3. Bill Frisell
The greatest jazz guitarist since Django Reinhardt, Frisell emotes on his six-string like a world-class sax player. Frisell excels at every style of guitar and has brilliantly interpreted songs by artists ranging from Hank Williams Sr. to Bob Dylan to Madonna.
Here's his version of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."
And his rendition of Dylan's "Just Like a Woman" at the famed Continental Club in Austin, Tex., same venue where guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughan first gained fame.
...And Madonna's "Live to Tell."
4. Buddy Guy
Sure, B.B. King is infinitely more famousm but no one does a better job of keeping old school, Deep South-to-Chicago blues alive than Guy, who remains amazingly vibrant in his 70s. The man simply isn't aging. A deal with the devil? Who knows?
Here's a live, wonderfully randy rendition of the Muddy Waters classic "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" from earlier this year.
5. Jimmy Page
When Led Zeppelin reunited in December of 2007 the band delivered a fierce, focused performance that teemed with an unexpected urgency. (Yes, I procured a pretty good bootleg.) Page also sounds -- and looks -- damn cool in the killer doc It Might Get Loud.
Here's Page playing sizzling slide on his astounding reworking of the blues chestnut "In My Time of Dying," from the '07 reunion gig at the 02 Arena in London.
6. Jeff Beck
Another former Yardbird, Beck hasn't lost a bit of brilliance since the '60s. Here he is at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction this yearm doing "Beck's Bolero" and then, joined by Page, performing "Immigrant Song" with Beck substituting Plant's banshee yell with mesmerizing guitar histrionics. A fiery "Peter Gunn Theme" closes the triumphant set.