Who Was the Best Blues Guitar Player?
If someone were asked to name the old blues musicians they would nominate to represent blues music,
it would be a daunting task. Of course, we think about people such as
Eric Clapton and BB King, but where would those two be without the
foundations laid down almost a hundred years ago? Additionally, there
are various forms of blues music, including Carolina, delta, ragtime,
bottleneck and more.
When I first became interested in blue guitar lessons, my teacher was fanatical about Robert Johnson, maintaining that he personified blues, at least as far as acoustic blues went. Actually, the hysteria surrounding the celebrated Johnson has just managed to over shadow some of the fantastic musicians that created this form of music.
More Candidates For the Best Blues Man Competition
The list is enormous - John Hurt, Son House, Willie Johnson, Blind Blake, BB Fuller, Willie McTell and Reverend Gary Davis for starters. It's a fact that several blues men were really influential, and Johnson was definitely in this category, but many other blues men's songs have become classics in a manner that RJ songs never did.
Some Of the Best Blues Songs Came From Lesser Known Blues Men
Scrapper Blackwell's 'Nobody Know You When You're Down and Out', for
instance is known all over the world. Actually, the song that Johnson is
best known for, 'Sweet Home Chicago' is just a copy of Scrapper's
It's a bit unfortunate that Blackwell died relatively
poor and without being well known - in his prime he was a rock star.
Other greats such as Big Bill Broonzy made hundreds of records in the
late thirties. His creations 'Saturday Night Shuffle' and 'Hey Hey'
surely rank amongst the very best examples of Chicago blues.
The Best Ragtime Guitar Players
In the category of ragtime guitar, Blind Blake was simply the best and for Gospel guitarists, Reverend Gary Davis was the top of the tree. It's possibly more appropriate to say that Johnson performed stunning blues in the delta style, but is a long way from being the one to represent the entire gamut of blues music.