I have to say, being a programmer at a community radio station didn't appear on my radar until about a year and a half ago. Even then I wasn't totally convinced it was something that I wanted to seriously pursue. Yeah, sitting in with the other hosts from time to time was pretty cool. After all, you would be hard pressed to find another human being anywhere that loves the Blues more than I do. Over the years, I have driven people crazy "sharing" my love of this genre of music that is oh so American. I am an admitted geek when it comes to this music. I read anything I can get my hands on, listen closely and carefully for hours and hours on end, absorbing into my soul each and every note. There are more than a few artists I find are so powerful they easily bring tears to my eyes as I listen to them weave their magic. Surprisingly, that isn't just guitar players.
However, let me cover them first. There are a few that really stand out to me; Duanne Allman is one of the most powerful, AND soulful artists that have ever picked up the instrument. It seems as though he knows just exactly how to touch my soul. Whether it be with a blistering run the length of the neck, the slide he could make speak, or that growl that shook the very building he was in. He was truly an artist. Michael Bloomfield, has to be heard to be believed. IMHO the first American guitar hero, he was a not only a student of the Blues, but a true master. One of the founding members of the Butterfield Blues Band, Michael's playing is also a true thing of beauty. He is one of the players that guitar players are still being listened to with awe and reverence. His playing both powerful and sweet, single string or blazing soulful runs, acoustic or electric, and also dropping a slide in at will, a thing of beauty. Eric Clapton has strayed at times away from the Holy music I hold so dear, but at heart, he is now, and always has been a Bluesman to his core. He too is a student, and when he crosses his legs, throws his head back and through barely open eyes shares his heartache and pain with those six strings, well, he too is a true artist. Of those I will mention here, he is the only one I have met and spent time with. A friend has played drums for him off and on for over twenty years and gave me the chance to meet him. He is truly one of the most gracious and pleasant people I have ever met. Now, last here but certainly not least, is my personal favorite Stevie Ray Vaughan. Again, IMHO the most powerful and soulful player ever. I don't even know where to start with SRV. The speed, tone, and obvious soul set him apart from most.