This is interesting. I do like a guitar played in an interesting manner. I did exclude all my favourite black acoustic Blues singers from this list. I’ve already dealt with them. So this is predominantly my contemporary folk artists.
Having said that I start with the wonderful Django Reinhardt. He’s a gypsy music player but was simply too good to leave out. How he played with that badly mutilated hand was unbelievable.
So I will go on with the wonderful Nick Harper whose playing, upside down chords and incredible range is not only technically amazing but a joy to listen to. So much skill and power.
Then we have Davy Graham who really set the whole wonder of contemporary guitar playing into the modern age. He brought back middle Eastern rhythms and styles into Folk and was an incredible performer.
The mid-sixties was lit up for me with two great guitarists in Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. I was lucky enough to get to see both of them up close. They were great apart and complemented each other brilliantly together.
Roy Harper, while not being technically as brilliant, took the instrumental into other directions. For a while, in his early career, it looked as if this instrumental aspect would be developed more. He was very innovative. But his forte was lyrics and it never happened.
From the States I was particularly taken with John Fahey and Stefan Grossman, both of whom I got to see a bit in the sixties.
More recently we have maestros like Leo Kottke with his amazing techniques.
Who are your favourites?