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Famous and Influential Musicians - "Guitarists"
(Click on individual Musician's Biography section to visit Musician's Home Page)
Throughout the history of music individual performers have had a major impact on the music scene. These influential/notable musicians have left their mark by expanding the envelope of their respective genres, either through technical proficiency, experimentation/exploration, or persona. The following list of notable/influential guitarists is by no means complete. The guitar players listed are those that readily came to mind, and any additions to the list can be sent using the link at the bottom of the page. The individual home pages for the musicians listed can be reached by clicking on their name in the bio section.
Allan Holdsworth - Albert King - Albert Lee - Alvin Lee - BB King - Bonnie Raitt - Buddy Guy - Carlos Santana - Danny Gatton - David Gilmour
Django Rhinehart - Duane Allman - Eddie Van Halen - Eric Clapton - Frank Zappa - Gary Moore - Jeff Beck - Jimi Hendrix - Jimmy Page
Joe Bonamassa - Joe Satriani - John Petrucci - Johnny Lang - Johnny Winter - Jorma Kaukonen - Kirk Hammett - Les Paul - Mark Knopfler
Pete Townshend - Peter Lindgren - Richard Thompson - Robben Ford - Robert Cray - Robert Fripp - Robert Johnson - Ritchie Blackmore
Rory Gallagher - Roy Buchanan - Ry Cooder - Smokin Joe Kubek - Stanley Jordan - Stevie Ray Vaughan - Steve Howe - Steve Vai - Tinsley Ellis
Allan Holdsworth - Allan Holdsworth is widely regarded by fans and contemporary musicians as one of the 20th century's most prominent guitarists. He is one of a handful of musicians who has consistently proven himself as an innovator in between and within the worlds of rock and jazz music. Many of music's best-known instrumental masters cite Holdsworth as that rare and shining voice—a legendary player who continues to push the outer limits of instrumental technique and the electric guitar's range of tonal and textural possibilities. Particularly during the 90s, Holdsworth has enjoyed the recognition so many musicians strongly feel he deserves, given that he has developed his career outside the big label mainstream and has consistently produced his own recordings with complete creative control since the mid-80s. Despite the uncompromising nature of Holdsworth's predominantly genre-defying solo projects, he's no stranger to all-star jazz festival line-ups or large venue rock audiences. Musician Magazine placed Holdsworth near the top of their “100 greatest guitarists of all time.” There's never been a shortage of media attention or acclaim for Holdsworth's accomplishments and originality. An inductee of Guitar Player Magazine's Hall of Fame, Holdsworth is a five-time winner in their readers' poll.
Beyond his ability in improvising mercurial solos and sculpting the guitar's voice into an ever-expanding range of textures and colors, Holdsworth has dedicated his energies to develop many different aspects of guitar technology. This has included new “baritone” variations of the instrument, his own custom 6-string designs (one most recently manufactured by Carvin), the invention of electronic components for the recording studio, and exploring the possibilities of guitar-based synthesizer controllers. Holdworth's ability to improvise over complex and challenging chord voicing's always reveals a deep emotional base and a strong, imaginative personality that is as instantly identifiable as any among Holdsworth's generation of guitar and jazz masters.
The sounds of Django Reinhardt, Jimmy Rainey, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass , Eric Clapton, and John Coltrane were among this English musician's early inspirations when he began to work professionally as a musician in his early twenties. Born in the city of Bradford , England , Holdsworth had been extensively tutored in aspects of musical theory and jazz appreciation by his father, an accomplished amateur musician. Holdsworth paid his musician's dues early on working the dance-club circuit, where he began to meet fellow musicians who hailed from the south. One of England 's best jazz tenor saxophonists, Ray Warleigh, heard amazing potential in Holdsworth's playing and brought him along to participate in jazz sets at the onset of the 70s, including sessions with Ray at Ronnie Scotts in London. 'Artist Discography'
B. B. King - B. B. King (born Riley B. King, September 16, 1925) is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter. Critical acclaim and widespread popularity have cemented his reputation as one of the most respected and influential blues musicians. Rolling Stone magazine named him the third-greatest guitarist of "the 100 greatest guitarists of all time". B. B. King arrived in Memphis for the first time in 1946 to work as a musician, but after a few months of hardship he left, going back to Mississippi. There he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit and returned to Memphis two years later. Initially he worked at the local R&B radio channel WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, where he gained the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy", later shortened to "B. B.". It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker - "Once I'd heard him for the first time, I knew I'd have to have an electric guitar myself. Had to have one, short of stealing!" In 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records. Many of King's early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who later founded Sun Records. 'Artist Discography'
Albert King - (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer. One of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B.B. King and Freddie King), he stood at least 6' 4" (192 cm), weighed in at least 260 lbs (118 kg) and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert Nelson on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi. During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church. He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys, in Osceola, Arkansas. He also briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by Blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, but also interestingly Hawaiian music, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V, which he named "Lucy". King was a left-handed "upside-down/backwards" guitarist. He was left-handed, but usually played right-handed guitars flipped over upside-down so the low E string was on the bottom. In later years he played a custom-made guitar that was basically left-handed, but had the strings reversed (as he was used to playing). He also used very unorthodox tunings (i.e., tuning as low as C to allow him to make sweeping string bends). A "less is more" type blues player, he was known for his expressive "bending" of notes, a technique characteristic of blues guitarists. 'Artist Discography'
Albert Lee, born December 21, 1943 in Leominster, Herefordshire England is a Grammy Award-winning English guitarist known for his finger-style and hybrid picking technique. Lee was with a variety of bands from 1959 onwards, playing mostly R&B, country music and rock and roll. In addition to Buddy Holly, his early guitar influences included Cliff Gallup, The Everly Brothers, Scotty Moore, James Burton and Jerry Reed. Lee first experienced commercial success as the lead guitarist with Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds. Lee says that he enjoyed playing the Stax-type material, but he really wanted to play country music. Consequently he left Farlowe and the Thunderbirds in 1968. Lee has received many awards for his playing, including the five times consecutive winner of Guitar Player magazine's "Best Country Guitarist". Lee is known within the music industry for his speed of playing and his technical virtuosity and yet by the same token, one of the most melodic, playing slower passages approximating the sound of the pedal steel guitar with his Music Man and Telecaster guitars which are equipped with B-Benders. He is known as "the guitar player's guitar player" because of the presence of so many guitarists, famous or unknown, everywhere he performs. Albert Lee is also referred to as "Mr. Telecaster". A long-time Telecaster player, Lee wrote a foreword to A.R. Duchossoir's book detailing the history of the instrument. Albert Lee owns more than 25 guitars, including Don Everly's Gibson J-200. The Gibson Guitar Corporation made one for Don and the other for Phil Everly. The guitars have an all black, high gloss lacquered finish, and are equipped with twin Everly Brothers white pickguards. The Everly Brothers manager Wesley Rhodes had wanted the guitar to be presented to the Country Music Hall of Fame, but Everly informed him that guitars like that should be played, not kept sitting in a glass case. Don Everly presented it to Lee, along with his Gibson Everly Brothers model. Eric Clapton gave Lee the Gibson Les Paul Custom that he played while with Delaney and Bonnie. Lee also plays a custom Music Man (the guitar shown in the photographs) and a 1950's Telecaster (both with custom B-Benders), a 1958 Stratocaster and a Martin 000-28 acoustic. 'Artist Discography'
Alvin Lee - born Graham Barnes, 19 December 1944, Nottingham, England, is an English rock guitarist and singer. He began playing guitar at the age of thirteen, and with Leo Lyons formed the core of the band Ten Years After in 1960. Originally influenced by his parent's collection of jazz and blues records, it was the advent of rock and roll that truly sparked his interest and creativity, and guitarists like Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore provided his inspiration. The self titled debut album surprisingly received play on San Francisco, California's underground radio stations and was enthusiastically embraced by listeners, including concert promoter Bill Graham, who invited the band to tour the United States for the first time in the summer of 1968. Audiences were immediately taken by Lee's distinctive, soulful, rapid fire guitar playing and the band's innovative mix of blues, swing jazz and rock, and an American love affair began. Ten Years After would ultimately tour the U.S. twenty-eight times in seven years, more than any other UK band. Lee's overall musical output includes more than 20 albums, including 1985's Detroit Diesel, and the back to back 1990s collections of Zoom and 1994 (U.S. title I Hear You Rockin' ). Guest artists on both albums include George Harrison. Their duet on 1994's The Bluest Blues led one reviewer to call it "the most perfect blues song ever recorded." Alvin Lee in Tennessee, recorded with rock and roll legends Scotty Moore and D. J. Fontana was released in 2004 . Lee's most recent album, Saguitar, was released in September 2007. 'Artist Discography'
Bonnie Raitt - Born to a musical family, the nine-time Grammy winner is the daughter of celebrated Broadway singer John Raitt (Carousel, Oklahoma!, The Pajama Game) and accomplished pianist/singer Marge Goddard. She was raised in Los Angeles in a climate of respect for the arts, Quaker traditions, and a commitment to social activism. A Stella guitar given to her as a Christmas present launched Bonnie on her creative journey at the age of eight. While
growing up, though passionate about music from the start, she never considered that it would play a greater role than as one of her many growing interests. In the late '60s, restless in Los Angeles, she moved east to Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a Harvard/Radcliffe student majoring in Social Relations and African Studies, she attended classes and immersed herself in the city's turbulent cultural and political activities. Raitt was already deeply involved with folk music and the blues at that time.
Exposure to the album Blues at Newport 1963 at age 14 had kindled her interest in blues and slide guitar, and between classes at Harvard she explored these and other styles in local coffeehouse gigs. Three years after entering college, Bonnie left to commit herself full-time to music, and shortly afterward found herself opening for surviving giants of the blues. From Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sippie Wallace, Son House, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker she learned first-hand lessons of life as well as invaluable techniques of performance. Word spread quickly of the young redhaired blueswoman, her soulful, unaffected way of singing, and her uncanny insights into blues guitar. Warner Bros. tracked her down, signed her up, and in 1971 released her debut album, "Bonnie Raitt". 'Artist Discography'
Buddy Guy - George "Buddy" Guy, born July 30, 1936, is a five-time Grammy Award-winning American blues and rock guitarist and singer. Known as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other guitarists, Guy is considered an important exponent of Chicago blues. He is the father of female rapper Shawnna and son Michael. He is the older brother of late blues guitarist Phil Guy. Guy is known for his showmanship: for example, he plays his guitar with drumsticks, or strolls into the audience while jamming and trailing a long guitar chord.
Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy grew up in Louisiana learning guitar on a two string diddley bow he made. Later he was given a Harmony acoustic guitar, which he later donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the early '50s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1957, Guy fell under the influence of Muddy Waters. In 1958, a competition with West Side guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush gave Guy a record contract. Soon afterwards he recorded for Cobra Records. He recorded sessions with Junior Wells for Delmark Records under the pseudonym Friendly Chap in 1965 and 1966. Guy’s early career was supposedly held back by both conservative business choices made by his record company (Chess Records) and "the scorn, diminishments and petty subterfuge from a few jealous rivals". Chess, Guy’s record label from 1959 to 1968, refused to record Buddy Guy’s novel style that was similar to his live shows.
Leonard Chess (Chess founder and 1987 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee) denounced Guy’s playing as "noise". In the early 1960s, Chess tried recording Guy as a solo artist with R&B ballads, jazz instrumentals, soul and novelty dance tunes, but none were released as singles. Guy’s only Chess album, "Left My Blues in San Francisco", was finally issued in 1967. Most of the songs belong stylistically to the era's soul boom, with orchestrations by Gene Barge and Charlie Stepney. Chess used Guy mainly as a session guitarist to back Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor and others. 'Artist Discography'
Carlos Santana - Born in Autlan de Navarro, Mexico—where there's now a street and public square in his name--to the son of a virtuoso Mariachi violinist, Carlos followed in his father's musical footsteps, taking up the violin at the age of five. It was when his family moved to Tijuana several years later, however, that Santana began his lifelong relationship with the instrument that would make him a musical icon–-the guitar. Early on he emulated his heroes; John Lee Hooker, T. Bone Walker, and B.B. King, who he heard on powerful American radio stations when their signals crossed the border. In 1961, Carlos made the crossing himself, moving from his native Mexico to San Francisco. A few years later, he formed the Santana Blues Band there, and the cool, soulful riffs and rhythms of his Latin-blues based sound found an audience eager for his innovative musical ideas. Carlos and company emerged as giants of the era-defining Bay Area music scene of the late '60s, and their fame grew far beyond its parameters while their artistry remained true to its free-flying spirit.
Massive success quickly followed. By the end of the decade, Carlos had played to packed houses on a cross-country tour, performed on the venerable Ed Sullivan Show, and made an indelible global mark with Santana's legendary, crowd-detonating performance at the original Woodstock festival in 1969. He has not slowed down since.
A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Santana has sold more than 90 million records, and performed to over 100 million people globally. He has won ten GRAMMY® Awards, including a record tying nine for a single project for his 36th album, the blockbuster 1999 disc Supernatural. Now exceeding 25 million in sales, Supernatural's citations included Album of the Year and Record of the Year for the smash single "Smooth." 'Artist Discography'
Danny Gatton - “The Humbler” (September 4, 1945 – October 4, 1994) was a talented and enigmatic American guitarist who committed suicide at his Maryland home in 1994 while still relatively unknown to the public. A biography, Unfinished Business: The Life and Times of Danny Gatton by Ralph Heibutzki, was published in 2003. It has a voluminous discography. Gatton was ranked 63rd on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time in 2003.
Danny Gatton began his career playing in bands while still a teenager. He began to attract wider interest in the 1970s while playing guitar and banjo for the group Liz Meyer & Friends. He made his name as a performer in the Washington, DC, area during the 1980s, both as a solo performer and with his Redneck Jazz Explosion, in which he would trade licks with virtuoso pedal steel player Buddy Emmons over a tight bass-drums rhythm which drew from blues, country, bebop and rockabilly influences. He also backed Robert Gordon and Roger Miller. He contributed a cover of "Apricot Brandy", a song by Elektra Records-supergroup Rhinoceros, to the 1990 compilation album Rubáiyát.
Gatton's playing combined musical styles such as jazz, blues and rockabilly in an innovative fashion, and he was known by some as "the telemaster" (a portmanteau of "Telecaster", Gatton's guitar of choice, and "Master"). He was also called "the world's greatest unknown guitarist". His most common nickname was "The Humbler", owing to his ability to "humble" or out-play anyone willing to go up against him in "head cutting" jam sessions. A photo published in the October 2007 issue of Guitar Player magazine shows Gatton playing in front of a neon sign that says "Victims Wanted". 'Artist Discography'
David Gilmour - David Jon Gilmour CBE (born March 6, 1946) is an English musician best known as the lead guitarist, primary singer, and one of the main songwriters (with Roger Waters) in the band Pink Floyd. In addition to his work with Pink Floyd, Gilmour has also worked as a record producer for a variety of famous artists. Gilmour has been actively involved with many charity organizations over the course of his career. In 2003, he was appointed CBE for services to music. Gilmour is best known for his lead guitar work. Rooted in blues, Gilmour's solo style is noted for its economy and melody. Although mainly known for his guitar work, Gilmour is also a proficient multi-instrumentalist. He also plays bass guitar (which he did on some Pink Floyd tracks), keyboards, harmonica, drums (as heard on the Syd Barrett solo track "Dominoes", and other songs where he opted to play all the instruments) and lately, the saxophone. In his early career with Pink Floyd, Gilmour played a multitude of Fender Stratocasters. One of his popular guitar solos ("Another Brick in the Wall Part 2") was played on a Gibson Les Paul guitar. In 1996, Gilmour was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pink Floyd. In August 2006, Gilmour's solo on "Comfortably Numb" was voted the greatest guitar solo of all time in a poll by listeners of the digital radio station Planet Rock. 'Artist Discography'
Django Rhinehart - Jean-Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt (January 23, 1910 – May 16, 1953) was a Belgian Sinto Gypsy jazz guitarist. He was one of the first prominent jazz musicians to be born in Europe, and one of the most renowned jazz guitarists of all time. At the age of 18, Reinhardt was injured in a fire that ravaged the caravan he shared with Florine "Bella" Mayer, his first wife. They were very poor, and to supplement their income Bella made imitation flowers out of celluloid and paper. Consequently, their home was full of this highly flammable material. Returning from a performance late one night, Django apparently knocked over a candle on his way to bed. While his family and neighbors were quick to pull him to safety, he received first- and second-degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralyzed and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burnt. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again and intended to amputate one of his legs. Reinhardt refused to have the surgery and left the hospital after a short time; he was able to walk within a year with the aid of a cane. His brother Joseph Reinhardt, an accomplished guitarist himself, bought Django a new guitar. With painful rehabilitation and practice Django relearned his craft in a completely new way, even as his third and fourth fingers remained partially paralyzed. Hence, he played all of his guitar solos with only two fingers, and managed to use the two injured digits only for chord work. 'Artist Discography'
Duane Allman - (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) was an American session musician and lead guitarist of the southern rock musical group, The Allman Brothers Band. Allman is best remembered for his brief influential tenure in the band he helped co-found, as well as his inspired slide guitar and improvisational skills. Besides his work with The Allman Brothers Band, Allman led an established session musician life, lending his skills to the likes of King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Boz Skaggs, and Herbie Mann. He also had a major role on the 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named Allman as number two on their list of the greatest guitarists of all time, trailing only Jimi Hendrix. Duane Allman was born in Nashville, Tennessee. When he was three years old and his family lived near Norfolk, Virginia, his father, Willis Allman, a career United States Army sergeant, was murdered in a robbery by a veteran he had befriended that day. Geraldine "Mama A" Allman moved her family back to Nashville. In 1957 they relocated in Daytona Beach, Florida. In 1960, Allman was motivated to take up the guitar by the example of his younger brother, Gregg, who had obtained a guitar after hearing a neighbor playing country music standards on an acoustic guitar. Gregg said that after Duane started playing, "he ... passed me up like I was standing still." Another important event occurred in 1959 when the boys were in Nashville visiting relatives. They attended a rock 'n' roll concert at which blues artist B. B. King performed and both promptly fell under the spell of his music. Gregg Allman recalls that Duane turned to him and said, "We got to get into this". 'Artist Discography'
Eddie Van Halen - Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen (born January 26, 1955), is a Dutch guitarist, key-boardist, songwriter and producer most famous for being the lead guitarist and co-founder of the rock band Van Halen. He is considered one of the greatest and most influential guitarists ever. Although Van Halen popularized tapping, he did not, despite popular belief, invent the tapping technique. The tapping technique in Blues and Rock was being picked up by various guitarists in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Steve Hackett from the group Genesis used a tapping technique as early as 1971 on the album Nursery Cryme . Duane Allman from the The Allman Brothers Band and Frank Zappa tapped with a pick in the early 1970s. Brian May of Queen also used the tapping technique, which he picked up in America in the early 1970s, on songs such as It's Late from the News Of The World album. From a Brian May Guitar Player Jan 1983 interview about tapping "I stole it from a guy who said that he stole it from Billy Gibbons in ZZ Top". 'Artist Discography'
Eric Clapton - Eric Patrick Clapton, (born 30 March 1945), nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. He is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries, garnering an unprecedented three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (The Yardbirds, Cream, and solo). Often viewed by critics and fans alike as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Clapton was ranked fourth in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #53 on their list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Although Clapton has varied his musical style throughout his career, it has always remained grounded in the blues. Yet, in spite of this focus, he is credited as an innovator in a wide variety of genres. These include blues-rock with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, and Cream. Additionally, Clapton's chart success was not limited to the blues, with chart-toppers in Delta blues with "Me and Mr. Johnson", pop music with "Change the World" and reggae with Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff". One of his most successful recordings was the hit love song "Layla," which he played with the band Derek and the Dominos. Clapton has performed songs by myriad artists, most notably Robert Johnson and J. J. Cale. Other artists Clapton has covered include Bob Marley, Bo Diddley and Bob Dylan. He cites Freddie King, B. B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin and of course Robert Johnson as major influences of his guitar playing. 'Artist Discography'
Frank Zappa - (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993). Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, musician, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Frank Zappa had established himself as a very gifted and distinctive composer, electric guitar player and band leader. He worked in various different musical genres and wrote music for rock bands, jazz ensembles, synthesizers and symphony orchestra, as well as musique concrète works constructed from pre-recorded, synthesized or sampled sources. Musique concrète, is a form of electro-acoustic music that utilizes acousmatic sound, or sound that one hears without seeing the originating cause.
Frank Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and he gained widespread critical acclaim. Many of his albums are considered essential in rock history, and he is regarded as one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time; he remains a major influence on musicians and composers. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. Frank Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. If you didn't get it the first time around, you probably won't get it now!
Frank Zappa was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 1990. The disease had been developing unnoticed for ten years and was considered inoperable. After his diagnosis, Zappa devoted most of his energy to modern orchestral and Synclavier, (an early synthesizer and sampler), works. In 1993 he completed Civilization, Phaze III shortly before his death. It was a major Synclavier work which he had begun in the 1980s. 'Artist Discography'
Gary Moore - (April 4, 1953 - February 6, 2011) is a Northern Irish guitarist. In a career dating back to the 1960s, he has played with artists including Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II, Greg Lake and the blues-rock band Skid Row as well as having a successful solo career. Moore grew up in Castleview Road, off the Upper Newtownards Road in east Belfast and started performing at a young age, having picked up a battered acoustic guitar at the age of eight, and got his first quality guitar at the age of fourteen, learning to play the right-handed instrument in the standard way despite being left handed. 'Artist Discography'
Jeff Beck - Geoffrey Arnold ("Jeff") Beck (born June 24, 1944 to Arnold and Ethel Beck in Wallington, Greater London) is an English rock guitarist. He was one of three noted guitarists, the others being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, to have recorded with the band The Yardbirds. He was ranked the 14th on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Beck has never attained the sustained commercial success of his fellow Yardbirds guitarists, though the band, along with Beck, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Much of his output has been instrumental, and his releases have spanned genres, ranging from blues-rock, heavy metal, jazz fusion and (currently) a blend of guitar-rock and electronica. This versatility has made it difficult for Beck to establish and maintain a broad following. Nevertheless, Beck has gained wide critical acclaim for his work as a guitarist. He has won four Grammy awards in the category for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. 'Artist Discography'
Jimi Hendrix - (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Hendrix is considered one of the greatest and most influential guitarists in rock music history. After initial success in Europe, he achieved fame in the USA following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Later, Hendrix headlined the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival. Hendrix helped develop the technique of guitar feedback with overdriven amplifiers. He was influenced by blues artists such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Albert King, and Elmore James, rhythm and blues and soul guitarists Curtis Mayfield, Steve Cropper, as well as by some modern jazz. 'Artist Discography'
Jimmy Page - James Patrick Page, OBE (born 9 January 1944) is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and was subsequently a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, when he co-founded the English rock band Led Zeppelin. Page has been described as "unquestionably one of the all-time most influential, important, and versatile guitarists and songwriters in rock history". In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Page #9 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a member of The Yardbirds (1992) and as a member of Led Zeppelin (1995). 'Artist Discography'
Joe Bonamassa - (born May 8, 1977) is an American blues rock guitarist and singer. Bonamassa, a fourth-generation musician, was born and raised in New Hartford, NY. by parents who ran a guitar shop. Joe credits his parents with nurturing an appreciation of music in his early life by exposing him musicians like Guitar Slim, Bonnie Raitt, Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, and Jethro Tull. Joe started playing guitar by age 4 and exhibited proficiency by age 7.
Having been mentored by Danny Gatton, (a serious plus for any young guitarist), at 11 years of age Bonamassa sat in with Gatton's band whenever they played in New York and at 12 years of age he was opening for B. B. King. Joe Bonamassa cites the English blues, popularized Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Rory Gallagher as more of an influence than the original American style of blues. 'Artist Discography'
Joe Satriani - Joseph "Satch" Satriani (born July 15, 1956 in Westbury, New York, U.S.) is an American guitarist and former guitar instructor. His self-released debut album, Not of This Earth in 1986, opened the way to a world of instrumental rock music in what was then a pop-dominated world. He is heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. In 1988, Satriani was recruited by the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger as lead guitarist for Jagger's first solo tour. Later, in 1994, Satriani was also the lead guitarist for Deep Purple. Satriani has also worked with a wide range of guitarists from many styles, including Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Patrick Rondat, Paul Gilbert, and Robert Fripp through the annual G3 Jam Concerts. Satriani was inspired to play guitar at age 14 after learning of the death of Jimi Hendrix. He reportedly heard the news during a football training session, where he immediately confronted his coach and announced that he was quitting to become a guitarist. 'Artist Discography'
John Petrucci - John Peter Petrucci (born July 12, 1967) is an American guitarist best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. He has produced (along with his band mate Mike Portnoy) all Dream Theater albums since their 1999 release, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory. He is also the band's main lyricist. Petrucci first played guitar at the age of eight when he noticed his sister (who was taking organ lessons at the time) was allowed to stay up past her bed time to practice. He soon dropped it when his plan failed. At age 12, he began playing again when he was invited into the band of his friend Kevin Moore, who would later become the first key-boardist of Dream Theater. Petrucci began to practice in earnest whilst exercising physically. He was a largely self-taught guitarist who developed his skills through attempts to match the skill of his idols, who included Steve Morse, Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Al Di Meola, Alex Lifeson and Allan Holdsworth. He has jokingly referred to his guitar idols as "the Steves and the Als". 'Artist Discography'
Steve Vai - Steven "Steve" Siro Vai (born June 6, 1960 in Carle Place, New York) is an American instrumental rock guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and producer. After starting his professional career as a music transcriptionist for Frank Zappa, Vai would also record and tour in Zappa's backing band starting in 1980. The guitarist began a solo career starting in 1984 and has released 13 solo albums as of 2008. Apart from his work with Frank Zappa, Vai has also recorded and toured with numerous musical artists including: Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake. Vai has been a regular touring member of the G3 Concert Tour which began in 1996. In 1999 Vai started his own record label, Favored Nations, with the intent to showcase, as Vai describes, "artists that have attained the highest performance level on their chosen instruments. In 1974, Vai took guitar lessons from guitarist Joe Satriani, and played in numerous local bands. He has acknowledged the influence of many guitarists including Jeff Beck and fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Vai then attended the Berklee College of Music. Vai mailed Frank Zappa a transcription of Zappa's The Black Page, an instrumental song written for drums, along with a tape with some of Vai's guitar playing. Zappa was so impressed with the abilities of the young musician that he hired him in 1979 to do work transcribing several of his guitar solos, including many of those appearing on the Joe's Garage album and the Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar series. These transcriptions were published in 1982 in The Frank Zappa Guitar Book. 'Artist Discography'
Johnny Lang - Jon Gordon Langseth, Jr., January 29, 1981 in Fargo, North Dakota) is a Grammy Award-winning American blues guitarist and singer. Lang started playing the guitar at the age of twelve, after his father took him to see the Bad Medicine Blues Band, one of the few blues bands in Fargo. Lang soon started taking guitar lessons from Ted Larsen, the Bad Medicine Blues Band's guitar player. Several months after Lang started guitar lessons, he joined the Bad Medicine Blues Band, which was then renamed Kid Jonny Lang & The Big Bang. 'Artist Discography'
Johnny Winter - John Dawson "Johnny" Winter III (born on 23 February 1944 in Beaumont, Texas, USA) is an American blues guitarist, singer and producer. He is the first son of John and Edwina Winter who were very much responsible for both Johnny's and younger brother Edgar Winter's early musical awareness. Both Johnny and Edgar have albinism. Johnny began performing at an early age with Edgar. His recording career began at the age of 15, when their band Johnny and the Jammers released "School Day Blues" on a Houston record label. During this same period, he was able to see performances by classic blues artists such as Muddy Waters, B. B. King and Bobby Bland. In 1968, Winter began playing in a trio with bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner. An article in Rolling Stone magazine written by Larry Sepulvado helped generate interest in the group. The album Johnny Winter was released near the end of that year. 'Artist Discography'
Jorma Kaukonen - Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen Jr. (born December 23, 1940 in Washington, D.C.) is an American blues, folk and rock guitarist. Kaukonen learned to play guitar as a teenager in Washington, D.C. But before moving to the DC area, Jorma and family lived in the Philippines as a "brat" as he followed his father's career from assignment to assignment before returning to the place of his birth. But it was in DC that he and future Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady formed a band named The Triumphs. He departed Washington for studies at Antioch College where friend Ian Buchanan taught him finger style guitar playing. Buchanan also introduced Kaukonen to the music of Reverend Gary Davis, whose songs have remained important parts of Kaukonen's repertoire up to the present. 'Artist Discography'
Kirk Hammett - Kirk Lee Hammett (born on November 18, 1962) is the lead guitarist and songwriter in the band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Respected among his peers for his guitar style, in 2003 he was ranked 11th in Rolling Stone's list - The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Hammett's musical interests eventually drew him into the fledgling thrash metal genre. In 1980, he formed the group Exodus with vocalist Paul Baloff, guitarist Gary Holt, bassist Geoff Andrews, and drummer Tom Hunting. He played on Exodus' 1982 Demo. Exodus was a crucial early player in the Bay Area thrash movement. 'Artist Discography'
Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009) was an American innovator, inventor, musician and songwriter. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which "made the sound of rock and roll possible". He is credited with many recording innovations, including overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects, and multitrack recording. His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many of the guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s and they sold millions of records. Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an "architect" and a "key inductee" along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed. He first became interested in music at age eight, when he began playing the harmonica. After an attempt at learning the banjo, he began to play the guitar. It was during this time that he invented a neck-worn harmonica holder, which allowed him to play the harmonica hands-free while accompanying himself on the guitar. 'Artist Discography'
Mark Knopfler - Mark Freuder Knopfler OBE (born August 12, 1949, Glasgow, Scotland) is a British guitarist, singer, songwriter, and film score composer. Knopfler was originally best-known as the lead guitarist and vocalist for the English rock band, Dire Straits, which he co-founded in 1977 with his brother David. Following the dissolution of Dire Straits in 1995, Knopfler has continued to record and produce albums as a solo artist, under his own name. Occasionally, Knopfler has played in other groups, such as the "supergroup" The Notting Hillbillies, and has appeared on works by other artists, including Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, Jools Holland, Steely Dan and Chet Atkins. He has produced albums for artists such as Tina Turner, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris. He is one of the most respected finger style guitarists of the modern rock era. Knopfler was ranked #27 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". 'Artist Discography'
Pete Townshend - Pete Townshend (born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend on 19 May 1945 in Chiswick, London), is an award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and writer. Pete Townshend made his name as the guitarist and principal songwriter for rock band The Who. His career with them spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the greatest and most influential rock bands of all time, in addition to being "possibly the greatest live band ever." Townshend is the primary songwriter for the group, writing well over 100 songs for the band's eleven studio albums, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds and Sods. He has also written over 100 songs for his solo albums and rarities compilations. Although known mainly for being a guitarist, he is also an accomplished singer and keyboard player, and has played many other instruments on his solo albums, and on some Who albums (such as banjo, accordion, synthesizer, piano, bass guitar, drums). 'Artist Discography'
Peter Lindgren - (born March 6, 1973) is a Swedish guitarist and songwriter. He is best known as the former guitarist of Swedish progressive death metal band Opeth. He joined the band in 1991 to play bass for a show; however, he ended up staying and switching to guitars. Lindgren shared Opeth's guitar and songwriting duties with vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt. In May of 2007 Lindgren announced that he was leaving Opeth due to the rigors of life on the road as a touring musician. Both Lindgren and Åkerfeldt said that the split was amicable.In Opeth, Lindgren's solos can be heard on the songs Deliverance from the album Deliverance, When from My Arms, Your Hearse, and Beneath the Mire from Ghost Reveries. As explained in "The Making of Deliverance and Damnation" documentary on Lamentations, the decision of who plays which leads are decided by Åkerfeldt's vocal duties and whoever wants any particular solo the most. If Åkerfeldt is having trouble with a solo, he will hand it over to Peter, and vice versa. 'Artist Discography'
Richard Thompson - Richard John Thompson (born 3 April 1949 in Notting Hill Gate, West London) is a British songwriter, guitar player and recording and performing musician. Thompson is especially well regarded as a guitar player. He was named in the top 20 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. In 1991 he was awarded the Orville H. Gibson award for best acoustic guitar player. Thompson's songwriting has been recognized by an Ivor Novello Award and, in 2006, a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio. Artists who have recorded Thompson compositions include Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, The Corrs, Shawn Colvin, Norma Waterson and The Blind Boys of Alabama. Richard Thompson made his debut as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September of 1967. He continues to write and record new material and performs live frequently throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. 'Artist Discography'
Ritchie Blackmore, born Richard Hugh Blackmore on April 14 1945 is a British guitarist/songwriter, and innovator of the classical/blues/rock fusion. Better know as a member of "Deep Purple", Blackmore was also the front man for his own group "Rainbow", formed after his departure from Deep Purple in 1975. Rainbow lasted on and off for roughly 20 years at which time in 1997 Blackmore formed his current group, a more traditionally based folk rock project "Blackmore's Night" in 1997, featuring his wife Candice Night as vocalist. 'Artist Discography'
Robben Ford - (born December 16, 1951, Woodlake, California) is an American blues, jazz and rock guitarist. Ford was born in Woodlake but raised in Ukiah, California, and began playing the saxophone at age 10, picking up the guitar at age 13. Robben and his brothers Mark (mouthharp) and Patrick Ford (drums) had a band they named the Charles Ford Blues Band in honor of their father. Ford began playing professionally at age 18 when the Charles Ford Blues Band got a gig backing Charlie Musselwhite. The band also recorded two albums The Charles Ford Band and Discovering the Blues. Next Ford put together a band with Bay Area musicians that became Jimmy Witherspoon's backup band. Ford recorded two albums with Witherspoon, Live and Spoonful'. The Ford Blues Band reunites periodically, and released live albums in the 1980s and 1990s. 'Artist Discography'
Robert Cray - (born August 1, 1953, Columbus, Georgia) is a blues musician, guitarist and singer. Robert Cray started playing guitar in his early teens. At Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia, his love of blues and soul music flourished as he started collecting records. Originally, Robert Cray wanted to become an architect, but at about the same time he was going to study design in architecture he formed a local band "Steakface", described as "the best band from Lakewood you never heard of". 'Artist Discography'
Robert Fripp - (born 16 May 1946 in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England) is a guitarist, composer and a record producer, perhaps best known for being the guitarist for, and only constant member of, the progressive rock band King Crimson. His work, spanning five decades, encompasses a variety of musical styles. He is married to Toyah Willcox. Fripp was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" (published August 2003). 'Artist Discography'
Robert Johnson - Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) is among the most famous of Delta blues musicians. His landmark recordings from 1936–1937 display a remarkable combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that have influenced generations of musicians. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend. Considered by some to be the "Grandfather of Rock 'n' Roll", his vocal phrasing, original songs, and guitar style have influenced a broad range of musicians, including John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band, The Rolling Stones, Paul Butterfield, The Band, Neil Young, Warren Zevon, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Robert Palmer and Eric Clapton, who called Johnson "the most important blues musician who ever lived". He was also ranked fifth in Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 'Artist Discography'
Rory Gallagher - Born in 1948 in Ballyshannon and raised in Cork, Gallagher's rock 'n roll odyssey began at an early age when he saw Elvis Presley on TV and became inspired to get his first guitar. Rory would listen and learn from the likes of Lonnie Donegan, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis, many of whom Rory went on to record with. While still at school during his early teens, Rory began playing with professional show bands throughout Ireland, whose repertoires included all the popular hits of the day. Not musically satisfied with this, Rory converted his latter showband The Impact into a six-piece R'n'B outfit and headed for Hamburg in the mid-1960s. On arrival, this line-up was soon trimmed down to his first trio. Rory went on to form Taste in 1967 a band who soon met with wide acclaim, and subsequently headed for London where they were an immediate success at London's famed Marquee Club, counting among their fans John Lennon.
Rory Gallagher is the man who, without question, spearheaded and influenced the entire Irish rock movement. Remarkably, nearly 11 years after his untimely passing in June 1995, Rory's music is as popular as ever with his legion on faithful followers. 'Artist Discography'
Roy Buchanan - (September 23, 1939 - August 14, 1988) was an American guitarist and blues musician. He is noted for his use of note bending, volume swells, staccato runs, and pinch harmonics. Buchanan was a pioneer of the Telecaster sound. Roy Buchanan's musical career began in Pixley, California. His father was a sharecropper (not a Pentecostal preacher as Buchanan himself had claimed). Buchanan told how his first musical memories were of racially-mixed revival meetings his family would attend. "Gospel," he recalled, "that's how I first got into black music". He in fact drew upon many disparate influences while learning to play his instrument (although he later claimed his aptitude was derived from being "half-wolf"). He initially showed talent on the steel guitar before switching to the standard instrument in the early 50's. Buchanan used a number of guitars throughout his career, although he was most often associated with a 1953 Telecaster guitar, which he used to produce his trebly signature tone. Rarely did Buchanan utilize 'stomp boxes' although later live performances utilized a digital delay. The 'sound' of Buchanan is essentially a Telecaster plugged into an overdriven Fender amp on 10. 'Artist Discography'
Ry Cooder - Ryland "Ry" Peter Cooder (born 15 March 1947, in Los Angeles, California) is an American guitarist, singer, and composer. He is known for his slide guitar work, his interest in the American roots music, and, more recently, for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries. Cooder was ranked number 8 on Rolling Stone's "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Throughout the 1970s, Cooder released a series of Warner Bros. Records albums that showcased his guitar work, to some degree. Cooder has been compared to a musicologist, exploring bygone musical genres with personalized and sensitive, updated reworking of revered originals. 'Artist Discography'
Smokin Joe Kubek - Smokin Joe Kubek was born on November 30, 1956 in Grove City, Pennsylvania. Shortly after he was born his family moved to Irving, Texas where he grew up. Kubek was playing in Dallas clubs at the age of 14. Three years later, he took a deeper interest in blues, prompted by Eric Clapton and Peter Green, and formed his first band. Shortly afterwards, he played rhythm guitar behind Freddie King until King's death in December 1976. After a short spell with Robert Whitfield's Last Combo, he joined Al Braggs" band. Examples of his work can be heard on Braggs" 1979 production of tracks by R. L. Griffin. He also recorded with Charlie Robinson, Big Ray Anderson and Ernie Johnson, and on Little Joe Blue's album, "It's My Turn Now". In 1989, he teamed up with singer/guitarist Bnois King, from Monroe, Louisiana, whose soul-tinged vocals and jazz-orientated style contrasted well with Kubek's more strident finger and slide techniques. "The Axe Man" is an album of covers recorded before their Bullseye Blues debut. Subsequent releases have consolidated their reputation as a solid, entertaining band.
Smokin' Joe Kubek is one of those people who was born to play the guitar. Kubek has the technique and the chops to burn up any stage and has been doing so for the past 27 years. A guitar prodigy at the age of 14 the Texas born guitar slinger frequented the Dallas bar scene during the 1970's and early 80's playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and people like the three Kings, B. B., Albert and Freddie. 'Artist Discography'
Stanley Jordan - (July 31, 1959) is an American jazz/jazz fusion guitarist, best known for his development of the touch technique for playing guitar. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He received a B.A. in music from Princeton University in 1981.Normally; a guitarist must use two hands to play each note. One hand presses down a guitar string behind a chosen fret to prepare the note, and the other hand either plucks or strums the string to play that note. Jordan's touch technique is an advanced form of two-handed tapping. The guitarist produces a note using only one finger by quickly tapping (or "hammering") his finger down behind the appropriate fret. The force of impact causes the string to vibrate enough to immediately sound the note, and Jordan executes tapping with both hands, and with more legato than is normally associated with guitar tapping. The note's volume can be controlled by varying the force of impact: tapping with greater force produces a louder note. 'Artist Discography'
Steve Howe - Stephen James "Steve" Howe (born April 8, 1947 in Holloway, North London, England) is an English guitarist best known for his work with the progressive rock group Yes after replacing Peter Banks in 1970. He has also been a member of The Syndicats, Bodast, Tomorrow, Asia and GTR, as well as having released 13 solo albums as of June 2005. 'Artist Discography'
Stevie Ray Vaughan - (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American blues-rock guitarist, whose broad appeal made him an influential electric blues guitarist. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and Classic Rock Magazine ranked him #3 in their list of the 100 Wildest Guitar Heroes in 2007. Vaughan was born on October 3, 1954, in Dallas, Texas, and was raised in the city's Oak Cliff neighborhood. Neither of his parents had any strong musical talent but were avid music fans. They would take Vaughan and his older brother Jimmie to concerts to see Fats Domino, Johnny Williamson III, Jimmy Reed, and Bob Wills. Even though Vaughan initially wanted to play the drums as his primary instrument, Michael Quinn gave him a guitar when he was seven years old. Vaughan's brother, Jimmie Vaughan, gave him his first guitar lessons. Vaughan was later quoted in Guitar Player as saying, "My brother Jimmie actually was one of the biggest influences on my playing. He really was the reason I started to play, watching him and seeing what could be done." He played entirely by ear and never learned how to read sheet music. By the time he was thirteen years old he was playing in clubs where he met many of his blues idols. A few years later he dropped out of Justin F. Kimball High School in Oak Cliff and moved to Austin to pursue music. Vaughan's talent caught the attention of guitarist Johnny Winter and blues-club owner Clifford Antone. In the early 1980s, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger saw Vaughan and Double Trouble playing at a club, and invited them to play at a private party in New York. This led to their acquaintance with producer Jerry Wexler, who managed to get them their first big break performing at the 1982 Montreux Jazz Festival. As a result they were able to meet Jackson Browne, who gave the band free time in his Los Angeles studio, and David Bowie, who had Vaughan play lead guitar on his next album, Let's Dance. Soon a record contract with Epic followed, as well as their first album release in 1983, the successful Texas Flood, which charted at number 38 and gained positive reviews. After a successful tour, their second album, Couldn't Stand the Weather, charted at number 31 in 1984 and went gold in 1985. Their third album, Soul to Soul, charted at number 34 in 1985.
On August 25 and August 26, 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble finished the summer portion of the In Step Tour with shows at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, just outside of East Troy, Wisconsin. The show also featured The Robert Cray Band (with the Memphis Horns, Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love) and Eric Clapton, who played the closing set, then brought all the musicians back onstage for an encore jam. Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton later recalled his last conversation with Vaughan, and remembered Vaughan saying backstage that he had to call his girlfriend, Janna Lapidus, before heading out the door to board a helicopter for the flight back to Chicago, Illinois, where Lapidus was staying. The musicians had expected a long bus ride back to Chicago. However, Vaughan was informed by a member of Clapton's crew that three seats were open on one of the helicopters returning to Chicago with Clapton's crew, enough for Vaughan, his brother Jimmie, and Jimmie's wife Connie. It turned out there was only one seat left; Vaughan requested it from his brother, who obliged. At 12:44 a.m. pilot Jeffrey Browne guided the helicopter off the ground. Shortly after takeoff the helicopter crashed into a ski slope and all five on board were killed. Although the crash occurred only 0.6 miles from the takeoff point, it went unnoticed by those at the concert site. 'Artist Discography'
Tinsley Ellis - (1957- ), a blues musician, was born in Atlanta, Georgia and spent his early years in Florida. Inspired by his idol, B.B. King, he was determined to become a blues guitarist. In 1975 he returned to Atlanta and joined his first band. He graduated from Emory University in 1979 with a degree in history. Ellis grew up in southern Florida and first played guitar at age eight. He found the blues through the backdoor of the British Invasion bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream, and The Rolling Stones. He especially loved the Kings--Freddie, B.B. and Albert--and spent hours immersing himself in their music. His love for the blues solidified when he was 14. At a B.B. King performance, Tinsley sat mesmerized in the front row. When B.B. broke a string on Lucille, he changed it without missing a beat, and handed the broken string to Ellis. After the show, B.B. came out and talked with fans, further impressing Tinsley with his warmth and down-to-earth attitude. By now Tinsley's fate was sealed; he had to become a blues guitarist. And yes, he still has that string. Already an accomplished teenaged musician, Ellis left Florida and returned to Atlanta in 1975. He soon joined the Alley Cats, a gritty blues band that included Preston Hubbard (of Fabulous Thunderbirds fame). In 1981, along with veteran blues singer and harpist Chicago Bob Nelson, Tinsley formed The Heartfixers, a group that would become Atlanta's top-drawing blues band. 'Artist Discography'
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