Discovering a musician on the rise is always exciting. Not only is it great to add music to your playlist, but you also get to say things like, “I knew them when,” and, “But did you hear the original version?” Let’s take a look at ten guitar players, from bluegrass to death metal, who are quickly garnering the attention of fans all around the globe.
1. Marcus Machado
The winner of Rolling Stone’s Young Guns competition, Marcus Machado is a true blues legend-to-be. Influenced by Rock Gods like Hendrix and Zepplin, Machado began studying and playing music at a very young age. His seemingly innate ability to strum the blues and jazzy licks is totally inspiring and straight-up jaw-dropping.
2. Daniel Bachman
Hailing from Fredericksburg, Virginia, this fingerpicking 20-something channels old-time Americana music with his steel stringed guitar. The dude’s also known for plucking out some killer melodies on the sitar and banjo. Bachman just wrapped a tour throughout Europe and the states and is going strong with shows throughout the midwest and southern states through 2015.
3. Sarah Jarosz
Sure, this Texas native can play guitar, but where she really excels is mandolin. A singer/songwriter, Sarah’s rich progressive bluegrass/folk melodies are complemented by her hauntingly beautiful voice and lyrics. Jarosz has been nominated several times for Grammy awards, so It’s only a matter of time until this American roots songwriter takes home a Golden Gramophone.
4. Cian Nugent
This Dublin-based guitarist plays the type of music you should listen to on a weekend morning while sitting on your porch smoking your…ribs. The psychedelic, cosmic, pop stylings that come out of Nugent’s guitar are truly beautiful and simply put: other-worldly.
5. Chuck Johnson
Best known for his American primitive fingerstyle acoustic playing, this California resident calls his music, “folk minimalism.” Johnson’s music is truly an original sound and it can also be heard on film and television as he occasionally produces for networks such as PBS and HBO.
6. Kerry McCoy
Guitarist of the metal band, Deafhaven, Kerry McCoy explores ways of incorporating haunting, nightmarish melodies while keeping everything fast-paced, heavy and exciting. The predominantly minor chords that fill McCoy’s music give everything an anguished, albeit mind-blowingly beautiful, feel.
7. Celia Woodsmith
The ridiculously talented singer and lead-guitarist of Della Mae brings forth a commanding voice with her high-energy bluegrass music as accompanied by a fleet of extremely talented female musicians. Woodsmith’s face-paced plucking, along with rich vocal harmonies yields a truly one-of-a-kind and contemporary bluegrass music experience.
8. Steve Gunn
This Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter has been on the scene for a while now but just recently began solo projects. Formerly the guitarist in Kurt Vile’s band, the Violators, Gunn is now creating awesome acoustic music of his own, acting as the guitarist and lead singer. Gunn’s music is hypnotic, and his voice is a truly original sound that compliments his music perfectly.
9. Michael Kiwanuka
The gentle melodies that come from Kiwanuka’s music are totally chill and, at the same time, reflective, deep, and emotional. Kiwanuka’s voice is reminiscent of Jack Johnson with obvious Bob Dylan influence. This London-born musician captures love, heartbreak, and belonging in his lyrics, guitar accompaniment, and voice.
10. Marnie Stern
This New Yorker sure knows how to shred. Her technical skill and tapping style have gained her some major recognition. And while Marnie’s been on the music scene since the early 2000’s, her music is really starting to grab the attention of fans across the US and around the world. Fun fact: Stern is the fill-in for Fred Armisen in Late Night With Seth Meyer’s band: The 8G Band.
The great thing about discovering a musician is, the search never ends. There will always be a rising star just waiting to be discovered. And we’re sure you have your own list of guitarists on the verge, so let us know who you think is the next legend-to-be!
by John Lombard