The Playlist Special: Top Artists Pick Their Personal Top 10

Billy Gibbons: Blues Guitar

"Some people dismiss blues solos as simple – but the complexity that lies between the lines is baffling," says Gibbons. "I've listened to these songs since I was 13. I keep going back and back."







Listen: Billy Gibbons' Top Blues Guitar Songs

  • 1.
    "Hide Away" | Freddie King, 1961

    The defiant waterfall riff goes from the neck to the end of the fingerboard. Time to practice if ya wanna get this one right.

  • 2.
    "The Freeze" | Albert Collins, 1958

    A smoking instrumental, simple and engaging.

  • 3.
    "Stormy Monday Blues" | Bobby Bland, 1962

    A showcase for Wayne Bennett. His solo oozes like thick goo.

  • 4.
    "Shotgun Rider" | Freddie Roulette, 1968

    Playing behind "Bo Dudley," an interpreter of Bo Diddley, he rips a staccato steel-guitar solo.

  • 5.
    "Sunnyland" | Elmore James, 1954

    He relies on his tried-and-true "Dust My Broom" riff, but this is the way to experience him.

  • 6.
    "I Wouldn't Lay My Guitar Down" | Mike Henderson, 1996

    A slippery, string-slingin' slidebar thrashin'.

  • 7.
    "Still a Fool" | Muddy Waters and Little Walter, 1951

    Muddy and Little Walter duet for a mesmerizing give-and-take.

  • 8.
    "How Blue Can You Get?" | B.B. King, 1964

    B.B.'s tone is righteous. He shows you how an electric guitar can set you free.

  • 9.
    "Astral Projection Blues" | Jimmie Vaughan, 1998

    He takes the blues past 12-bar progression and into the ether.

  • 10.
    "Boogie In The Dark" | Jimmy Reed, 1954

    A slide solo sometimes credited to Reed on slide or steel guitar, or Eddie Taylor on both. As the saying goes, "I digs it!"