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And the Greatest Electric Blues Guitarist Is…

On June 9th, The Daily Music Break posted a poll asking who are the greatest electric blues guitarists. The winner, hands-down, was Rory Gallagher. He received 131 votes, with BB King finishing second at 52 votes. Gallagher had 82 percent of the total votes cast and BB had 33 percent.

The reason that Gallagher dominated was that the poll was picked up by a fan site of his. That isn’t to say that he wasn’t a fabulous guitarist. He was. But nobody should get 101 votes more than Eric Clapton, 128 more than Gatemouth Brown, and so on. In all, 159 people cast 426 votes.

Some folks offered guitarists in the comment who I had not listed. I am unsure of the demarcation between rock and blues guitarists, but it is a great list. First of all, I should have included Son Seals and Luther Allison in the original list of choices. Folks also pointed to Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Paul Kossoff (Free), David Gilmour, Mark Collins (The Charlatans), Johnny Marr (The Smiths), Dave Gregory and Andy Partridge (both of XTC), Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), Nick McCabe (The Verve) and James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers).

Above is Gallagher’s “A Millions Miles Away,” with a bit of nice context.

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.