Great Guitar Player series

i thought i would just drop a post of…

Michael Kelsey.

this guy is an amazing guitar player.


he taps, he strums, he picks.  it’s amazing.  he’s also running loops and percussion stuff with his feet.  basically he can be a one man band, and often is.

i love his passion the best.  he plays with such intensity and passion, like this might be the last time he ever plays guitar.

enjoy. listen for all the “homages” to guitar greats.

i want your input…

i have a pretty extensive list of guitar players.  i think i could blog about this for a while…

what i need from you to do is go back and see who i’ve already named in my Great Guitar Player series and chime in with who i’m missing.  what i’m really looking for are the more obscure players who don’t get a lot of talk.  i may not blog about Clapton, Hendrix or Page.  i know that might tear people up, but that’s how i roll.

leave a comment and i’ll get to it.  this process already works…per my last post about Tim Reynolds.


ok regardless of the fact that his bus dumped crap on people…

i would be remiss if i didn’t mention one Mr. Dave Matthews in this list of great guitar players.


Dave has his own special style.  he is a beast of a player, but what makes him even better is the band that surrounds him.  these cats can play.  so they complement his unique style of fingerpicking, strumming and playing the hardest chords known to humans.  i believe he has an incredible grasp of theory and coupled with his hand span creates chords that sends the hand of a normal human into spasms.  i love that Dave and his band are passionate about crafting complex, intelligent music.   that being said…here is Dave Matthews….

so i quoted a myth the other day…

about how Eddie Van Halen said Phil Keaggy was the greatest guitar player.  a friend pointed out that the quote was also contributed to Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, but there is no written, audio  or video proof that it happened in any occasion so it is definitely urban legend.

that being said.  Phil Keaggy is a BEAST of a guitar player.


yes, that IS Sir Paul McCartney in the picture with him

from a post in Six String Lounge

I think the greater story, though,also happens to be why this legend endures: Phil Keaggy is a flat out amazing guitar player. He is on another level to the point that it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Hendrix HAD said the above quote.

The most amazing thing about Keaggy is his versatility. He is equally at home playing blistering blues rock and pensive fingerpicked ballads. As a result, he was a mainstay on guitar magazine’s readers’ polls through the ’80’s and ’90’s*.Anytime we have shared a bill with him at a festival, the side the stage is jam packed with young musicians of all stripes, just wanting a glimpse of what Keaggy can do. Mark Lee guitar player from Third Day

AND this dude only has a thumb and 3 fingers on his right hand!  i would have a hard time holding a pick.  just to show you how amazing he is, here is a video where he basically uses every technique you  could think of.  i encourage you to watch it all the way through, but if you only have a little time, FF to the last 3 minutes.   AMAZING!!

back to guitar players….

let me say right off that bat.  i’m not a huge fan of country music.  i like certain songs, but the genre as a whole doesn’t excite or really hit me as earth shattering.  i like certain artists and would probably buy a few songs.

that being said, there are some AMAZING musicians and singers in country music.

i thought i would kill two birds with one stone today and talk about Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.


these two masters of the telecaster can certainly rip.

i really like Brad Paisley and his ability to write really witty songs.  i first ran across him with his song “I’m Gonna Miss Her” in which the video featured Kimberly Williams from “Father of the Bride” (he’s now married to her).  I think Brad has an amazing ability to play both acoustic and electric and his electric tone is his signature.  it’s just a fat, vintage telecaster sound.  love it.

i like Keith Urban as well.  i guess my first exposure to him was on “I Wanna Love Somebody Like You”!  What a great song.  amazing banjo and guitar work and one of the best melodies in a song i’ve ever heard.  it also featured former model Nickie Taylor (Urban didn’t follow suit and marry the girl from his video…he stepped it up and married Academy Award winner and fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman)  Urban plays a telecaster as well, but also branches out to some Gibson guitars on occasion.  he has a little edgier tone and style than Paisley, i think he could step into the rock arena just as easily as the country.

i’ve kindof followed these guys through award shows and my occasional foray onto Country Music Television (which actually shows videos)  most recently i like Brad’s song “Ticks” it’s funny and has another one of his blazing guitar solos.  i also like Keith’s song “Sweet Thing”.

Paisley and Urban teamed up most recently on this song.

enjoy both of them playing.  i especially enjoy the front where they “try” to play some classics.

good solo sections and they trade 4’s

another guitar great….

i remember being a 7th grader and hearing the opening synthesizer chords to a song called “Jump” and wondered what is this?  then it got to the guitar solo, then i rewound the tape and listened to the solo again.  i remember thinking i might get in trouble for listening to this because the cupid on the album art was smoking a cigarette and according to people at my church, that couldn’t be good, but i listened anyway.  in fact i began to listen to the songs and i would find the guitar solos.  who was this guy?  he was amazing.  i realized he had also played the guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.

it was none other than Eddie Van Halen.


i began to do a little research and realized that this guy was a classically trained musician and he could definitely shred.  people would tell me that what he was doing wasn’t that hard and i would tell them, then why don’t you do it?  why was he selling out arenas and making platinum records.  don’t tell me it was because of David Lee Roth (although i prefer him to Van Hagar).  no it was because Eddie could make his guitar explode with notes, and emotion and pyrotechnics.  nobody else plays like him.  people copy and emulate him, but you can always tell a Van Halen song by the guitar sounds.

someone once asked Eddie what it was like to be the greatest living rock guitar player, and he replied, “I don’t know, you would have to ask Phil Keaggy” (we’ll save Phil for another post)

so here we go.  ERUPTION and when Eddie was younger before he had all the back trouble, and played on his famous Kramer with his custom tape and paint job (i still would love to have a guitar like that one)

well…until Jason Bradford sends me some footage….

of him shredding, we will have to move on with my other favorite guitar players.

today i want to talk about a guy that you probably don’t know, but you may know his work.

he’s actually a buddy of mine here in Dallas.  we haven’t gotten to hang out lately which is sad, but that doesn’t diminish his guitar prowess.

his name is Mark Akin


Mark is one of the best guitar players i’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.  not only is he a great guitar player.  he is an amazing teacher and clinician.  i first met him at a Jackson guitar clinic at Fuller’s Guitar’s in Houston.  he can actually impart what he knows to others.  if you asked him what you should do to become better, he will tell you, “Learn Your fretboard bro”!

Mark is actually a platinum selling artist.  he is the sole instrumentalist behind the insanely popular anime series DRAGONBALL Z!


well since i still haven’t written that “grammy” post yet…

i thought i might continue with something i started yesterday…

for the next little bit, i’m going to write about my favorite guitar players…

these might be obscure session guys, or some guitar player from a band.  or they may be some huge global artist.

genre doesn’t matter because a great guitar player is a great guitar player, so here we go.

This guy has to be my FAVORITE artist in addition to being an amazing guitar player….yes i’m talking about….



now let me say.  i think John is an amazing blues/rock electric player, but what originally drew me to him was his ability to make an acoustic guitar sing.   specifically on this song.

that is such a young, fresh faced John.

i literally wore out the “Room for Squares” album and thought to myself how can this guy top himself?  then he comes out with “Heavier Things”, the John Mayer Trio and finally what i think might be some of his finest work “Continuum”.  i even have his indie album “inside wants out”.  i think i have pretty much every song he’s done that is on CD or iTunes.

i love the way he plays on this song “Heart of Life”

one of my favorite things he has ever done is team up with Brad Paisley (spoiler alert!!!!future post) to do CMT CrossRoads.  since you can’t find any video footage from CMT (cheap jerks) then all you get is audio and pictures.  enjoy “Why Georgia”