Mudcat Café message #3219070 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62503   Message #3219070
Posted By: Stringsinger
06-Sep-11 - 01:46 PM
Thread Name: Top 100 Guitarists of All Time
Subject: RE: Top 100 Guitarists of All Time
musicmic, I grew up on Burl Ives before Millard Lampell, John Stauber and all the other guitarists you mention came on the scene. Burl did his own guitar playing in concert and on early recordings and in my opinion, some of his best work. Simple um-plunk that fit his voice like a glove, never getting in the way of the lyrics, unlike some of the guitar players today whose message is "to hell with vocalist, look at me".

Nobody, so far, has mentioned the father of the electric guitar, Charlie Christian.
He was the first to bring it to the forefront of jazz and dance music via Goodman.

You have to separate the guitar skills (chops) from the musicianship, bringing into the equation Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Fred Hellerman, Sam Jones (with Miriam MacKeba)
and others whose guitar accompaniments supported the song.

The Rolling Stone article should have said "Top 100 Rock Guitarists of All Time" and then it would have had more credibility.

Guitar playing must combine technique with musicianship (which can be a very subjective opinionated subject) but nonetheless, there are those guitarists who have the potential of moving an audience in one way or another, and they don't all have "chops".

Early folk music performers such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie (before he succumbed to Huntington's), Sarah and Maybelle Carter, obscure blues artists such as Laughing Charley, Son House, all these and more who made up the powerful music we call American folk (I left out Sam Hinton, shouldn't have or Pete Seeger for that matter) may not have dazzled audiences with gymnastic finger action but gave the guitar a meaning in the music we now enjoy, including Burl's "um plunk".

The guitar can't be separated from musical values on its own and to claim a monopoly on being the "best" is unsupportable, subject to opinion, and to ignore some musical aspects in favor of others.

I would say that the guitar is one of the greatest musical instruments of all time, its flexibility, versatility, emotionally moving expression and worldwide acceptance being "greater" than any one person who plays it.