10 Most Influential Texas Blues Guitarists

Categories: Best Of

Eric Johnson, The Austin Resonator
The legendary Texas guitar slinger once toured with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, wooing audiences with his crystal clear chops, and he gained recognition for his rich, violin-like tone. His influences range from Jimi Hendrix to Django Reinhardt. His weapon of choice is an Eric Johnson Signature Fender Stratocaster with GHS Eric Johnson Nickel Rockers Electric Guitar Strings, through a triple amp setup consisting of Fender, Dumble and Marshall amplifiers.

Billy Gibbons, The Reverend Willy G
While Rolling Stone ranked him somewhere in the 30s on its 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, Gibbons slays the rest of the competition to enter this top ten list. Recently announced as the 2012 Texas State Musician by the Texas Commission on the Arts, William Frederick "Billy" Gibbons is known for his beard, his sunglasses and his old five peso, which he uses as a guitar plectrum. He's blazed the stage with Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Dwight Yoakam. His weapon of choice is Miss Pearly Gates, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall 1968 plexi and Fender Deluxe 1x12, as well as an army of Rio Grande amplifiers, solid state Marshall Valvestate rack amps and Marshall 2x12 cab.

Dimebag Darrell Abbott, the Diamond Shredder
What the hell is a metal guitar player doin' on this list, you ask? He infused Texas blues into his metal, employing pentatonic scales and pinch harmonics in his Southern riffs and rhythms, and influenced Zakk Wylde and Scott Ian. His weapon of choice was a Dean ML guitar with Bill Lawrence USA XL500L pickups through whatever kind of amp could withstand the power of his Randy Rhoads-style chord arpeggios.

Freddie King, the King of Big D Blues
Freddie King was a force of nature on guitar. His distinctive fingerpicking, open-string Texas blues and West Side Chicago blues inspired guitar legends such as Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Vaughan. His weapon of choice was a gold top Gibson Les Paul with P-90 pickups through a Gibson GA-40 amplifier.

W.C. Clark, the Godfather of Austin Blues
Clark not only ignites a guitar with his jazz-infused licks but also has grooved on bass with Jimmie Vaughan, James Brown and the Three Kings of electric blues: B.B. King, Albert King and Freddie King. He's the founder of Triple Threat Revue, an Austin blues quintet whose members also included Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton. Clark was born and raised in Austin, and he's been influencing the blues scene since the '60s. His weapon of choice alternates between Fender and Ibanez, although he's also wielded a Gibson.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Oak Cliff Kid
Nothing screams blues like a jolt from this man's guitar. Stevie Ray Vaughan was constantly searching for the Philosopher's Note, a mystical note that incorporates all genres of music into a perfect musical element. SRV caught the attention of David Bowie and Jackson Browne, and caused Eric Clapton to pull his car over to the side of the road when he first heard the Oak Cliff native make a guitar sing. His weapon of choice was his "first wife" or "Number One," a Frankenstein monster of a guitar with a 1963 Fender Stratocaster body, a 1962 neck and custom stainless steel bars for the vibrato bar.

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6 comments
Stefani Micheau
Stefani Micheau

"Nobody leaves this place without singin' the blues." - Albert Collins, Adventures in Babysitting

Muzzybluezzy
Muzzybluezzy

Where are the names like Johnny Winter, Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Copeland , in your list? you never mentioned them here, also about Texas Blues if I could make a list, that would be thus

Blind Lemon Jefferson
T-Bone Walker
Freddie King
Billy Gibbons
Johnny Winter
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Jimmie Vaughan
Albert Collins
Johnny Copeland
Buddy Whittington

in fact your list has some lacks, additionally, that ain't need Dimebag.

Aaron Dietrich
Aaron Dietrich

Deep Ellum? That's a question for Frank Champagna ( I think that's how you spell his name). I consider him the "Grandfather of Deep Ellum" without his decision in the late 1970's early 1980's to turn his art studio into a place for bands to play and practice at, Deep Ellum would have never happened. He owns Kettle Art, he could answer your question, he has been through the the birth and death and rebirth of Deep Ellum. Man, I could remember going to Deep Ellum in the mid 1990's, hit up Trees to Catch Tripping Daisy or Maybe the Toadies. Then Cut over to Blue Cat Blues to watch Hashbrown blow his Harmonica, while being backed up by some young punk kid playing some SRVish guitar licks. Goodtimes and cover charge was only 5 bucks. But I'd check online or pick up a Dallas Observer and scan through it. The places I use to go to were Blue Cat Blues, Sons of Hermann Hall, Poor David's Pub, and The Bone. I'm really out of the loop as far as Blues goes. But, Now You've striked my curiosity, Im going to have to look around.

Aaron Dietrich
Aaron Dietrich

Jamey Garner, 2006, you just missed the last dying gasp of air from the great music scene of Deep Ellum. I'd say from the mid 1980's-early 2000's was the "great music scene in Dallas" the 1990's was Fuckin awesome. You could head down to Deep Ellum and catch any genre of music you had a taste for, and the music would be Fuckin above average, and they weren't "cover bands". Goodtimes! I look for the day when that returns.

Aaron Dietrich
Aaron Dietrich

Johnny Winter? Jimmie Vaughan, should be above Dimebag. Hell Reverend Horton Heat, I know he falls into the Rockabilly category, but he is influential over and blues guitarist with his talent.

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