Across the blues, rock, folk, and indie music genres, here are the men and women at the top of their game. The ones regarded as masters of this timeless instrument. Here are The Best Guitarists Touring in 2019.
Gary Clark Jr.
On Tour: March 9, 2019 – September 29, 2019
Gary Clark Jr. was at a stand still. The country became even more divided. He was pissed off. The result will be his next album This Land, due February 22nd. Ranging from Delta blues, to “I’m not gonna sit here and make that overshadow all the good,” he says. “I walk the streets of any city if I’m playing a show — it’s love, it’s hugs from all races. I’m not gonna let what’s happening in the country right now overshadow that there is great in this world. There’s love here. We just can’t let people take that away.”
On Tour with Nashville Pussy: February 12, 2019 – June 1, 2019
The psychobilly band Nashville Pussy dominates the “sleaze rock” crowd with their strongest asset Ruyter Suys—pronounced “Rider Sighs”—on lead guitar. Keeping the “In Lust We Trust” vibes pulsing through the scene of their fans with her merciless shredding and full bodied motion into the back of her guitar, Ruyter Suys remains one of the best guitarist you can see live.
On Tour: July 19, 2019 – September 14, 2019
27 Dates. Large-scale arena performances. Two sets of music over the course of one night. A family friend who designed Mayer’s latest tour announcement said it simply, said it best: Mayer is a Player. Above all else, Mayer is the boy who dropped out of Berklee College of Music because he was already very good. So talented, in fact, that there was no sense in waiting, and at the mere age of 24 released his second album Room for Squares—the rest, you know, is history. After finishing up with Dead and Company, Mayer will continue onto his solo tour where he will hopefully bring his blues grit and electric guitar edge to his live shows.
On Tour: February 14, 2019 – March 17, 2019
Right now, Kurt Vile is on tour for his eighth studio album Bottle It In. And maybe it’s because of the music, the delicately composed Americana rock music. Or maybe the lyrics, which are so simple but have a tendency to burrow within our minds. Or maybe it’s the man himself, Kurt Vile, who is as confidently casual as ever. A personality we could see ourselves stumbling to impress, his genius so assured that it needs no help from us to know it exists. Along with so many other things, Kurt Vile is one of the most profound guitar players we have the privilege of seeing live in 2019.
On Tour with Heart: July 9, 2019 – September 9, 2019
It wasn’t easy, but they did it. The Wilson sisters have reconciled to reform Heart, the band that captivated many through the late 70’s and 80’s. Heart, who gave us “Barracuda” and “Crazy On You” and the zeal to throw our manes around with lovelorn energy. Behind the soprano dramatics of Ann Wilson is the guitar bending of Nancy. She’s one of the only modern players to integrate flamenco and classical guitar into their style. And she does so with a complete lack of pretension. Heart will begin their “Love Alive” tour in July, and will be joined by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, Elle King, and Lucie Silvas at different dates.
On Tour with Goo Goo Dolls: June 7, 2019 – August 17, 2019
He just…has it. The ability to go from a bluesy grumble to high-pitched, heavy rock wailing. The sexy and spare lyrics of a funk musician. A closeness with the guitar, one that reminds us of the way Jimi Hendrix, Gary Clark Jr., and John Mayer all hold their beautiful instruments. He’s even shredded within the sacred walls of the Grand Ole Opry, as he was commissioned to perform for part of a Ray Charles tribute last Fall. Allen Stone is still an opening act—this Summer for Train and Goo Goo Dolls—but it won’t be long before the blues rocker is headlining tours of his own.
On Tour with the Rolling Stones: April 20, 2019 – June 25, 2019
Age is but a number, because Keith Richards and the rest of the Rolling Stones are still, still bringing down the house. The North American leg of the “No Filter” Tour will be proceeded by a week in the studio, according to Richards in an interview with Rolling Stone. So not only will the legendary guitarist be found alongside his equally legendary compadre, but they are making music together this year as well. Could 2019 be the year all are reminded of who reigns the rock sphere?
On Tour with Fleetwood Mac: February 13, 2019 – June 18, 2019
Who knew, that 31 years after the release of their landmark album Rumours, that Fleetwood Mac would still be providing the juiciest band drama in the industry. After an unceremonious departure—or rather, firing—of Lindsey Buckingham, a space was left in the legendary lineup. A rather sacred, and difficult to master space, that is rudimentary to the greatness of Fleetwood Mac’s music. But leave it to Stevie Nicks and company to find the absolute perfect replacement. Longtime friend and supporter, and most importantly, former guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Mike Campbell. Who knew that 2019 would bring the coincidence of witnessing so many iconic guitar players?
On Tour with Heart: July 26, 2019 – September 9, 2019
Once Joan Jett and The Blackhearts finish their headlining tour with support from Elle King, they will team up with fellow 80’s rockers Heart, along with the illustrious Sheryl Crow, for what will be a female-fueled jam session to be remembered. Joan Jett has been pouring herself into the guitar, into her music, into the punk rock scene, since she was 18. In addition to professing her love of the genre, Joan Jett continues to be a beacon for all the women out there who ever questioned their belonging in the world of rock music.
On Tour: March 13, 2019 – August 25, 2019
Santana is touring for not one, not two, but three occasions. First, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his Grammy-award winning album, Supernatural. Second, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his legendary Woodstock performance. And three, to promote the songs from his new, Rick Rubin-produced album, which is set to drop this year. Oh, and did we mention that he’s touring with fellow Californian band The Doobie Brothers? Don’t miss out this victory lap tour, to witness one of the world’s greatest guitarist relive some of the best moments in his career.