1. Robert Johnson – Not much is know about him, but that adds to the legacy. Johnson had a unique way of playing that no-one has been able to replicate since. Legend has it that he sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads in Mississippi. Why? To become the greatest guitarist. He went from being an average guitar player one month to the best a few months later, able to play back exactly what he heard on the radio, note for note, after just one listen.
2. Big Bill Broonzy – His songs ‘Hey, Hey’ and ‘Key To The Highway’ have been covered by Eric Clapton, Derek and the Dominos (among others) but none have as much feeling as the originals. Broonzy had his own unique way of playing which has influenced many guitarists since, and the oldness of the recordings make them even better. A superb player.
3. Blind Willie McTell – The album ‘Atlanta Twelve String’ is absolutely divine. Songs like ‘Motherless Children Have A Hard Time’ really shows how much of an influence McTell has had on musicians such as Jack White. His guitar playing and singer combined are haunting, but brilliant.
4. Son House – What can I say? Just watch the video of him playing ‘Death Letter’ on a beat up resonator, sitting on an old wooden chair. What a song, what a performance.
5. Bob Dylan – He doesn’t play much acoustic nowadays, instead placing himself behind a piano or electric guitar, but Bob Dylan has written some of the best songs of all time on acoustic. His 1974 album ‘Blood On The Tracks’ is hugely underrated, containing fantastic acoustic playing on tracks like ‘Simple Twist Of Fate’, ‘Meet Me In The Morning’, ‘Shelter From The Storm’ and ‘Buckets Of Rain’. Cracking.