Here are links to musicians I admire, and in most cases have seen in concert. In one way or another, they have each been influential in my journey in the improvement of my guitar skills.
Chet Atkins: Deceased. Influenced countless musicians, including a number of those listed below. Was influential in mentoring, producing and introducing them into the mainstream. an all around nice guy in addition to being an immense talent
Jerry Reed: Deceased. A good friend of Chet Atkins, a good actor and an extremely talented guitarist. Underrated for sure.
Django Reinhart: A guitar genius who invented an entire genre of music called Gypsy Jazz, now played all over the world. One of my favorite styles–wish I was better at it.
John Jorgenson: One of the best Django style guitar players that America has to offer. I was fortunate to see him in 2014 when he came Los Angeles. He is a multi instrumentalist who comes from a family of musicians, and plays everything from classical to rock to bluegrass–one of my very favorites:
Tommy Emmanuel: One of the best in the world, and a very generous instructor. I saw him in 2014 as well. A one man band who plays every type of music; pop, rock, jazz, Gypsy, you name it–and at blinding speed. A protégé of Chet Atkins:
Frank Vignola: An all around jazz guy, from Gypsy jazz to American standards. I got to play on stage with him once–what a thrill.
Richard Smith: another Chet Atkins protégé. I caught this guy at a house concert–blew everyone away.
Pat Donohue: 21 years as the guitarist and songwriter for Prairie Home Companion. Caught him at a house concert as well.
Tony Rice: One of the best in bluegrass.
David Grisman: Mandolinist who plays everything from bluegrass to swing and jazz.
Ricky Skaggs: A bluegrass standard. I was lucky to see him in concert some years ago:
Bryan Sutton: That’s him on the Ricky Skaggs track playing blazingly fast guitar.
Doc Watson: Taught all the bluegrass guitar players how to flatpick. I got to see him in concert some years ago. Passed away in 2012 at age 88.
Steve Kaufman: 7 time world flatpicking champion. Now teaches and sponsors bluegrass camps.
Joe Pass: Now deceased. Fabulous jazz guitarist–everyone learned from him. very listenable, even if you are not a jazz fan.
Diana Krall: Great jazz pianist. Most of her stuff is played slowly enough that I can follow her and practice my ear training.