When asked who the five greatest guitarists were/are, here was my answer as of Thursday, May 27, 2010.
Note that I picked 10. I’m a compulsive list maker and find it hard to impossible to think other than in 10s.
Sonny Sharrock – ‘Ask The Ages’ is one of the great albums.
Duane Allman – Very, very, very good guitarists can play lots of notes. Great guitarists can make beautiful, coherent music from them. Duane Allman sang above the notes.
Mississippi John Hurt – You won’t find many people who would list him among the greatest guitarists, but if you look at the influence he had on everyone from John Fahey to Dylan, he is. Besides, he’s a joy to listen to.
Robbie Robertson – Another Duane Allman kind of pick. The man does not waste notes. His solos fit the Band’s music -and Dylan’s wild electric music – perfectly.
Steve Cropper – the best soul guitarist.
Bruce Springsteen – What? Am I stupid? Nope. There is no better guitar player over the last 30 years in mainstream rock music, if you pick on the basis of taste, sound, concision, soul. He is severely under-rated.
Eddie Hazel – Was he better than Hendrix? Maybe.
Grant Green – His quartet recordings with Sonny Clark are my favorite jazz guitar.
Hank Garland – Where jazz and country met perfectly.
Neil Young – My reasoning here is exactly like Springsteen, only Young is weirder, deeper, noisier.
– adopted from a post to the ‘Stereophile’ forums