When talking about guitar playing, it seems that most of the guitar gods either came about in the mid to late 1960’s (Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, and Page) or the late 1970’s-early 1980’s (Van Halen, Vai, Rhoads, Satriani). But what about now?
It seems that with Grunge, the ‘guitar hero’ became uncool. And with Nü-Metal, the emphasis seems to be more on tone or sound (usually tuned down into bass territory) than technique and songcraft. But what about music not on ‘Clear Channel’ type radio or MTV?
I’m pretty sure Pearl Jam was considered grunge, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden too. How about giving some credit to Mike McCready, Jerry Cantrell and Kim Thayil? McCready’s a guitar god, if you don’t believe me, check out a Pearl Jam concert, or one of their hundreds of live albums.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan can shred your pants off, given the opportunity, the same for Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and Ross Childress of Collective Soul.
As for indie rock, I’d the guitar solo is generally an afterthought. However, J. Robbins of Jawbox/Burning Airlines is simply put, a master of the axe, not in the Van Halen way, but the guitar work in his songs is genuinely amazing.
Although the first Dream Theater album came out in 1989, John Petrucci never really came to prominence until 1992’s Images and Words. That’s about it for the '90s, at least for the stuff I listen to. Gotta say though, I can’t understand the people who think Tom Morello is awesome.
I’d say Audley Freed formerly of Cry of Love and The Black Crowes is a candidate.
Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers and Govt. Mule is another choice guitarist.
Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers and the Derek Trucks band is getting noticed finally.
How about Junior Brown? He might have been around a bit longer than 10 years but he friggin’ rules!!! A friend of mine called him “Hank Williams on mushrooms”. I couldn’t agree more.
I like Pearl Jam, in fact I’ve liked them for 12 years or so
Therion and Rhapsody both feature some pretty sweet guitar solos.
Today? … A new guitarist… good one… Bueller? Can’t think of ANY!
How about Jonny Lang, or Kenny Wayne Shepard? I haven’t listened to them that much, but aren’t they considered to be pretty good?
Good call. Where You Been has truly stunning playing on it.
As for the OP, I nominate Corby Yates. He’s still pretty young, and he doesn’t have the seasoning yet to lend much subtlety to his playing. But on stage he’s a goddamn monster. I really look forward to his career over the next few years.
Chris Cheney from the Living End is amazing, and he’s late-90’s to present.
If you REALLY want to hear what Petrucci is capable of, check out his work with Explorers Club and Liquid Tension Experiment.
Absolutely burning stuff.
the lead guitar player of Blacksheep, Marshall Harrison, has got to be one of them. He’s the fastest shredder I’ve ever seen.
John Mayer is a very impressive guitarist, although his “rock” status is in question I suppose.
Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme is another candidate, although Extreme was more late-80s and early 90s so its not exactly what the OP asked.
My favorite guitarist of all time is Richard Thompson. He isn’t new, but he is still around.
Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme does some pretty interesting work. Definitely not a “shredder”, but then none of my favourites (J Page, B May, B Corgan) are.
Put Ed O’Brien and Jonny Greenwood together and you get some pretty amazing guitar work. Especially when they were interested in that sort of thing.
Johnny Marr & John Squire