Incredible Guitarists You Haven’t Heard of Yet

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There’s a popular misconception that all great guitar players come from decades past. When you look at the music of people like Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Duane Allman, it’s tempting to come to the same conclusion.

 This is wrong! There are young and unheralded guitar players working today who are every bit as good as the people who inspired them, and some of them are even making a case that the guitar’s best years lie ahead. Here’s our list of 12 up-and-coming guitar players you don’t know about yet but should.

Image Credit: Summerissweet2021 / Wikipedia.

1. Yasmin Williams

Hailing from Virginia, Yasmin Williams is only 26 years old and has already mastered finger-style guitar playing like she’s been doing it since the Great Depression. She’s also a multi-instrumentalist, so if you get bored of her dazzling finger-picking, listen to her play the Kalimba instead.

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2. Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana is gender-fluid and uses they/them pronouns. A Melbourne  native, Sultana is described as a “one-person band,” and they’ve been playing music since childhood. While they’re mainly known for playing guitar, Sultana also plays bass, mandolin, and oud – just about any stringed instrument you’d care to name.

Image Credit: Ben McFadyen / Wikimedia Commons.

3. Plini

Born Plini Roessler-Holgate, Plini is an Australian guitarist who used to record under the name Halcyon. MusicRadar named Plini the best progressive rock guitar player of 2017, and virtuoso guitarist Steve Vai called him “the future of exceptional guitar playing.” He considers Joe Satriani one of his biggest influences, so if you like 64th notes, this is your guy.

Image Credit: Raulongo / Wikimedia Commons.

4. Molly Tuttle

Bluegrass music may be as old as the hills, but young practitioners keep playing it every day, including Molly Tuttle, who just hit 30. She plays in flatpicking, clawhammer, and cross-picking styles and has cited Alison Krauss and Hazel Dickens as influences.

Image Credit: Filberthockey (a.k.a. Forrest L. Smith, III / Wikipedia.

5. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is not even 25 years old, but his blues guitar playing sounds as old as the hills in the best way possible. He’s been performing since his teenage years, and his debut album, “Kingfish,” was released in 2019. He’s recorded with such all-time greats as Buddy Guy and Keb Mo and performed alongside the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Rick Derringer.

Image Credit: Rory Doyle / WIkimedia Commons.

6. Sierra Hull

Sierra Hull is a bluegrass mandolinist and guitar player. Now 32, she was signed to Rounder Records at age 13 and released the album “Secrets” when she was 16. Most of us were happy to get a C- in Spanish class at age 16, to say nothing of releasing bluegrass albums with a deep understanding of the genre.

Image Credit: Eric Frommer / Wikimedia Commons.

7. Tom Misch

Tom Misch plays music that blends jazz, hip-hop, and soul, and he’s been releasing music since 2012. In 2020, he released the album “What Kinda Music,” which included contributions from British jazz drummer Yussef Dayes. In 2023, he released the album “Happy Music,” billed as a collaboration between himself and his alter-ego, Supershy.

Image Credit: Justin Higuchi / Flickr.

8. Isaiah Sharkey

Isaiah Sharkey has been a sideman and session guitarist for years, playing guitar on the 2014 D’Angelo album “Black Messiah.” He’s performed with John Mayer, Patti LaBelle, and Paul Simon. In 2021, he told Guitar World that he was perfectly happy being a session musician and didn’t care about becoming famous. “I never chased being a celebrity guitarist, because I’m too busy liking what I do,” he said.

Image Credit: NYC Jazz Fan / Wikimedia Commons.

9. Ally Venable

Ally Venable of Kilgore, Texas, is 24 years old and has already distinguished herself as an outstanding guitar player. She won the ETX Music Female Guitar Player of the Year award in 2014 and 2015, and she had already released her 2013 debut EP, “Wise Man,” at 14. Maybe when she’s 30, she can turn her attention to other light pursuits, such as splitting the atom.

Image Credit: Justin Higuchi / Wikipedia.

10. Madison Cunningham

She may still be in her 20s, but Madison Cunningham has already been winning accolades from Rolling Stone, who said that her music recalls West Coast folk-rock. This overlooks the classical tendencies and jazz chord progressions that Cunningham uses and which are miles removed from Joni Mitchell or the Byrds. In 2023, her album, “Revealer,” won the Best Folk Album Grammy.

Image Credit: Justin Higuchi / Wikipedia.

11. Jared James Nichols

He may reside in Nashville, but Jared James Nichols is a Wisconsin native who plays blues rock, not the country music one would expect from a resident of Music City. He’s opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top, and if you’ve ever thrown the horns to Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen,” his music may just be for you.

Image Credit: Summerissweet2021 / Wikipedia.

12. Taz Niederauer

Taz Niederauer is 20 years old. Hailing from Dix Hills, New York, he was in the Broadway musical “School of Rock” and played with Gregg Allman, Lady Gaga, and Buddy Guy before turning 15. He also rocked you like a hurricane with the German hard rock band the Scorpions.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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