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: I saw him again twice in 2017, once with his Bluegrass group, J2B and once with his gypsy Jazz quintet. He was kind enough to sign my guitar. thank you John.
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: I saw him again in January 2018. the very best there is.
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. He is also on the latest release from Tommy Emmanuel Accomplice One
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.
Vince Gil: caught him in 2017 with the Time Jumpers, a great Western Swing band. What a player! What a voice!!
Diana Krall: Great jazz pianist. Most of her stuff is played slowly enough that I can follow her and practice my ear training.
Bireli Lagrene: One of the most versatile jazz guitarists on the planet. Not only does he play gypsy jazz, but modern jazz and standards. And his fingers virtually fly on the fretboard. Truly a genius. See him along with another of my favorites, Joscho Stephan–another jazz great. Bireli is the one without the beard.