Your 12.30.20 Playpen

The last Playpen of a not so fun year, this seems like a timely topic, given the news of Tony Rice’s passing.

Man, I’ve seen a lot of great ones, but for my money, it’s this guy.

Electric or acoustic, Richard Thompson is just as brilliant.  I ought to know, given the number of times I’ve heard him perform.

Who’s your best?

184 Comments

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184 responses to “Your 12.30.20 Playpen

  1. Salty Dawg

    I appreciate many, but at this particular moment, Russell Malone comes to mind. Never disappoints.

    Like

  2. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    Eric Clapton

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Derek

    Angus Young

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grafton

    Adam Jones

    Liked by 1 person

  5. timphd

    Duane. Always and forever will be the best I ever saw live. I listen to Live at Fillmore East at least weekly, sometimes more, just to hear him (and Dickie, who is grossly underrated) rip.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. J.R. Clark

    Dave Davies. The solos on You Really Got Me and All Day and All of the Night are unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Idlewild Dawg

    Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    Chet Atkins?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Got Cowdog

      I never saw Chet live, but I saw his grandson play. The kid was playing lead for BR-549 opening for ZZ Top at Chastain. My wife and I were right in front of the stage and he was really impressive. Billy Gibbons was pretty good too.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jimmy Page. John Bonham best drummer.

    Like

  10. Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

    That I’ve seen live? Keith Richards. Richie Sambora is pretty good, too, but it has to be Keith.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Alex Westberry

    For me its gotta be Derek Trucks followed closely by Robert Randolph on the pedal steel guitar. I’m a huge Jeff Healey fan but sadly never got to see him perform live.

    Like

    • silvercreekdawg

      Saw Derek Trucks in Athens back in the early 90s while a UGA student. Derek couldn’t have been more than 12 or 13 then.

      He was stupidly good back then.

      Like

  12. Bulldawg Bill

    Nils Lofgren, the most fluid and harmonic electric player alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. David Adams

    Jerry Cantrell was pretty amazing at the Roxy a few years ago

    Like

  14. Only one I saw live in person was Derek Trucks. I do love watching SRV Live at El Macambo on some late nights from time to time.

    Like

  15. mddawg

    It’s a shame I haven’t been to more live shows….

    Like

  16. warmspringsdawg

    Mahavishnu John McLaughlin.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Previously Paul

    My wife and I enjoy live music. Among others we’ve seen Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Duane Allman, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Howe, Alvin Lee, Randy Rhodes, Richie Blackmore, Peter Frampton, Prince, and Mark Knopfler. They were all incredible. Santana is certainly the most joyful of the group and perhaps the most fun to watch. Allman was the most soulful. Clapton has the most stage presence. But for sheer technical proficiency Knopler is hard to beat.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. drunkenmonken

    Glenn Campbell.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Texas Dawg

    Joe Walsh and Don Felder are hard to separate the toe. My first concert ever was the Eagles 1976 Hotel California tour in Savannah and the two of them on dueling guitars at the end of Hotel California is a masterpiece. I also got to see Derek Trucks when he as just a kid playing a set (with I think it was the Artimus Pyle band) at a little hole in the wall in Jacksonville. He could not have been more than 14-15 at the time. They brought him up as a guest and he took over the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. gastr1

    I’ve got Tom Verlaine. Seen at the 40 Watt, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Illini84

    I’ve seen Duane, Jerry, Jeff Beck and many others but the best I ever saw was in 68 between tours in asia. We went to the “Kinetic Underground” in Chicago to see Beck with the band on Truth so it was Rod Stewart, Nikki Hopkins and Ron Wood. The opening band was “Pacific Gas and Electric” and the lead player was a guy named Glen Schwartz. He was the original James Gang lead player and was replaced by Joe Walsh when he left the gang. This dude blew Jeff Beck out of the water. It was one of those shows that just left you breathless. PG&E had one hit in “Are You Ready” and Glen became born again and formed The All Saved Freaks Band. In his later years he played a little bar in Cleveland and he died last year.

    https://www.loudersound.com/features/glenn-schwartz-the-fall-and-salvation-of-the-white-hendrix

    Liked by 2 people

    • Texas Dawg

      Thanks for the intro. I was not familiar with Glen Schwartz. I looked him up and found a clip of PG&E “Are You Ready”. You are correct. He can flat out bring it. The ‘fro he sported back in the day was pretty impressive as well. These are my favorite “Play Pens”. When it’s subjects like this, I learn a lot of fun stuff. When it’s political, it only succeeds in raising my blood pressure.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Illini84

        This is from the article I posted. “A friend drove Glenn out West, dropping him on a corner with just a suitcase and a guitar. At one of his first pick-up gigs in California, Duane Allman saw him and asked him to join the Allman Brothers. Glenn turned him down. Instead, he opted to throw in his lot with Pacific Gas & Electric, an eclectic multi-racial blues/soul/jazz/rock band, after meeting their singer Charlie Allen.”

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Steve Vai. Finally got to see him at the Tabernacle a couple of years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Opelikadawg

    B B King, Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

    Like

  24. Fortunate to be within 20 feet or closer to watch the following…

    Old school: BB King and Buddy Guy
    New School: Kenny Wayne Shepard
    You Never Heard of: Eric Tessmer
    Seen Before becoming Legendary: Joe Bonamossa

    All Time Greatest: Stevie Ray Vaughn. New Years Eve show at the Fox.

    Shout out to Eddie Van Halen who I did not see live.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. waltergeiger

    mick taylor, jj cale

    Like

  26. NotMyCrossToBear

    Clapton, Prince, Waylon

    Like

  27. Sweet D

    His name is Billy Strings for a reason.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. skydawg83

    In no particular order….but Derek is probably #1, so unique

    Derek Trucks, John Mayer (best Jerry since Jerry who i never saw live), Buddy Guy, Trey Anastatio, Warren Haynes

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Bay Area Dawg

    Slash, Derek Trucks & Tim Reynolds

    Like

  30. Russ

    Hard to pick a “best”. Al Di Meola is certainly one of the most talented and flashiest I’ve seen. Saw him a couple of times, but the best was when the classic lineup of Return to Forever reformed with Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Lenny White and Al. He was incredible.

    Others include Clapton, Santana, Buddy Guy, Steve Morse (old DD show opening for Santana – two great guitarists that night in the Fox), Derek Trucks, Trower, Dick Dale (too loud but still impressive), and many more I’m forgetting.

    I know in the early 80’s I used to enjoy Tinsley Ellis around Atlanta and Athens. Not sure how he ranks but he sure put on a good show. And I have to give a shout out to my good buddy David Blackmon, who can play anything with strings.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. wfdawg

    Derek Trucks

    Like

  32. Illini84

    Davis Causey is no slouch! https://youtu.be/20btdgktqf4

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Neal Moore

    Vinnie Vincent. \m/

    Like

  34. DC Weez

    Pat Metheny

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Terry McCullers

    Yesterday Allen Collins Lynyrd Skynyrd Today Jake Cinnager. Umphreys McGee

    Like

  36. Robert Dodson

    Roy Rogers

    Like

  37. Wade Krueger

    Neil Young.

    Like

  38. sniffer

    Joe Bonamassa
    Frank Morino
    David Gilmour

    Like

  39. Illini84

    I really didn’t know how great of a guitar player Prince was until after he died.

    Liked by 4 people

  40. David K

    Jeff Beck

    Like

  41. I’ll have to cop out w/ a list: Jimmy Page, Steve Howe, Steve Morse, David Rawlings, Clapton, EVH, Don Felder, Robert Fripp.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. atlasshrugged55

    SRV

    Like

  43. Illini84

    And then Neal on Knock Knock Knockin from the Dylan 30th Anniversary Show (lousy video).

    Like

  44. Jon Godfrey

    Trey Anastasio in his prime (he, unfortunately, no longer has it)

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Dawglicious

    Doc Watson

    Liked by 5 people

  46. Illini84

    What could have been:

    “Before nearly losing a finger during an on-tour gunfight, the future Doctor had been a prevalent guitarist on the New Orleans session scene”

    His inimitable skills as a piano player are just as recognisable as his gravel-rich voice and necromantic 70s stage garb, but the six-string guitar was Mac’s initial career instrument of choice.

    Before nearly losing a finger during an on-tour gunfight, the future Doctor had been a prevalent guitarist on the New Orleans session scene and the US’s vibrant 1950s Chitlin’ gig circuit.

    This accident ultimately forced Mac to concentrate more on his keys playing and he went on to become a significant member of LA’s Wrecking Crew session scene during the 1960s, before his solo career kicked off in such exuberant style towards the end of that decade.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Derek

    Glad no one mentioned Ted Nugent.

    He’s a MAGAt.

    Like

  48. S.A.W.B.

    Ted Nugent, even if he is a damn yankee

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Got Cowdog

    The best I ever saw live was Leo Kottke.
    My wife and I love live music but hate crowds, and my hearing is so messed up that in an arena with the echo and background noise it’s just LOUD.
    We really enjoy seeing pickers and small bands in bars. Some are not so good, some are amazing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Russ

      You know, I’d forgotten him. I saw him in Atlanta in a small theater years ago. I was blown away because I didn’t expect him to be that good.

      Like

    • Jon Godfrey

      Caught Leo and Mike Gordon back in 2001(I think) at the Variety playhouse. Amazing set of acoustic wizardry.

      Like

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Circa 1972 we saw him live at The Great Southeast Music Hall, and I was blown away. From the “My Feet are Smiling” album there is a medley (Crow River Waltz….Jack Fig) and on a recording you think he has a band with other guitars, but no, live all by himself is stunning sounds like at least two guitars, maybe three. Guy also lived in Athens for a short time. And “Louise” may be the best song ever written, even if he can’t carry a tune in a bucket. 🙂
      I don’t disagree with anyone’s assessment – I have seen Duane, Eric and some of the others, but I think it is like comparing apples with oranges. Also, there really great studio guitarists no one knows the names of. Saw Lucinda Williams at the Georgia Theater a few years ago (pre-fire) and the guitarist she brought with was really good. Don’t know his name; probably never will.

      Like

  50. Derek

    If you ever get a chance to see Derwin “Big D” Perkins in New Orleans, do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. CB

    John Mayer is the only person I’ve ever seen live who would even register. One of the last of a dying breed.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Don in Mar-a-Lago

    Sonny Landreth

    Liked by 2 people

  53. uga97

    for his age Jonny Lang – Chastain Amph. Check him out if u havent.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Joe Grammer

    BB King (blues). Christopher Parkening (classical). Doyle Dykes (fingerstyle).

    Like

  55. mwodieseldawg

    Lindsey Buckingham can pick a little, also Waddy Wachtel.

    Liked by 4 people

  56. Nil Butron is a Pud

    Back in the day, the girlfriends wanted to go see Huey Lewis & the News. The guys went to keep the girls happy, but mainly we wanted see the opener: Robert Cray.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. RangerRuss

    “Nobody who played a guitar ever turned out to be worth a shit for anything.”
    – That asshole I called dad.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Illini84

      So I’d pick my gittar with a great big grin
      And the money just kept on pourin’ in
      But then one day my Uncle Sam
      He said (sound of 3 footsteps) “Here I am”
      “Uncle Sam needs you, boy
      I’m-a gonna cut your hair
      ah-Take this rifle, kid
      Gimme that gittar

      Liked by 2 people

    • Got Cowdog

      That’s what Got Sr. always said, or some version of it. My musically inclined cousins would sit on the porch (Grandparents house was across the road from our farm) and play for hours. Being tone deaf with plumber hands I usually ended up covered in sweat and cow shit.

      Liked by 2 people

      • RangerRuss

        Hehehehe yep. Dad’s side of the family are contractors and engineer types. Collect old shotguns and new rifles. Mom’s side is more musical. A lot of teachers and fuckn lawyers with old Martins and Gibsons they break out at gatherings. Haven’t seen any of ’em in about a year.
        Going out for supper with friends for the second time since last January. Wear my mask and wash and sanitize my hands like a healthy lil prog should.
        Dammitman.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Got Cowdog

          Exactly. I should have fleshed that out a little. While they sat on the porch and picked Got Sr. and I worked cows and a big ass garden. And cut firewood. Fucking piles and piles of firewood.
          Be careful around other people. I’m getting over COVID now. It is like a bad cold, nothing serious for me other than a stuffy head. I never ran a fever, but the worst thing is when they say you lose your sense of smell and taste, they aren’t kidding! Can’t taste or smell anything and that’s a cruel trick this time of year. It lasts about a week.

          Like

          • Munsoning

            Keep getting well, GC.

            Like

            • Got Cowdog

              Thanks Man. It really wasn’t all that bad other than the taste/smell thing. Don’t misunderstand me…I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.
              Unfortunately I had to quarantine from work, so I took my stuffy, COVID ridden ass outside. 😉

              Like

              • Munsoning

                Quarantined in your COVID cabin, did you? Wasn’t bad for me, either–just a three-week cough. My wife nearly had to be hospitalized, though. Damn virus.

                Like

                • Got Cowdog

                  Tractor shed. 🙂
                  Fortunately I’m the only one out of my family that had any issues. Hope your wife feels better.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • RangerRuss

                  Damn, fellas. Hope your wife is better Munsoning. Y’all dodged a bullet and make it seem like no big deal. I hope you get your senses back soon. I can’t imagine not tasting bacon.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Munsoning

                  I didn’t lose my sense of taste or smell, thank God. Just sucked off-brand Ludens for three weeks–and wished I couldn’t taste ’em. I blame my employer. The day before we went WFH they gathered us all together–I’m talking a hundred or so people–in a room so that our three bosses (now my former bosses) could bloviate for a couple of hours. I’m sure I got the virus from an asymptomatic colleague in that room.

                  Like

  58. tiredofidsearch

    Carlos Santana

    Liked by 1 person

  59. David D

    Brian Setzer. That dude can play.

    Liked by 4 people

  60. I have seen and appreciated most the obvious (Clapton, Page, SRV, Beck, Gilmour, Keef, Hackett, Buckingham, Knoffler, EVH, Fripp, R Thompson, Trey, Trucks, and so on). I always love seeing Alex Lifeson, Steve Howe, The Edge, and Adrian Belew.

    Dexter Romweber blew me away every time I saw Flat Duo Jets

    Liked by 1 person

  61. TripleB

    I’m no expert, but I saw three that made big impression. Warner Hodges with Jason and the Scorchers and Mike Campbell with the Heartbreakers were really good to me. I also used to see Peter Buck with REM sit in with the Normaltown Flyers at Allen’s in the late 80’s. I don’t know if he was that good or if I just had never seen a player that up close and personal.

    Liked by 6 people

  62. Marty Stuart playing Clarence White’s Tele is a sight to hear.

    Liked by 2 people

  63. Illini84

    Jorma is awesome.

    Like

  64. joedashdawg

    Tim Reynolds can shred

    Liked by 1 person

    • Odontodawg

      I had the good fortune of seeing Chuck Berry live and he didn’t disappoint. Tim Reynolds is the best I’ve ever seen live. In this video, after Tim absolutely shreds it, Dave has this chuckle and look on his face that just says “Dayyyum.”

      Like

  65. Eric Clapton or Derek Trucks.

    Like

  66. drunkenmonken

    Unknown Hinson

    Liked by 1 person

  67. roterhals

    Saw SRV at the UGA student center in 84. Tinsley Ellis and the Heartfixers opened. That didn’t suck.

    Liked by 3 people

  68. In no particular order: Brad Paisley, Warren Haynes, Dickie Betts, Tom Morello, Eric Johnson, Zakk Wylde, Doyle Dykes, Joe Satriani, Joe Perry, Dimebag Darrell, John Frusciante and Kirk Hammett.

    Like

  69. Scotty King

    i”ve been blessed to have seen most of the greats (except SRV and JImi). Just wanted to name one with a little local flavor, Tinsley Ellis. .

    Liked by 1 person

  70. hassan

    So many… Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Roy Clark, Sonny Landreth, Billy Gibbons, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Tab Benoit, BB King, Paul Barrere, SRV, Jimmy Vaughn, Richard Thompson, Dick Dale, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Alex Lifeson, Leslie West, Derek Trucks, Jennifer Batten, Jake E. Lee, John Frusciante, Pete Townsend, Dickie Betts, Jimmy Herring, The Edge, Red Volkaert, and more…

    All were the best at what they do.

    Like

  71. Steve Cropper. Never fancy. Never over the top. Always perfect. I can listen to every Stax/Volt single he played on a million times and those lines never get old.

    Liked by 2 people

  72. Texas Dawg

    After my initial response, I started to think about all the greats I had seen. Walsh, Felder, Trucks were the first to pop in my head. I’m getting old so it takes a while to run through the memory bank, but I have been fortunate to see a plethora of what I consider greats. Warren Haynes, Gary Rossington, Neal Schon, Carlos Santa, Gary Richrath, Billy Gibbons, Mike Campbell, Howard Leese, Ted Nugent, Kerry Livgren, Steve Morse, Sammy Hagar, Eddie Van Halen. I’m sure my aging brain (and a little alcohol back in the day) has made me forget a few, but what a great time in music history.

    Like

  73. cowetadawg

    1a Norman Blake

    1b Uwe Krüger – Krüger Brothers

    Losing Tony Rice just caps a shitty year.

    Like

  74. logangrayfaircatch

    Never seen him live but Mark Knopfler is the best to me. Such smooth, lyrical playing. Great writer. Listen to Tunnel of Love, Sultans, Going Home so much my wife thinks I have mental issues. Possibly so.

    As for those I’ve seen live:
    Brad Paisley – not much variety but so fast.
    Doyle Dykes – able to create unbelievable sounds from a guitar.
    Rich Brotherton – such great timing. Never too much, never too little when he takes his breaks.
    Jack Pearson – had no clue who he was. Not to insult but I thought he was an older bus boy or something. Played a songwriters night in Nashville and absolutely shredded it. Looked him up afterwards and learned he played with ABB. One of those serendipitous nights. Unbelievable

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Got Cowdog

    The musical input on this blog is one of it’s best features. Now that I have my tastebuds back, I’m enjoying a good red wine and following the prompts, great, great musicians here.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. Munsoning

    Never saw him live but always liked Jim Hall. Acoustic jazz guitarist who recorded a couple of great, intimate albums with Bill Evans.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. bigjohnson1992

    Jimmy Page

    Like

  78. Raleighwood Dawg

    Doc Watson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, and Derek Trucks. All seen live in the state of North Carolina. One guitarist that I’ve yet to see and that’s on my bucket list is Pete Townsend. IMO, he’s so underrated. This live version of Eminence Front is some of him at his best.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. poetdawg

    I saw Felder and Walsh on the Hotel California tour at the Forum in Inglewood. In the same league was Johnny Vernazza when he was with Elvin Bishop, saw him in Orange CA. Also under rated was Carl Verheyen, great LA session player who used to be with Supertramp Saw him at a small venue in Bakersfield.

    Like

  80. Bulldawg Bill

    Almost forgot, Paul Kossoff of Free(“All Right Now”, “Mr. Big”) The Guitar Player’s Player. Nobody could torture a guitar like he did. NObody gets vibrato and sustain like he did. Gone way too soon.

    Like