Lesser Known Guitar Gods Who Greatly Influenced Me

Lesser Known Guitar Gods Who Greatly Influenced Me

While Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler, and Eric Clapton at some point in my beginning years, all were major influences on my guitar journey, there are a significant number of lesser-known guitar gods, who had an equal vast influence on my playing and musicianship.

I have quite a number of their CD’s and I wanted to honor them in today’s blog.

Rory Gallagher

Irish rock guitarist, heavily blues-influenced.
Rory sadly passed away on my birthday in 1995, barely 47 years old.

Alcohol abuse throughout his life is believed to have played a role in his early demise. He passed away shortly after receiving a liver transplant.


Roy Buchanan

Just like Rory, Roy Buchanan is another great guitarist who passed away in his late 40’s. Also alcohol-related. Arrested for public intoxication after a domestic dispute, he hung himself in his jail cell with his shirt, August 14th, 1988, barely 48 years old.

Robin Trower

Robin is one of my favorites on this list here. Heavily Hendrix influenced.

Johnny Winter

Johnny is an iconic powerhouse. Powerful guitarist. When you think Johnny Winter, you think Gibson Firebird.

While left out of the movie, Johnny played Woodstock in 1969

Peter Green

Peter Green is an English blues guitarist, known as one of the founding members of Fleetwood Mac.
Interesting little-known fact: Santana’s huge hit “Black Magic Woman”, is actually a Peter Green song.

Rick Derringer

This is one of Rick’s biggest hits. A really fun song to play on guitar.

I have a Johnny Winter album where Johnny covers this song, pretty much exactly as in this video.
The video features Johnny’s brother Edgar Winter on keys. Rick worked a lot with the Winter brothers.

Walter Trout

Walter is an American blues-rock guitarist who should be WAY better known here in his own country.
He has quite the following in Europe.

This is one of my favorite Walter Trout songs.
I LOVE his guitar playing, and I love his beautifully expressive singing voice just as much as his guitar playing.

Buddy Guy

Buddy was born in 1936. He’s a powerhouse blues guitarist and singer, with an amazing legacy.

Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, and John Mayer are just some of the guitarists who cite Buddy as one of their major influences.

It has been said that Buddy already did many of the showman performance tricks and antics that Jimi Hendrix later become known for, years before anybody knew who Jimi Hendrix was.
I am fortunate to have seen Buddy live back when I was living in Belgium

Pat Travers

Pat is a Canadian rock guitarist. Though he worked a lot with other killer guitarists playing on his albums, he’s a fantastic guitarist himself.

Jeff Healey

Like Pat Travers, another Canadian guitarist. As you see in the video, Jeff had a unique way of playing the guitar.

Jeff lost his eye-sight due to a rare cancer of the eyes at age 9.
I was lucky enough to see Jeff live at a music festival in Belgium. He sadly passed away in 2008 due to cancer, barely 41 years old.

Eric Gales

Eric has been a favorite of mine since I first heard about him when I was in my early twenties.

Contrary to what most lefties do, Eric has his guitar strung upside down, with the bass string at the bottom.
Interestingly enough: Eric is right-handed but he was taught by his left-handed brother, and never second-guessed the untraditional technique.

He’s a master guitarist. No surprise: he started playing when he was 4.
Here you can see him having fun in a killer guitar duel with Joe Bonamassa. (and yes, Joe is unbelievable too of course)

Danny Gatton

Danny is another master guitarist who should be way more famous.
Steve Vai is only one of many top guitarists who are known to have mentioned that “Danny comes closer than anyone else to being the best guitar player that ever lived”

Danny effortlessly switched between and fused, blues, rockabilly, jazz, and country.
Plagued by depression, Danny sadly took his own life in 1994 by shooting himself in his garage.

Sonny Landreth

Sonny is an American blues musician, especially known for his slide playing. Sonny is an underrated guitarist who does some pretty inventive stuff.
The following video is a great resource for anyone who wants to figure out how slide guitar works.

Doyle Bramhall II

Doyle is another fellow lefty, who just like Eric Gales, has his guitar strung upside-down.
Born in Texas, Doyle was a childhood friend with Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughan

Leslie West

Leslie played Woodstock in 1969 and is STILL going strong.
He’s the frontman guitarist in the band Mountain.

Chris Rea

Chris Rea is an English class act guitarist and songwriter.
I’ve seen him live many times in Belgium because he’s the favorite musician of one of my very closest friends in Belgium. Fantastic slide player.

This was one of his big hits in Belgium

This is my favorite Chris Rea song. His slide solo at 5:09 is gorgeous.

They were all major influences in my musical upbringing to the player I am today.


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