There are many blues guitar legends both past and present. Each have there own unique style and individual sound while remaining true to the blues. Some are seen to be more important figures than others by having a profound effect on the course of 'the blues' and therefore music in general.
The first on the legend list is of course the great Charlie Patton. He was the first of the well-known and highly influential Delta Blues men to inspire those that followed such as; Son House, Robert Johnson and in-turn Muddy Waters, and not forgetting his young friend of course, Howlin' Wolf!
Just click on the links below to view and hear that blues man.
The early Delta blues players are generally considered to be the most legendary and influential blues guitar players as they were the first and paved the way for those who followed in their wake. Charlie Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters are certainly the big names of inspiration and influence for the early blues guitarists and for this reason they will be the first on my list.
These names continue to inspire and influence even today! After all, pure blues in its basic and raw form, in my opinion, is best represented by a black man with a guitar singing from his pain and suffering of those terribly sad times. That is where it originated from and is best represented and expressed as such, in my opinion.
The good thing is, good will always come out of bad somewhere down the line, I believe, and great blues music came from those bad experiences suffered by those individuals at that time.
I hope this list of blues guitar legends offers inspiration and motivation to pick up and play blues guitar, or it at least inspires you to begin listening to those early and present day blues players who have continued to entertain, inspire and influence many famous, and not so famous, blues guitarists ever since.
I also hope this list gives some insight into blues guitar and blues music from both an historical and evolutionary point of view.
Generally speaking, from an historical point of view, the early blues guitar players fall into two main categories, namely; 'pre-electric' and 'post-electric'.
The earliest forms of the electric guitar amplifier weren't invented until the early 1930's, and they were only very basic with low power, around 15 watts or less before the mid-1950s.
The early Delta blues guitarists only had acoustic guitars to play their music. Muddy Waters was one of the very first well-known blues guitarists to use guitar amplification in his performances and therefore, tends to be the most notable pioneer of electric blues guitar.
As far as 'blues guitar legends' are concerned, I would say they fall into two main categories also, which is to some extent, a matter of personal opinion. I would also say that this opinion really ought to be based upon historical influence and significance within the specified genre, which as we know, is blues in this case.
So for me personally, blues guitar legends are either 'living legends' or 'non-living legends' based upon their individual merit as regards to their influence and inspiration on others, including blues music as a whole. BB King was a living legend up until this year (2015) when he sadly dies after giving us so much entertainment and a wealth of recorded material.
At the end of the day, this list is based upon my own personal opinion and is in no way technically accurate. Also, given the vast number of living and non-living legends that have and do exist throughout the history for blues guitar, it will take me quite some time to get them all written and uploaded to this list, but I will try!
Either way, I have decided to place all blues guitar legends together under one umbrella so to speak.Back To Top