Current Guitarists That Live Up to the Legends

Current Guitarists That Live Up to the Legends

What makes a legendary guitarist? Is it an intoxicating stage presence? Is it their fluency on the instrument? If you look at the legacies of Brian May, Eddie Van Halen, and Jimi Hendrix, for example, they all boast an instantly identifiable sound that has become their signature mark. Add unmistakable skill and a powerful stage presence into the mix, and you’ll have the recipe in your hands.

But with the careers of these iconic legends coming to a close, who among the new generation of guitarists will carry the torch forward? Check out this list of great guitarists who can compare to the legends the same way a list of social casinos in the USA can compare to the best real-money options.

Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. is easily one of the best modern guitarists around, weaving the well-defined guitar skills he’s been working on since the age of 12 into his genre-defying and out-of-the-box tracks. He’s a seasoned guitar player, able to evoke the vintage heavy blues and rock tones that are beloved by many guitar enthusiasts.

Clark got his start in the musical hotspot of Austin, Texas – a city associated with a plethora of famous guitarists like Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as Shakey Graves. Like many starting musicians, he played countless small gigs in intimate venues but eventually caught the attention of Austin music club Antone’s and began performing with musicians such as Jimmie Vaughan.

Today, Gary Clark Jr. is a force in the mainstream music industry, working and performing with household names like the Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Childish Gambino, Tom Morello, and B.B. King – the list goes on. In his extraordinary career, he’s opened for the Rolling Stones twice, has multiple Grammys under his belt, and played for President Obama at the White House.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Christone Ingram represents American blues and rock and roll at its finest. Keeping the Mississippi-style blues alive for coming generations, this young guitar prodigy has mastered the art of guitar and surpassed the skill of some of his more seasoned counterparts. His bold, deliberate choices have breathed new life into blues guitar playing, and accompanied by his soul-stirring vocals, anyone can see that there’s a raw talent there that can’t be learned.

After watching a PBS documentary about Muddy Waters at the tender age of five, Ingram became intrigued by the blues, igniting the passion that continues to define his music career. Growing up, he was inspired by diverse influences – gospel, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, and B.B. King – which all seem to have made a mark on his identity. From his humble beginnings in local venues around his hometown, Clarksdale, Mississippi, to his decorated collection of accolades and honors, including being a seven-time Blues Music Award winner, Kingfish Ingram has proven that raw talent will always have a place in the music industry.

Cory Wong

With a lengthy discography complete with 12 solo albums, 1 EP, 9 live albums, and a whopping 42 singles, Cory Wong is extremely dedicated to his craft as a guitarist and songwriter. Unlike the other two guitarists on this list so far, Wong’s background is in rock, jazz, and funk. He’s best known for being a frequent touring member and collaborator for the band Vulfpeck, as well as for his Grammy-nominated new-age album Meditations, written with Jon Batiste.

Cory Wong is all about the groove, giving funk a new facelift with his inherent creativity. He cites the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Primus as two major bands whose eclectic sounds had a clear influence on Wong’s guitar style and inspired him to start a band. He’s certainly made a name for himself as a renowned songwriter and go-to touring and session musician for many world-class artists. With his own signature sapphire blue Fender Strat out on the market, his status as a guitar player is undeniable. Meticulously crafted, the Stratocaster allows any guitar player to achieve his prominent clear and clean tone.

Tim Henson

Watch Tim Henson perform, and you’ll instantly be blown away by his hybrid picking and sweep-picking technique, as well as his composition skills with his cutting-edge chord progressions. Henson is part of the progressive rock band Polyphia, whose name reflects the melodic jazz qualities within their metal-based sound.

Search for Henson’s name on Google, and you’ll find tons of questions about how he plays so fast, whether or not he uses a pick, what his playing style is, and whether he has a signature guitar. He’s such a mysterious and skilled guitar player that everyone who comes across him can’t help but wonder how he handles the guitar so effortlessly. His style is characterized by arpeggios, harmonics, legato phrasing, and all sorts of odd and interesting techniques that would be considered every traditional guitar teacher’s worst nightmare. Tim is loyal to Ibanez as an endorsing artist with his own signature acoustic-electric guitar and electric guitar.

Derek Trucks

After purchasing his first guitar for $5 from a yard sale when he was just nine years old, Derek Trucks quickly became a guitar prodigy. He was most notably a member of the Allman Brothers Band, a band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the ‘90s and ranked on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004.

By his 13th birthday, he had played guitar alongside famed blues guitarist Buddy Guy. By his 20th, with Bob Dylan and the Eagles’ Joe Walsh. His style can be broadly classified as a blend of blues, Southern rock, jazz, and soul, with a sprinkle of world music. But while his musical style garners plenty of attention, Trucks is known for his main stylistic technique of using a slide, which he became accustomed to as a kid because of his small hands at the time. Naturally, he is heavily influenced by Duane Allman and Elmore Janes, two masterful slide guitar players, but is also inspired by B.B. King, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and John Lee Hooker, among others.