Fifteen guitarists

Inspired by jjfmi over on Facebook…

The rules: (Rules? We don’t need no stinking rules!) Don’t take too long to think about it. “Fifteen guitarists that will always stick with you.” List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what guitarists my friends choose. [Tag, well, that’s a Facebook thing. No tagging necessary, but if you wanna do this, that’s cool.]

Ed. note: Most of my guitar influences were more accompanying themselves than stepping out in blazing solos. So my list may not impress much, but … it’s how my playing ended up the way it is. I’m not saying I play like anyone on this list, but I can at least dream.

  1. John Denver
  2. … and his onetime sideman Mike Taylor (early 1970s, through Rocky Mountain High)
  3. Michael P. Smith (the only guitarist I’ve ever had a workshop with, though it was mostly for songwriting)
  4. Tony Rice (who makes me want to sell my guitar for scrap)
  5. Jim Perkins (learned so much just watching him at Four Green Fields in the 90s)
  6. Maury Muhleisen (Jim Croce’s sideman)
  7. Mark Knopfler
  8. Glen Campbell (author of the second guitar technique book I owned and used)
  9. Bruce Cockburn
  10. James Taylor
  11. Gordon Lightfoot
  12. Dougie Maclean (who justified my belief in open tunings vs. barre chords)
  13. Dickie Betts
  14. Joel Mabus
  15. Dave Prychitko a.k.a. the Ott Lake Rambler (you can’t play with someone for 30 years without him leaving an impression… he’s better than he’ll ever tell you)

It took me more than fifteen minutes. Does it still count?

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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8 Responses to Fifteen guitarists

  1. changeling72 says:

    My aunt and uncle used to have a golden retriever called Denver. They now have one called Zach.

  2. Anonymous says:

    No Gordon Bok? I agree with several of these, but he has to be on my list. So does Phil Cooper. Dougie Maclean I never think of as a guitarist, but rather as a fiddler (and a didgeridoo player, but that’s mostly for effect.)

    • songdogmi says:

      I know of Gordon Bok, but I’m not familiar enough with him and his playing. The only recording I have with him is a concert he did with Ed Trickett and Anne Mayo Muir, which I had to buy so I could have “Waltzing with Bears” on it. He got airplay on the public radio folk show (no longer on the air), but I mostly remember his voice.

      Yeah, Dougie was huge as a fiddler (well, huge for folk, anyway) in The Tannahill Weavers before his solo career took off.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ooooh. Then you really need to hear more of him. Bok has a great voice, but he’s also an incredible 12-string guitarist. It’s like hearing an entire orchestra. I’ve seen him in person a couple of times, and he has big strong hands that make you wonder how he can fit his fingers onto the fretboard, but he does it.

      • songdogmi says:

        Twelve string. *sigh* I need one of those. But most of the ones I’ve tried, I have the problem of too-big fingers on a skinny fretboard. I know there’s one out there, I just have to look for it.

        I’ll have to look for a Bok recording or two; I know he has quite a few. Which one would you suggest as a starter?

      • Anonymous says:

        For the 12-string you need:

        “A Rogue’s Gallery of Songs for 12-String” (Folk Legacy CD-94)

        For his voice, just about any of the solo albums. I particularly like “Jeremy Brown & Jeannie Teal” and “Return to the Land.” Amazon has a lot of his stuff as MP3 downloads if you’re into that approach. He’s a great story teller too, and many of the solo albums have stories on them along with the music.

        I have a Crestwood 12-string that I bought back in the 70s and it’s still holding up. My fingers are long and thin, though so I can’t suggest anything specific. I’m more likely to have trouble with a high stiff action than with a narrowly-spaced fretboard.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I approve of this message.

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