Although guitar music has had enough genius axeman in its history to keep even the most devoted music fans occupied and entertained for the rest of their lives, it doesn’t mean that the new talents shouldn’t be nurtured and well respected. Some of the greatest axeman in the history of music were all once nothing but mere young enthusiasts yearning for guitar knowledge and struggling to make it through the day.
So let’s focus on some of today’s up and coming guitar heroes. You might have heard of some of them, the others may be a massive unknown to you, but keep an eye open for these axeman, as it just might turn out that we have a future Eric Clapton among these very ranks. Buckle up and check out our top five picks below.
Young bluesman Davy Knowles is definitely one of the finest young guitar artists out there with a unique guitar tone and a genuine blues rock attitude. Born in 1987 in Port St Mary, Isle of Man, Knowles kicked his musical career off at the age of 21 by forming a group called Back Door Slam. The band’s debut release landed on No. 7 of the Blues Billboard Chart, making them prominently stand out in the blues domain.
His main influences include iconic Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, as well as Irish guitar legend Rory Gallagher, along with a pinch traditional Celtic music. His band underwent the name change and is now known as Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam. Such a decision placed him at the distinctive helm of the band, giving everyone a clear idea of just who the most prominent figure is.
Guitar extraordinaire from the Balkans, Damjan Pejcinoski, easily earned his spot on our list as one of the most talented young axeman from not only Europe, but the whole world. Born in 1984 in Ohrid, Macedonia, Pejcinoski molded his style upon the work of his rock idols such as Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and AC/DC. As a graduate from Bulgaria’s Music Academy in Sofia, Pejcinoski reached the finals of 2009 edition of the prestigious Guitar Idol competition in London among some of the world’s finest upcoming young guitarists.
The guitar virtuoso veterans unanimously praised Damjan and his style, with even the ultimate guitar shredder, ultra-fast Michael Angelo Batio, calling him “quite possibly the best new guitar talent” he had ever seen or heard. “He has absolutely amazing technique and plays with confidence and maturity,” Batio said. “He is definitely one of the new, young emerging guitar stars.” With numerous awards and recognitions under his belt, Pejcinoski seems to have a rather bright guitar future ahead of him in the years to come.
A young lady named Orianthi Panagaris, or just Orianthi as she is most often known, proves that the guitar hero domain isn’t an exclusive boys club. This 28-year-old smoking blonde played with such music greats as the horror rock master Alice Cooper or the king of pop himself, the one and only Michael Jackson. But the Australian axelady also has a few of her own signature tricks up her sleeves, as her single “According to You” managed to score significant sales and debut at No. 17 on the US Billboard chart and at No. 3 on the Japanese album chart.
Often ranked among the best female guitarists of all time, Orianthi also managed to bag the “Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year” award by Guitar International magazine at the 2010 award ceremony. She had released a total of three studio records so far, with the latest one dropping back in March 2013 under the “Heaven in This Hell” title via Robo Records label. Both fans and the critics agree that young Ms. Panagaris had managed to find that perfect balance between great look and equally stunning guitar skills.
We’re still in Australia, and this time around we have a true guitar percussion superstar at our hand. Young Sam Westphalen has recently earned himself not only the great deal of attention through his guitar percussion YouTube clips, but nothing short of epic praises and props from the guitar community. Just check out some of his metal acoustic covers and you’ll be giving the guy kudos in no time.
Although a solid portion of his work is based on guitar percussion covers, Westphalen managed to actually demonstrate a completely unique playing style. Some of his most prominent covers include Pantera’s “Mouth for War,” “Lateralus” by US alt metallers Tool and a Slayer classic tune “Seasons in the Abyss.” Westphalen is also prone to hitting the streets and just busking away, so in case you find yourself in his area, make sure to check him out, it will definitely be worth your time.
Gary Clark Jr.
Gary Clark Jr. is definitely the most versatile artist on our list as he is involved with not only the music world, but the acting domain as well. Born in 1984, he had mastered a wide array of styles and techniques, including blues, hard rock, soul, R&B and hip hop, and even got branded as the future of Texas blues at a certain point of his career. His musical style combines the fuzzy, overdriven to the max kind of guitar tone and smooth, soft vocal lines and harmonies.
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Clark first got involved with the music world at the age of 12. In 2011 he was honored with the “Best Young Gun” award by the highly prestigious Rolling Stone magazine. His career and hard work also earned him the spot on the Eric Clapton’s Crossroad festival where he shared the stage with such blues titans as B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck. He also made several collaborations with prominent guitar greats like Jimmy Vaughan and Dave Matthews Band.