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Acoustic Blues Innovators - Ragtime, Delta, Country, Rural, Finger picking


Eric ClaptonThe Rolling Stones - Let it Bleed

Acoustic Blues Disciples

Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead Workingman's Dead

Acoustic Blues Innovators - Ragtime, Delta, Country, Rural, Finger picking

Acoustic Blues Disciples

Below is short list of some of our favorite albums that show a direct influence from the acoustic blues legends listed on our Innovators page. These players had just as much as an influence on the guitar players that followed them.  

Doc Watson | Buddy Guy | Eric Clapton|The Rolling Stones 
Jerry Garcia | The Grateful Dead | Jorma Kaukonen and Hot Tuna  

Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats
Acoustic Blues Disciples
Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats

Buddy Guy 


Buddy Guy has earned a reputation as one of the best electric blues guitarists. In addition, Guy has released some impressive acoustic efforts. Blues Singer finds him backed by stand up bass and brush drums, performing tracks from Skip James, Son House, etc. Alone and Acoustic he teams up with harmonica player Junior Wells.  Blues singer
Alone & Acoustic
Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats

Doc Watson 


Doc Watson is known as a Nashville player and is one of the most influential pickers to country and bluegrass musicians. He has obvious roots in acoustic blues. The two albums to the right are examples of Doc's interpretation of this style of music. 

Doc comes across with a cleaner tone and brighter vocals than the traditional blues artists. Truly a fine guitarist as the two discs to the right demonstrate. 

Trouble in Mind: Doc Watson Country Blues Collection Doc Watson on Stage (Featuring Merle Watson) [from '71]
Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats

Eric Clapton   

Eric Clapton's tribute album to Robert Johnson, Me and Mr. Johnson.


Clapton Early John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton  Layla
The influence of early blues players has been the foundation of Clapton's playing.  His early career highlights in this realm are: Bluesbreakers, straight blues here. They  perform  Johnson's "Rambling On My Mind," Eric Clapton's first vocals on record. His guitar work on Layla is breathtaking, there is a box set for the adventurous that we  highly recommend. 
Clapton in the '90's  Unplugged From the Cradle
In the 1990's Clapton released some exceptional blues gems. First was his acoustic album Unplugged, complete with two Robert Johnson covers.  His album and tour for From the Cradle is a celebration of his roots. It is all cover versions of his influences, and contains Clapton's best guitar work since Layla. 
Eric Clapton Box Sets Crossroads Crossroads II
Eric Clapton has two box sets, Crossroads, an exceptional career retrospective that covers Yardbirds, Mayall, his solo career, and a touch of Derek and the Dominos.

Crossroads II, is four discs of live recordings from the 1970's. If you like stretched out blues jamming, it doesn't get much better than this. For a smaller package, try  Live at the Fillmore: Derek and the Dominos. 

Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats

Rolling Stones 


The Rolling Stones early recordings display their influences before they finally blended it all to together to find their own identity. 

Let it Bleed (partially with Brian Jones and Mick Taylor) and Exile on Main Street are two of their best examples of their blues influences. Let it Bleed includes a Robert Johnson cover, "Love in Vain." Exile offer some great blues guitar by Richards and Taylor.

Let it Bleed Exile on Main Street
Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats
Jerry Garcia   Related Guitar Tab  Top 
Jerry Garcia has been in numerous acoustic bands. Of them, his short lived band from 1987 - '88 and the material he and David Grisman recorded in the early 1990's both demonstrate Garcia love and mastery of early blues and traditional American music.

The treasure from the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band is concert footage album, Almost Acoustic. This band played several weeks on Broadway in New York.

The Garcia Grisman material is incredible! Of their six albums, two could be categorized in this realm, Been All Around This World and Shady Grove. In addition, the debut release and The Pizza Tapes offer plenty of blues and folk gems intermingled with other material, jams, jazz, gospel, etc.

Almost Acoustic
Been All Around This World The Pizza Tapes Shady Grove
Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats

Grateful Dead


The Grateful Dead have lots of roots in early blues and traditional American music. Much of this influence was based upon Pigpen's (Ron McKernan) contributions and leadership who was in the Grateful Dead till 1972. 

Their very first album is heavily blues based as well as their precursor band Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions.  Their repertoire includes songs from Lightning Hopkins, Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, and Reverend Gary Davis to name a few. They performed acoustics sets in 1970 and 1980 that feature much of this type of music.  

We think the Grateful Dead's best accomplishment in this musical style is their early 70's original material such as their two 1970 albums Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty, To bring this style to its peak, several tracks from Europe '72 demonstrate a unique approach to traditional folklore music; songs like "Cumberland Blues," "Jack Straw," "Brown Eyed Woman," "Ramble On Rose," "Tennessee Jed," "He's Gone," and others. 

Europe '72
Bear's Choice - '70 Workingman's Dead - '70 Grateful Dead - '67
Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats

Jorma Kaukonen and Hot Tuna 


Hot Tuna is an off-shoot of the band Jefferson Airplane founded by guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Cassidy.

Their first album Live and Jorma's solo album Quay are excellent albums. Both demonstrate Reverend Gary Davis', Blind Boy Fuller, and related blues influences on him. He performs several traditional songs as well as originals.

His electric blues often has a unique psychedelic overlay to it.

Hot Tuna Live Quah
Acoustic Blues Disciples - Blues Guitar Greats


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