Probably the greatest guitarists that many young people have never heard of are Alvin Lee and Johnny Winter. Lee's group Ten Years After has one hit that still gets a lot airplay, "I'd Love to Change the World." I don't think Johnny Winter gets much airplay at all.
This clip is good because, instead of using that annoying MTV style of constant fast cuts, the camera lovingly stays on Lee's guitar. You get a really good look at how a master Rock'n'Roll guitarist moves his fingers across the fretboard. Here is a second clip from the same concert.
Here is a video from 1969 of one of Ten Years After's most famous hits, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, which has always struck me as a sinister song. The '60s psychedelia is silly.
Here is a live performance of Slow Blues In C. It is unbelievable how fluid his playing is.
Who is the best guitarist to come out of the great state of Texas? Stevie Ray Vaughan? Billy Gibbons? I'll go with Johnny Winter. Here he plays Johnny B. Goode. Dude can pick.
Here is a rare recording of Johnny jamming with Jimi Hendrix on Things I Used to Do.
Finally, here is a killer version of Johnny playing Red House in 1991. There's a bass solo in the middle of this song, which reminds me of a joke.
An explorer was making his way in a canoe up the Congo with a native guide when drums began playing in the distance.
"What does this mean?" the explorer asked.
"Drums good," the guide assured him, "but when drums stop -- very bad."
For two weeks they paddled up the Congo with the drums playing. Then the drums stopped.
"What now?" the explorer asked.
"Very bad," the guide said. "Now bass solo."
Both Alvin Lee and Johnny Winter, like a lot of classic rock, are essentially Rockabilly with distortion. Both guitarists were big until the deluge, the New Wave/Punk/Heavy Metal change that hit music in the late '70s. After that I guess both guitarists sounded a little old fashioned. That was the end of the blues-rock era.
As fast as both men play, they never lose the emotion; they never sound like soulless guitar machines. That is because they both have their feet firmly planted in the blues.