her vibrato and pluck harmonics in the final rideout. Pure swagger. —Adam Levy

Jonny Lang
“A Quitter Never Wins”
The baddest blues showcase on then teen sensation Jonny Lang’s 1997 major label debut Lie to Me is still his showstopper on 2010’s Live at the Ryman. In his July 2010 feature he told GP that Albert Collins inspired him to become a Tele player, and Tab Benoit inspired him further. “When I heard his tone I freaked out—the Thinline Tele with humbuckers became the staple for me after that,” he said. GP relayed that Lang eventually placed a P-90 pickup between the two humbuckers, and he features the classic single-coil during the fiery intro and first solo on Tinsley Ellis’ tune at the Ryman. He cuts into the second solo with sheer reckless abandon. —Jimmy Leslie

Joe Bonamassa
“Blues Deluxe”
Bonamassa began his professional career when many lads are being Bar Mitzvahed. His early blues work was that of an impressionist: his solo on “Long Distance Blues” from 2003’s Blues Deluxe is Joe doing Eric Clapton, much like Fred Armisen doing Obama. In the decade since, Bonamassa has melded his influences and made them his own, honing a style of diamond precision playing and to-die-for tone. This slow blues from Jeff Beck’s first solo record (itself a cover of B.B. King’s “Gambler Blues”) starts off with three minutes and fifty seconds of soloing that take you from B.B., through Clapton and Eric Johnson, all inflected with a heavy dose of Bonamassa. —Michael Ross

Roy Buchanan
“John’s Blues”
In 1971 PBS aired a documentary: Introducing Roy Buchanan A/K/A The World’s Greatest Unknown Guitarist, and the world’s perception of what a Fender Telecaster could do was forever changed. Buchannan wrenched human cries and animal squeals out of this dead-simple guitar design. His style of blues melded James Burton’s chicken pickin’ with Albert King’s expressive bends, definitively illustrating the deep connection between country and blues. It is all here in “John’s Blues” from his first record. This is the guitar tone and technique that inspired Danny Gatton, Gary Moore, and Jim Campilongo, as well as causing Jeff Beck to dedicate “’Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” to Buchanan. —Michael Ross

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