Subject: guitar greatness

My name is Doug I live in Texas, and I enjoy reading your website.
I want to offer something to the Keith Richards debate.

I was catching up on reading Bartcop, and I read the comments about Keith.
I got up and went to watch TV and Hail Hail Rock N Roll was on.
That's the movie of the concert in St. Louis that Keith organized for Chuck Berry's birthday as I am sure you know.

Keith lays down some pretty serious guitar work in that movie.
If you watch it again, look at the rehearsal session parts of it. He is underrated.

ha ha
Dude, he must be underrated.
Put another way, he has to be better than *I* think he is :)

But, like many things I read on your website, the recent comments have got me thinking.
Top five recorded guitar players ever? What a tough question.
I have played around with electric and acoustic guitars since I was in high school in the late 70's.
Any guitar player thinks about who is the best.

The criteria is so tough, does a small body of work disqualify someone like Jimmy Hendrix, or Stevie Ray?
Do you lump classical and rock and country together?
So many questions, but here is my list in no particular order even though they are numbered:
1) Chet Atkins
2) Eric Clapton
3) Mark Knopfler
The honorable mention list starts after that with Page, Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Keith, and many others on it.
Anyway. I figured I would just throw that paint on the wall and see if it sticks.
Not that many people would recognize who Tommy Tedesco is after all.

Take care,
Doug in Benbrook Texas

Doug, I have the answer that everyone will agree with:
There is no "best," there are only "favorites."

Koresh's truth be known, and I'll deny saying this if they ask me, but both
guitar players in Del Castillo are "better" than Page, Clapton, Vai, Vaughn, Van Valen etc.

They are so incredibly smoking hot, I'd damn sure love to hear anyone who was even worthy to tune their guitars.
I think Page wrote better songs than Del Castillo has (so far) and Clapton and the rest certainly have immense
bodies of work to be proud of, but I think if the "best" guitar players in the world saw the Del Castillo brothers
play live right now, they would do what I did, which is jump out of their chairs and laugh and say,
"Jesus Christ, nobody can play that good."

A lot of it comes from coming after the others. With TV and the Internet, younger people have been able
to see and hear thousands of guitar players, an advantage Page, Clapton and the old guard never had.

Plus, when I saw a lot of Rick Del Castillo 20 years ago, he never stopped playing his guitar.
We'd all be partying like Guns & Roses but Rick would be back at the hotel, practicing his guitar.
He must've played 10-12 hours a day, and if you're good, 30 years of practicing 12 hours a day can pay off.

When they played Tulsa, every band from miles around would show up just to watch.
Hell,  country bands would show up because they heard about this Del Castillo guy,
and that was twenty years ago. He's gotten a lot better since then.

Add to that the telepathy thing of two brothers who've been playing together for 30 years.
They do twin leads that are faster and more complicated than any single player I've seen.


This debate can never be settled because everyone has their prejudices.

But we should do a Pokerfest or a Tequilafest near a Del Castillo concert so a bunch of us can watch them.
I think the best guitar player you know would be in for a shitload of shock and awe.

Here's a 30-second clip.


This is playing at lightning-fast speed, but it's not about the speed.
Check the tone of the guitar, check how he hits each note dead on.
Check how the playing isn't some mindless run up-and-down the neck,
there are melodic patterns and riffs and stuff non-guitar players can't identify,
but when you hear this stuff live, and see it with your own eyes, you'll say,
"I didn't know you could even do that with a guitar."

(Rude Rich, eat your heart out)

Lots of live music samples at the bottom of  This Page.

They have a new CD coming out April 11th.
I wish I could buy stock in this band :)

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