I was watching Kenny Greenberg play guitar as part of Pat McLaughlin's stellar band, and thinking there's no way the guitar can be played any better than that. There are many famous guitarists, but so many more that are un-heralded or under-heralded who are as good or better. Aside from some wildly talented but well known on ND guitarists like Dave Alvin, Chuck Prophet and Kelly Joe Phelps, here are a few off the top of my head who are just incredibly talented guitarists who could teach a thing or two to some far more famous names:

Kenny Vaughan
Andrew Hardin
Chris Miller
Thad Beckman
John Jackson
Joe Eddy Hines
D. Clinton Thompson
Scrappy Judd Newcomb
Willie Porter

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Rick LA Holmstrom

Ronnie Earl - I was just mentioning to my wife last night that in his prime very few could even carry Ronnie Earl's guitar case.


Kid Ramos


Ceasar Rosas - Los Lobos

Wow, this thread is still going. Good one, Jack!

If he wasn't mentioned already - let me add the late great Jesse "Guitar" Taylor. He lit up Joe Ely's band on many a night!



Left Denny Freeman off my list yesterday.
Just thought of the amazing Gary Moore. RIP.
I'll add two more to the discussion...First, Chuck Berry ...Now I have heard all the stuff about how he played out of tune and only knew 3 chords etc...but for me, his quitar work on the original "Johnny Be Goode" is some of my favorite guitar licks by anybody,anytime, anywhere...Second, Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters...I saw the Headhunters live in about 1999 and Greg  just blew me away with his quitar skills!...He can play it all, Classic Rock, Country, Blues and he plays a mean Boogie Woogie...Unheralded definitely fits Greg Martin to a t...check him out on You Tube if you get a chance...
Saw Jimmy Vaughan last night (with Lou Ann Barton in the band) and don't recall his name in this discussion. I guess he has been well known in some regards, and going by his late model spiffy tour bus he must be, but he's been somewhat overshadowed by his late younger brother and guys like Clapton are far more famous but no more talented (my opinion anyway). So in that context I'd say he's underheralde. And whomever he had as his second guitarist in his Tilt A Whirl band was also amazing. What a great name for a band.

Dave Alvin

Jeff Healey

Maury Muehleisen, who was Jim Croce's backup guitarist (and died in the same plane crash), was a pretty wicked acoustic guitar. 
Great call on maury
great guitarist!
Cary Hudson.  Acoustic, Slide...great at everything.

Jack Elliott

Patty Larkin

Frank Christian

Nina Gerber

Geoff Muldaur

Warren Haynes

Tom Rush

Rory Block

I agree that Lindsey Buckingham is underrated...I guess because he followed Peter Green. Also I'll second the mention of the great "Michael Picasso," Mick Ronson. What about Neil Young? He seems to squeeze such emotion into his playing and he has such a signature sound. For technical ability, I think Steve Howe is one of the great ones. Besides his work with Yes, he has done some wonderful acoustic work on his solo albums.



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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.