There are many great guitarists we encounter in this life. A question posed to me recently was, “Who’s your favorite guitarist of all time? And where does Eric Clapton fall on the list?”
My response is that Carlos Santana is my favorite guitarist of all time. When I hear the notes from Carlos’s finger’s as he plays his Paul Reed Smith guitar I become happily transfixed. Carlos Santana invokes a spirituality that communicates, then transfers the healing power of music.
Musicians are the angel’s messengers and like a shaman they have the mission to cure people who are sick. We each receive a gift in this life that we are allowed to share with others. The gift that Carlos Santana shares with us is his energy and light. He expresses himself to the world through his instrument the guitar in recorded and live form.
I have seen Carlos Santana perform 20 times live in concert. Why see one guitarist play live that many times you might ask? Well it has everything to do with how his artistry and how healing I find the experience to be. It is often said that music solves what ails us. Life poses us many challenges and problems. For me, there is nothing like a Santana concert to remove the blues.
Speaking of the blues that’s where Eric Clapton comes into sharp focus. Eric Clapton has been a blues journeyman much of his life. He is a leading acolyte of the blues tradition. If I had to put together a short list of guitarists in rank order, it would be 1) Carlos Santana(20), 2) B.B. King (9), 3) Jeff Beck (3) and 4) Eric Clapton (4). I have been fortunate to see all of these guitarists live in concert on many occasions as denoted (). I rank Eric Clapton fourth on my list because that’s where he is situated in the music of my heart. I hear B.B. King and Jeff Beck ahead of him because that is how their guitar playing reaches me inside. It’s the nature of the strings and how they are strummed that makes us all one!