11 More Blues Guitarists to Tickle Your Eardrums • Acoustic Tuesday 289

In this episode of Acoustic Tuesday, we’ll be exploring the life stories, unique styles, and techniques of 11 more incredible acoustic blues guitarists. By the end of this series, you’ll have a wealth of 33 blues artists to add to your listening list!

In this special episode, we’ll be diving into some rare, intimate concert footage from acoustic blues musicians throughout the past century. Many of these guitarists have been lost to history, with only a few archival records remaining. I’ll be sharing their captivating life stories, how they were discovered or rediscovered, and the invaluable contributions they made to the world of blues music.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of these 11 acoustic blues legends:

Kid Bailey
Sylvester Weaver
Bo Carter
Son House
Frank Stokes
Pink Anderson
Reverend Gary Davis
Blind Willie Johnson
Sam Chatmon
Josh White
Reverend Robert Wilkins

Don’t forget to check out parts 1 and 2 of this series if you haven’t already, and let me know what you think in the comments!

Submit your guitarsenal at the link below!

Duluth leadership guitar fundraiser:

Featured in this episode…
– Old Town School of Folk Music
– Fretboard Journal  
– The North American Guitar  
– Thompson Guitars
– Bourgeois Guitars 
– Alexandr Misko  
– National Guitars  
– Luca Stricagnoli  
– Carter Vintage Guitars
– Martin Guitar  

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  1. Tony,
    Very cool how you were able to work in a reference to Pink Floyd through Syd’s creation of the name from blues players Pinkie Anderson and Floyd Council. Many of us Floydians were well aware of the those roots and its great how you were able to bring it to light. I could hear some of Pinkie Anderson’s influence on Syd and the early Pink Floyd music. So many of the classic rock bands owe alot to the Blues artists…Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc. Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink!?! 🙂

  2. AMA- Hey Tony, I was wondering if you have any recommendations on books that guitar players should read? Whether they are technical, biographical, or historical etc. Thanks!

  3. I truly understand. You love Martin guitars. You are a purist, and that’s okay. You are definitely, with all your knowledge and geekiness, entitled to your opinion, and I enjoyed listening to it.

  4. Tony, great shows on blues players- their styles all are so expressive and make playing blues a daily need… I wondered if you ever heard of Ernie Hawkins? He is a blues artist, teaching Lightning’ Hopkins style , studied with Rev Gary Davis in the 1960’s and is giving my nephew Jake lessons is Pittsburgh . Well, I just wanted to mention him for he is a true talent .

  5. Great series on the blues singers who paved the way, One that I thought of that, if you haven’t heard of him, was George, “Little Hat” Jones. He was born in 1899, recorded in 1929 – 1930 and died in 1981. Always enjoy Acoustic Tuesdays.

  6. AMA- WHY !!!! Seems the only Guitar Co. you go after is Martin, there was the ONE time you mentioned Gibson and copy rites on lawsuits ! The show where you said there were 5 Guitar CO’s making better Martin Guitars than Martin, was the same as saying don’t buy a Martin when you can get a better copy. I DON’T agree, if comparing apples to apples, (those are basically custom shop guitars that need to be compared to the Martin Authentic Line only) exam, The BEST made, BEST sounding Mahogany body spruce top guitar today is the, D-18 1937 Authentic, by the folks at Martin. And by the way I was reading where The D-18 sold for around $65 in 1940 ; in today’s dollars that’s about $1400. It’s funny how it took Thompson an extra $3,600 to mimic a Martin. Another EXAM is on 1 show, the topic someone upset Martin quit making the 16 series, WHICH THEY DID NOT, the 16 series is great for people with shoulder or rotator problems or even age, cause the D-16 a dreadnought that has a 000 body depth 4.1 inches and the GP body also which makes them very comfortable to play and is hand made in Nazareth at an affordable price. / Martin has been an innovator for nearly 2 centuries and still raising the bar, take the NEW patented neck design on the SC-13, 13 is where the body meets the fretboard, the new design allows you to comfortably play the entire fretboard. Great guitar for gigging for electric guitar players. WHY ! we don’t talk or give Martin the credit they deserve. / I could go on and on about Martin, I guess we have to wait for those 5 Want to be Martins to copy Martin on their new innovations and then we will talk about them. Don’t get me wrong I owned some of those 5 want to be’s you named and my favorite was a Collings. Being a teenager in the 70’s & 80’s I’ve owned all the Fad guitars like Ovation, Takamine’s, Taylors even a brazilian rosewood Taylor. But why your attacks on Martin, like WHY you bring out that D-42 just to tell everyone you wouldn’t play it, WHY!! You never talked about the sound or the construction playability, just to tell us you wouldn’t play it ? You don’t act like this for any other company just Martin WHY!! And there was nothing wrong with that limited run D-42. / Now that I’m through gripping, I do THANK YOU for getting me to play again cause in 2005 we were hit by a Hurricane and it wiped out our town and we moved to a small city North of where we were and I sold all my PA equipment ect. Because of you I dusted off my guitars that I kept and added a few. I still have my Martins, a D-45/ Custom shop DC-41/ D-37k2 / HD-28 / D-18GE / Custom Shop 000-42 / OM-28 / 000-28 MD / GPC-16 /SC-13. PS: Where would we be without Martin ?

  7. AMA – Tony, you were a great inspiration for me in my early guitar days when you played the Jeff Fahey tune “The Last Steam Engine Train”. For the last few months I’ve been focusing on acoustic fingerstyle blues, and have tried reinterpreting your arrangement in a slower bluesy style… is this sacrilege? Or perhaps cool? Either way, its fun to play that way.

  8. I’d love to see one of these on bluegrass if you haven’t done one yet. If you have, a link would be great.

  9. AMA can do an episode and demonstrate proper thumb placement esp when playing barre chords
    there are so many different opinions

  10. AMA: Tony, have you played/have an opinion on Zager guitars? Arthritis is making my Larrivee L05 challenging. Would like your opinion on the “easy play “ claim.

  11. Holy crap that fretted vs non-fretted action…crazy talent and gift…man, too hard to decide as either way is wayyyy above my skills 😉

  12. With the “kitchy” martin guitars. Not really my cup of tea either. However, I don’t have a problem with it if its a minor part of their offering. If they want to give more options for people with different tastes to have a fun guitar that sounds great and looks interesting, that’s great! If they are straying from the central core of who Martin is as a company just to make more money from novelty pop trends, and in that sense “selling out”, that would cause some loss of respect for me. As long as they never stray from the focus of making the earthy, simple but elegant, great quality guitars they always have I can accept that they are making some “fun” versions for anyone who might really enjoy that. Just another way to get great quality guitars in more peoples hands. in my opinion though, if you want to add some character to high quality new guitar just get a distressed leather strap or something, then wear your own holes in the finish by playing a ton!

  13. AMA: Have you watched the music movie “The Last Waltz”, from the final concert of “The Band” plus numerous guest artists, in 1976? ( If not, you should! :D) One of the guest musicians is/was Joni Mitchell, performing two of HER songs, ONE of which is called “Furry Sings The Blues”. The lyrics reflect her experiences MEETING the old-time blues player Furry Lewis, and provides a lot of interesting musical history. Your recent episodes focusing on old-time blues reminded me of that song, which is also found on her album “Hejira” (1976), and the live album and DVD both titled “Shadows and Light” from 1980.

  14. Hi Tony,
    I agree about Martin. They should stick to D-18, D-28, etc. I don’t like the new Martin models.