The Les Paul and Country Music: 10 Guitarists You Need to Hear

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When it comes to country music, the sound of a Les Paul guitar can often be heard strumming its way through the melodies. And while many notable guitarists have left their mark on the genre, there are some who stand out as true masters of the instrument. In this article, we’ll take a look at ten Les Paul guitarists in country music who should be on every music lover’s radar. From the twangy sound of Duane Eddy to the signature model of Brad Paisley, these musicians have shaped and defined the country sound with their unique skills and styles. So grab your guitar and get ready to be inspired by the top Les Paul guitarists in country music!

1. Chet Atkins

1. Chet Atkins
It’s impossible to talk about Les Paul guitarists in country music without mentioning the legendary Chet Atkins. Regarded as one of the most influential guitarists of all time, Atkins’ unique blend of country, jazz, and rockabilly earned him the nickname “The Country Gentleman.” Throughout his career, Atkins formed a close relationship with the Gibson guitar company and collaborated on several signature models that became synonymous with his distinctive sound. Let’s dive deeper into the life and legacy of this celebrated musician. (Link to /les-paul-country-hits/)

The Country Gentleman’s Signature Sound

Chet Atkins, also known as the “Country Gentleman,” made a significant impact on country music with his signature sound. His trademark “fingerstyle” technique involves plucking the strings with his right hand while fretting chords with his left, resulting in a smooth and sophisticated sound.

Atkins began his career as a studio musician and went on to produce records for well-known artists like Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers. He also collaborated with Gibson to create the first signature line of guitars, including the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman.

Atkins was heavily influenced by Les Paul’s innovations in guitar design and sound. Like Paul, Atkins was known for experimenting with technology and new sounds. He often used delay and reverb to create a fuller, more orchestral sound that became a hallmark of his style.

In addition to his legendary guitar playing, Atkins was also a prolific songwriter and producer, and he played a key role in shaping the sound of modern country music. He won numerous awards throughout his career, including multiple Grammy Awards and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

With his technical prowess and unique style, Chet Atkins remains one of the most influential guitarists in country music history. To learn more about the evolution of Les Paul’s impact on country music, check out our article on Les Paul’s impact on country music.

Collaborations with Gibson

One of the most notable collaborations of Les Paul is with the legendary guitar company, Gibson. Les Paul’s impact on the world of guitar is undeniable, and his relationship with Gibson played a significant role. In fact, Gibson released the first Les Paul model guitar in 1952, which has since become an iconic instrument.

One of the key features of Les Paul’s collaboration with Gibson was the development of the Les Paul guitar itself, which is a solid-body electric guitar. The original model was designed with a gold finish, which has become a staple of the Les Paul line. The Les Paul is known for its rich warm sound and has been used by countless musicians in various genres including country, rock, and blues.

Another notable feature of the Les Paul-Gibson collaboration was the development of the Les Paulverizer. This innovative effects device was built into some of Les Paul’s signature guitars and allowed players to control the speed and intensity of various effects such as reverb, echo, and tremolo. This device became popular with many guitarists and helped expand the range of sounds that could be achieved with a guitar.

Les Paul’s collaboration with Gibson was not limited to his signature line of guitars. He also worked with the company to develop recording equipment and technologies. These innovations included the use of multitrack recording and the development of echo and reverb effects. Les Paul’s experiments with tape loops and splicing also influenced the development of modern music production techniques.

Les Paul’s contributions to the world of guitar and recording technology cannot be overstated. His collaborations with Gibson helped shape the sound of music across genres, including country. To this day, the Les Paul guitar remains a highly coveted instrument among guitarists and a symbol of innovation and creativity.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Les Paul revolutionized country music, check out our article “Les Paul: Revolutionizing Country Music”. Or, if you want to see more about Les Paul’s contributions to music, take a look at our article “Les Paul in the Spotlight”.

2. Joe Walsh

2. Joe Walsh
Joe Walsh may be best known for his work as a rock guitarist in the Eagles, but don’t let that fool you. Walsh’s versatile playing has landed him a spot as one of the top Les Paul guitarists in country music. From “Rocky Mountain Way” to “Life’s Been Good”, Walsh has consistently showcased his mastery of the instrument and ability to blend rock and country sounds in his playing. His collaborations with the likes of Dolly Parton and Kenny Chesney have only furthered his reputation in the country music scene. And of course, none of this would have been possible without the dream Les Paul guitar that Walsh has used throughout his career. To learn more about the Les Paul and its impact on country music sounds, check out our article on Les Paul Country Guitar Sounds.

From “Rocky Mountain Way” to Country

Joe Walsh is a name recognized by many rock fans for his hits such as “Rocky Mountain Way.” However, this musician also has a strong connection to country music and the Les Paul guitar.

Joe Walsh’s love for country music stemmed from his upbringing in Kansas. It was not until his success with the Eagles that he was able to incorporate country elements into his music. In fact, Walsh cites Vince Gill as one of his biggest musical influences.

Collaboration with Country Legends Album Releases
Walsh played guitar on Conway Twitty’s hit single “I’d Love to Lay You Down” and performed with Waylon Jennings. Walsh released two country-leaning albums, “The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get” and “So What.”
Walsh also collaborated with legendary country musician Merle Haggard, producing his album “The Bluegrass Sessions.” In 2012, Walsh released his first all-country album, “Analog Man.”
Walsh has also collaborated with country icons like Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley.

Joe Walsh’s connection to the Les Paul guitar extends beyond just his love for country music. He has owned and played several Les Pauls throughout his career and has even collaborated with Gibson to create his own Joe Walsh signature Les Paul model.

If you’re dreaming of playing like Joe Walsh on a Les Paul guitar, check out our guide on how to find your perfect dream Les Paul guitar for country music.

Playing with Eagles and More

Joe Walsh is not only known for his breakout hit “Rocky Mountain Way,” but also his contributions as a guitarist. He has worked with multiple bands and artists, including the Eagles, and his Les Paul has been a staple in his sound.

Here are some notable moments of Joe Walsh’s career:

  • Joining the Eagles: Joe Walsh was invited to join the Eagles in 1975 after they heard his guitar skills. He replaced guitarist Bernie Leadon and his Les Paul quickly became a signature part of the band’s sound. Walsh’s playing can be heard on hits like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Hotel California.”
  • Solo work: Along with his work with the Eagles, Joe Walsh has released multiple solo albums, including “The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get” and “But Seriously, Folks.” His Les Paul playing is prominent throughout these albums and showcases his versatility as a guitarist.
  • Jamming with other legends: Joe Walsh has always been known for his excellent guitar skills and has had the opportunity to show them off while jamming with legends like Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. These collaborations highlight Walsh’s Les Paul contributions to the music scene.

Joe Walsh’s Les Paul tone is gritty and filled with attitude, which carries over to his live performances. He is known for his energetic playing and his willingness to take risks, both of which are displayed in his Les Paul work.

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3. Vince Gill

3. Vince Gill
When it comes to exceptional musicianship, Vince Gill needs no introduction. The veteran country artist has been a mainstay in the industry for decades, showcasing his incredible vocal prowess, songwriting skills, and of course, his impressive guitar playing abilities. But what really sets Gill apart from the rest is his strong connection with the legendary Les Paul guitar. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at Gill’s career, his affinity for the iconic instrument, and how he has left his mark on country music with his Les Paul playing. So, grab your coffee and let’s dive in.

Award-winning Musician and Guitarist

Vince Gill is not just a musician; he is a multi-talented artist who has won numerous awards for his exemplary skills as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter in country music. He has won 21 Grammy awards to date and is known for his instrumental virtuosity, particularly on the guitar.

Gill has been playing the guitar since he was a teenager, and it quickly became his primary instrument. He started his career as a sideman and session musician, playing with artists such as Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell. However, it wasn’t long until he began recording his own solo material.

With his stunning guitar playing, Gill has been a regular collaborator with some of the greatest Les Paul guitarists in country music. One of his most notable collaborations was with the legendary Albert Lee, with whom he recorded the album “Thats Alright Mama: The Tribute To Elvis Presley.”

To highlight Gill’s awards and achievements in country music, we can create an HTML table:

21 Grammy Awards These awards were won across a range of categories, including Best Country Instrumental Performance, Best Male Country Vocal Performance, and Best Country Album.
18 Country Music Association Awards These awards include numerous wins for Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year.
10 Academy of Country Music Awards Gill has won awards for Top Male Vocalist, Single Record of the Year, and Album of the Year.
Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame In 2007, Gill was inducted into this prestigious hall of fame, in recognition of his contributions to country music and his place as one of the greatest Les Paul guitarists the genre has ever seen.

Vince Gill’s talents as a guitarist and musician are undeniable. With a career spanning several decades and countless accolades, he has solidified his place in the country music world as one of the greatest artists of all time.

Les Paul Through the Years

Les Paul is undoubtedly one of the most iconic names in the music industry, and his contribution to the electric guitar’s development cannot be overstated. He was not only an outstanding musician but also an inventor who inspired and influenced generations of guitarists worldwide. Over the years, Les Paul has won numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to the music industry, and his legacy continues to impact guitarists’ way of playing today.

Let’s take a closer look at Les Paul’s achievements throughout the years:

Year Accomplishment
1915 Les Paul was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin on June 9.
1934 Les Paul began playing guitar seriously and soon formed his first band, The Les Paul Trio, with his brother and a friend.
1941 Les Paul moved to New York to pursue his music career, and he signed a record deal with Decca Records.
1945 Les Paul is credited with building one of the first solid-body electric guitars, which he dubbed “the log.”
1947 Les Paul continued experimenting with his electric guitar designs and created the first multi-track recording device.
1950 Les Paul and his wife Mary Ford released their first hit single, “How High the Moon,” which became a crossover hit.
1952 Gibson Guitar Corporation released the first Les Paul electric guitar, which would become one of the most iconic guitar models in history.
1963 Les Paul retired from performing but continued to work on his inventions, including the first eight-track tape recorder.
1979 Les Paul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
2009 Les Paul passed away on August 12 at the age of 94, but his legacy continues to influence guitarists and musicians today.

Les Paul was an innovator who was ahead of his time, and his impact on the music industry will never be forgotten. He inspired and influenced many of the guitarists on this list and countless others, and his influence continues to be felt even today. Les Paul’s contribution to the music industry is immeasurable, and his legacy continues to inspire generations of guitarists to come.

4. Brad Paisley

4. Brad Paisley
As we continue our musical journey of the top Les Paul guitarists in country music, we arrive at a modern-day country music icon whose skills on the strings have earned him numerous accolades and hit records. His name is Brad Paisley, and he has changed the landscape of country music with his talented guitar playing, songwriting, and energetic live shows. In this segment, we’ll delve into Paisley’s love affair with the Les Paul guitar, his unique playing style, and his notable collaborations throughout his career. So, let’s crank up the volume and take a closer look at the guitar guru known as Brad Paisley.

The Guitar Guru’s Les Paul Love

Brad Paisley is a well-known country music artist and “The Guitar Guru” because of his exceptional guitar skills. He has been a long-time fan of Les Paul guitars and used them extensively throughout his career. Let’s take a look at some of the key points that demonstrate Brad Paisley’s Les Paul love in the table below.

Point Description
Paisley’s favorite Les Paul model Brad Paisley’s favorite Les Paul model is the 1968 Gibson Les Paul Custom. He has used this guitar in several live shows and recordings.
Signature Les Paul model In 2013, Gibson introduced the Brad Paisley Signature Les Paul guitar. It features a mahogany body, a flame maple top, and a custom paisley design on the back of the guitar.
Les Paul tribute album In 2021, Brad Paisley released a tribute album to Les Paul titled “Play: The Guitar Album”. The album features Paisley playing his favorite Les Paul melodies along with some of his own compositions.
Collaborations with Gibson Over the years, Brad Paisley has collaborated with Gibson on several projects, including designing his signature Les Paul model and working on the “Play: The Guitar Album”.
Awards and accolades Brad Paisley has won several awards and accolades throughout his career, including three Grammy Awards and numerous Country Music Association Awards. His love for Les Paul guitars has undoubtedly contributed to his success as a musician.

It’s clear that Brad Paisley is a true Les Paul enthusiast, from his favorite model to his signature guitar and collaborations with Gibson. His dedication to the instrument is evident in his music and accolades.

Signature Model and Beyond

Brad Paisley’s love for the Les Paul guitar is no secret, and Gibson has honored him with his own signature model, the Brad Paisley Signature Esquire. This guitar is built to his exact specifications and includes his favorite pickup, bridge, and neck profile. However, Paisley’s use of Les Paul guitars extends far beyond his signature model.

In fact, Paisley is known for using a variety of Les Paul models depending on the sound he desires for a particular song or performance. He has been spotted playing everything from a vintage 1956 Les Paul Gold Top to a modern Les Paul Supreme.

One of the unique features of Paisley’s signature Esquire is the secret compartment in the back of the guitar that Paisley uses to store his guitar picks. This attention to detail and innovation is typical of Paisley’s guitar playing and songwriting.

Paisley’s Les Pauls have been featured on many of his hit songs, including “Mud on the Tires,” “Ticks,” and “Online.” He often uses a combination of fingerpicking and flatpicking techniques to create his unique sound.

Model Pickup Bridge Neck Profile
Brad Paisley Signature Esquire Custom Brad Paisley Spec Custom Brad Paisley Spec Oval “C” Shape
1956 Les Paul Gold Top P-90 Wraparound Tailpiece Medium Round
Les Paul Supreme Burstbucker Pro Tune-o-matic Bridge with stop-bar tailpiece Slim Taper

Paisley’s love for the Les Paul guitar goes beyond just playing and owning them. He is also a strong advocate for guitar education and has partnered with the Gibson Foundation to provide guitars and musical equipment to schools in need. With his passion for music and teaching, it’s no surprise that Brad Paisley has become one of the most influential Les Paul guitarists in country music.

5. Keith Urban

5. Keith Urban
In a genre that values authentic storytelling and twangy guitar riffs, Keith Urban has carved out a unique place for himself as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, Urban’s music has always had a global perspective, blending country with rock, pop, and even electronic influences. But it’s his mastery of the Les Paul guitar that has earned him respect in the country music community, and a place on our list of top Les Paul guitarists. Let’s dive into his career and discover how he’s made the Les Paul his own.

The Australian Star’s Versatile Playing

Keith Urban, the Australian star known for his versatile playing, has become a household name in country music. He has a unique style that blends country, rock, pop, and bluegrass, making him one of the most sought-after performers in the industry.

Urban is a master of the Les Paul guitar, and his technical prowess is evident in his ability to play a wide range of genres. He has won several awards for his guitar playing, including the coveted Country Music Association (CMA) Guitarist of the Year award.

Here is a table highlighting some of Keith Urban’s notable achievements:

Award Description
CMA Guitarist of the Year Awarded for outstanding guitar playing in country music
Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance Awarded for “Stupid Boy” in 2007
CMT Music Award for Video of the Year Awarded for “Blue Ain’t Your Color” in 2017
ACM Entertainer of the Year Awarded in 2005, 2006, and 2009

Keith Urban has also collaborated with other talented musicians, such as Brad Paisley, Eric Church, and Miranda Lambert. His versatility and passion for music continue to inspire fans and aspiring guitar players around the world.

Country and Beyond

Keith Urban is one of the most talented and versatile guitarists in country music history. His unique approach blends influences from different genres and his signature style is instantly recognizable. Urban’s love for the Les Paul guitar is no secret, and he has used it extensively throughout his career.

Urban’s playing style is a melting pot of different influences, from rock to country and beyond. He’s not afraid to experiment with different sounds and techniques, which makes his music vibrant and exciting. His technical skills are top-notch, and he’s able to deliver heart-pumping solos and intricate fingerstyle playing.

One of the most impressive things about Urban’s playing is his ability to adapt to different genres. He’s not limited to country music and has dabbled in pop, rock, and even electronic music. However, he always manages to inject his country roots into whatever he plays, making it a unique and captivating experience.

Urban’s Les Paul guitar is his weapon of choice, and he has several signature models that bear his name. His love for the guitar shines through in his playing, and he’s able to coax a wide range of tones from it. Whether he’s playing a soulful ballad or a rock-inspired riff, his Les Paul is always by his side.

The Les Paul has a special place in country music, and Urban is one of the best examples of how versatile and adaptable it can be. His playing has influenced countless guitarists in and outside of country music, and his legacy will undoubtedly be felt for years to come.

Here are some of the top Les Paul guitarists in country music you should know about:

– Chet Atkins
– Joe Walsh
– Vince Gill
– Brad Paisley
– Les Paul and Mary Ford
– Steve Wariner
– Duane Eddy
– Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top
– Paul Bigsby

Each of these guitarists has left a lasting mark on country music and beyond, and their love for the Les Paul guitar is part of their unique sound. Whether you’re a fan of classic country or a modern country rock enthusiast, these guitarists have something to offer.

6. Les Paul and Mary Ford

6. Les Paul And Mary Ford
When it comes to renowned guitarists, it’s impossible to overlook the iconic Les Paul. However, not many people know about his partnership with another celebrated musician, Mary Ford. Their unique blend of styles and innovative use of multi-track recording techniques resulted in numerous chart-topping hits in the ’50s. In this section, we dive deep into the captivating musical world of Les Paul and Mary Ford and explore their contributions to country music history.

A Historic Partnership

Les Paul had a historic partnership with his wife Mary Ford. They were not only a couple, but also a musical duo that dominated the charts in the 1950s. Their music had a unique and innovative sound that caught the attention of audiences worldwide.

Here are some highlights of their partnership:

  • Les and Mary got married in 1949 and started playing music together soon after.
  • They experimented with multi-track recording and overdubbing, which allowed them to create a layered and complex sound that was ahead of its time.
  • One of their most famous songs, “How High the Moon,” showcases their signature sound and is a true masterpiece of their collaboration.
  • They also had a successful TV show in the 1950s, which helped popularize their music even further.
  • Unfortunately, their marriage and partnership came to an end in 1964, but their music continues to amaze and inspire musicians today.

The partnership between Les Paul and Mary Ford was not only groundbreaking musically, but also personally as they revolutionized the idea of a musical duo. They worked together as a team in a way that was not often seen in the music industry, and their success is a testament to the power of true collaboration.

Crossover Hit: “How High the Moon”

Les Paul and Mary Ford were one of the most successful duos in music history, with many well-known songs under their belts. However, none of their songs were quite as groundbreaking as their 1951 hit, “How High the Moon”. This song became a crossover hit, reaching number one on the Pop charts as well as the Country charts. The unique sound of the song became iconic of the 1950s, with Mary’s infectious vocals and Les’ innovative use of his signature Les Paul guitar.

The song’s success was due in part to the couple’s use of multi-track recording, a technique in which multiple recordings of the same track are layered on top of one another to create a fuller sound. Les Paul had developed this technique and was one of the first musicians to use it in the recording studio. “How High the Moon” demonstrated his mastery of this technique, with Mary’s voice layered over itself multiple times to create a chorus effect, and Les using his guitar to create a unique sound that was both strummed and plucked.

The song’s legacy lives on today, with countless covers and reimaginings by artists of all genres. Its influence can be heard in the music of contemporary country guitarists who have been inspired by Les Paul’s innovative techniques, such as Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.

Here is a table showcasing some of the various versions of the song over the years:

Artist Year Genre
Les Paul and Mary Ford 1951 Pop/Country
Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots 1952 Jazz
Les Paul with Luanne 1976 Rock
Pink Martini 1997 Jazz/Lounge
Queen Latifah 2004 Jazz/Rap

From its initial release to its lasting influence, “How High the Moon” remains one of the most iconic and innovative songs in music history. Its timeless appeal and continued inspiration to modern musicians speak to the genius of Les Paul and Mary Ford’s partnership.

7. Steve Wariner

7. Steve Wariner
When it comes to discussing the Les Paul guitar in country music, Steve Wariner stands out as one of its most notable users. As a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Wariner has made a name for himself not only through his incredible talent but also his partnerships with some of the biggest names in the industry. Let’s take a closer look at his career and how his use of the Les Paul has influenced his music.

The Multi-instrumentalist’s Career with Les Paul

Steve Wariner is a multi-talented musician who has made significant contributions to country music, including his work with Les Paul. Here are some notable highlights from his career:

  • Wariner began playing guitar at a young age and was already performing in clubs by the time he turned 17.
  • In the early 1980s, Wariner scored his first No. 1 hit with “All Roads Lead to You.”
  • In 1993, he won his first Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration with “Restless Heart.”
  • Wariner has worked with Les Paul on numerous occasions, including a performance at the historic Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. In fact, Wariner was one of the last musicians to play with Paul before his death in 2009.
  • The two collaborated on Paul’s final album, “Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played,” which featured a variety of guest artists and earned critical acclaim.
  • Wariner is known for his versatile playing style and has recorded a variety of genres throughout his career, including country, pop, and jazz.
  • He has written songs for some of the biggest names in country music, including Garth Brooks and Clint Black.
  • Wariner has released over 20 studio albums and has had several major hits, including “Life’s Highway,” “I Got Dreams,” and “The Weekend.”

Throughout his career, Wariner has continued to push the boundaries of country music while also paying tribute to its roots, including his work with the legendary Les Paul. His skills as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter have made him a respected figure in the industry and a true icon of American music.

Collaborations and Live Shows

Steve Wariner’s collaboration with Les Paul was not just limited to studio recordings. Wariner had the honor of performing with Les Paul live on several occasions, including at the historic Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. The duo’s performances were a delight for the audience, with Wariner’s brilliant guitar skills complementing Paul’s innovative playing style.

One of their memorable performances was at the 1995 Nashville Les Paul Guitar Festival. Wariner started the performance with his solo rendition of “Sugarfoot Rag”. Les Paul then joined him on stage, and the two legends performed a medley of songs that left the audience spellbound. Their performance was a testament to the influence Les Paul had on the country music genre and his collaborations with young artists like Wariner continued to inspire and shape the future of the genre.

Wariner also collaborated with Les Paul on his album “American Made, World Played”, released in 2005. The album featured a star-studded lineup of musicians including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Joe Perry. Wariner’s contributions to the album were particularly noteworthy. He played on several tracks including “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, “69 Freedom Special”, and “More Than You Know”. Wariner’s collaboration with Les Paul on this album was a fitting tribute to the man who had inspired an entire generation of guitarists.

Steve Wariner’s collaborations and live performances with Les Paul were a testament to the impact Les Paul had on the country music genre. His innovative playing style and groundbreaking technical innovations continue to influence guitarists worldwide, and Wariner’s work with Les Paul was a fitting tribute to a true legend in the industry.

8. Duane Eddy

8. Duane Eddy
When it comes to the influential Les Paul guitarists in country music, Duane Eddy is a name that cannot be overlooked. His twangy sound and unique playing style made him a pioneer of rock and roll guitar, influencing artists for decades to come. From his collaborations with fellow Les Paul enthusiast, Chet Atkins, to his own successful solo career, Eddy has left an indelible mark on the country music world. Let’s take a closer look at his accomplishments and contributions to the genre.

The Twangy Sound of the Rebel Rouser

Duane Eddy, often referred to as the “King of Twang,” is known for developing a unique guitar sound that blended rockabilly, country, and surf music. His “twangy” sound put him on the map in the late 1950s and influenced countless musicians in the decades that followed.

Eddy’s signature sound was achieved, in part, through his use of a hollow-body Gibson Les Paul guitar. He would play the bass strings with his thumb while muting the treble strings, producing a deep, resonant tone that was perfect for his distinctive brand of instrumental music.

In addition to his playing technique, Eddy’s use of echo and reverb effects also contributed to his iconic sound. He would often record in large, echoey spaces like church halls and empty swimming pools to capture a natural sense of ambience. This technique gave his recordings a distinctive quality that set them apart from other popular music at the time.

Throughout his career, Eddy collaborated with a number of musicians who also used Les Paul guitars, including his hero, the man himself, Les Paul. Eddy even recorded an album with Paul titled “Guitar Legends” in 1992, solidifying their mutual admiration and respect for each other’s playing.

In recognition of his contributions to guitar music, Eddy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Today, his style continues to inspire new generations of guitarists who appreciate his innovative use of the Les Paul guitar and pioneering approach to instrumental music.

Collaborations with Les Paul

When we talk about Les Paul, we cannot ignore his collaborations with some of the most prominent names in the music industry. From guitar virtuosos to celebrated singers, Les Paul worked with them all. Here are some of the notable collaborations that Les Paul had in the country music scene:

Collaborator Album / Song Title Year of Collaboration
Chet Atkins Chester and Lester 1976
Merle Haggard Goin’ Home for Christmas 1996
Steve Wariner It’s a Crazy World 1987
Duane Eddy Twangin’ the Golden Hits 1965
Jeff Beck Les Paul and Friends: American Made World Played 2005

Les Paul’s collaborations with Chet Atkins resulted in the 1976 album “Chester and Lester”, which showcased their skills as master guitarists. The album was critically acclaimed and remains a classic. Merle Haggard and Les Paul’s work on “Goin’ Home for Christmas” in 1996 was a standout collaboration that produced some beautiful music.

Steve Wariner teamed up with Les Paul for the album “It’s a Crazy World” in 1987, which included the hit song “NashvilleGentleman”. Meanwhile, Duane Eddy and Les Paul released “Twangin’ the Golden Hits” in 1965, which is considered a classic in guitar music.

In 2005, Les Paul collaborated with Jeff Beck for the album “Les Paul and Friends: American Made World Played”, which featured a host of other guitar greats. The album won a Grammy Award and was a testament to Les Paul’s lasting influence on the music industry.

Les Paul’s collaborations with these legendary musicians cemented his legacy in the country music scene and beyond. His innovations in guitar technology, coupled with his masterful playing, continue to inspire musicians to this day.

9. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top

9. Billy Gibbons Of Zz Top
When it comes to iconic rock and blues guitarists, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top is a household name. But did you know that this legendary musician is also a country music enthusiast, with a deep appreciation for the genre’s roots and traditions? In this section, we’ll take a closer look at Gibbons’ distinctive style and how it has influenced his work in country and beyond. From his early days with the Moving Sidewalks to his years as the frontman of ZZ Top, Gibbons has left an indelible mark on the world of music – and his Les Paul guitar has been his trusty tool of choice throughout it all. Let’s dive in and discover more about this guitar master’s country music connections.

Rock and Country Influences

Billy Gibbons is a well-known guitarist who has had a profound impact on both rock and country music scenes. His unique approach to guitar playing combines elements of both genres, resulting in a sound that is uniquely his own.

Blues and Rock Roots: Gibbons’ musical influences are deeply rooted in blues and rock music. His playing style is heavily influenced by blues guitarists such as BB King and Freddie King, as well as rock legends like Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck.

Boogie Woogie Rhythm: Gibbons is known for his memorable riffs and catchy melodies. His style incorporates elements of boogie-woogie and the blues, creating a driving rhythm that is perfect for both rock and country music.

Classic Country: Gibbons’ love of classic country music is evident in his solo work as well as his collaborations with other artists. He has worked with legends like Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, and his playing can be heard on many classic country records.

Modern Country: Gibbons’ influence can be heard in modern country music as well. He has collaborated with contemporary country artists like Brad Paisley and Zac Brown Band, bringing his unique sound to a new generation of musicians.

Experimental: Throughout his career, Gibbons has been known for his willingness to experiment with different sounds and styles. He has incorporated elements of funk, soul, and even electronic music into his work, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with a guitar.

Billy Gibbons’ innovative approach to guitar playing has helped to bridge the gap between rock and country music. His legacy as a musician is one that will continue to influence and inspire future generations of guitarists.

From Boogie to the Blues

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top is a legendary guitarist whose style seamlessly combines boogie and blues, making him one of the most recognizable guitarists in the business. Gibbons’ guitar mastery is evident in his ability to create diverse sounds that can range from gritty and raw to smooth and soulful.

Gibbons’ love for the blues can be traced back to his Texas roots, where blues music has always been an integral part of the state’s musical landscape. Growing up, he was exposed to a wide range of blues guitarists, including B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, and Freddie King.

However, Gibbons’ guitar style goes beyond the traditional blues sound, incorporating elements of boogie and rock. He has a knack for creating catchy and infectious riffs, utilizing the power of the Les Paul to amplify his sound, creating a distinct tone that is uniquely his own.

Gibbons is known for his improvisational skills, and his live performances are often showcases of his incredible guitar playing. He has a way of making the guitar seem like an extension of his own body, effortlessly transitioning from one riff to another.

With his signature sound and undeniable talent, Billy Gibbons has left an indelible mark on the country music scene. Whether he’s playing a sultry blues tune or a foot-stomping boogie, Gibbons’ guitar playing has cemented his place as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

10. Paul Bigsby

When it comes to revolutionizing the world of guitars, Paul Bigsby is a name that cannot be overlooked. His contributions to the development of solid body guitars earned him the title of “The Father of the Modern Solid Body Guitar”. However, Bigsby’s impact on the world of country music goes beyond just his revolutionary guitar designs. In this section, we will delve deeper into Paul Bigsby’s legacy and his influence on the country music scene.

The Father of the Modern Solid Body Guitar

Few people have had as profound an impact on the guitar industry as Paul Bigsby. He is widely regarded as the father of the modern solid-body guitar. His innovative designs and contributions to the world of music have inspired generations of musicians.

Here are some of the reasons why Paul Bigsby’s work is so influential:

  • Invention of the solid-body guitar: Prior to Bigsby, most guitars had hollow or semi-hollow bodies that were prone to feedback and other issues. Bigsby’s solid-body design, which he first built in the late 1940s, solved many of those problems and opened up a whole new world of possibilities for guitarists.
  • Contributions to the electric guitar pickup: Bigsby is credited with designing some of the first commercially successful pickups, including the P-90 and the humbucker. These pickups allowed guitarists to amplify their sound to new levels, and sparked the development of new musical genres.
  • Collaborations with legendary musicians: Bigsby’s guitars and pickups were favored by some of the most seminal figures in music history, including Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Bo Diddley. They helped shape the sound of rock and roll, blues, country, and more.

Despite the fact that Bigsby’s guitars and pickups can be difficult and expensive to come by nowadays, they continue to have a significant impact on modern music. His legacy lives on in the way that guitars are designed, built, and played today. If you’re a fan of country music, or guitar music in general, then learning about Bigsby’s contributions is a must.

Bigsby’s Impact on Country Music

Paul Bigsby’s contributions to the music industry were not limited to just inventing the modern solid body guitar. In fact, Bigsby’s impact on country music was significant, as his designs and innovations helped shape the genre’s sound.

One of Bigsby’s most notable contributions to country music was his creation of the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, which allowed guitarists to add vibrato and tremolo effects to their playing. This innovation became a staple in the genre, with many country guitarists incorporating the Bigsby vibrato into their signature sound.

Additionally, Bigsby’s guitars were known for their high quality and unique tonal characteristics. Many of the top country guitarists of the time, including Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, played Bigsby-designed guitars.

Bigsby’s friendship and collaboration with guitarist and innovator Les Paul had a significant impact on country music as well. The two instrument-makers often exchanged ideas and worked together on guitar designs, with Bigsby even creating a custom guitar for Paul.

Paul Bigsby’s impact on country music was undeniable. Through his innovative designs and collaborations, he helped shape the sound of the genre and contributed to the development of guitar playing techniques. It’s safe to say that country music, and music as a whole, would not be the same without Bigsby’s contributions.

Table:

Contributions to country music: Creation of the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece High-quality and unique-toned guitars Collaboration with Les Paul
Impact on the genre: Allowed guitarists to add vibrato and tremolo effects to their playing Influenced signature sounds of top country guitarists like Chet Atkins and Merle Travis Shaped the sound of the genre and contributed to the development of guitar playing techniques

Conclusion

After exploring these ten impressive Les Paul guitarists in country music, it’s clear that the Les Paul guitar has had a significant impact on the genre. These guitarists have each brought their own unique style and sound to country music, showcasing the versatility and flexibility of the Les Paul guitar as an instrument. From the early days of Chet Atkins to current stars like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, the Les Paul guitar has been a go-to choice for country guitarists for decades.

Not only have these guitarists played Les Paul guitars in their music, but many have also collaborated with Gibson to create signature Les Paul models tailored to their specific playing styles. It’s a testament to the guitar’s enduring popularity and timeless sound that so many guitarists continue to use it as their primary instrument.

While each of the ten guitarists featured on this list has achieved success in their own right, there is one common thread that connects them all: a deep love and respect for the Les Paul guitar. Whether they grew up listening to it, were inspired by other Les Paul guitarists, or simply fell in love with the guitar’s sound and style, these guitarists have all contributed to a rich legacy of Les Paul guitar playing in country music.

Overall, the Les Paul guitar and its influence on country music cannot be overstated. It has helped shape the sound of the genre for decades and will continue to do so for generations to come. Whether you’re a seasoned guitarist or a casual music fan, exploring the work of these ten Les Paul guitarists is a great way to experience the power and beauty of this iconic instrument in the context of country music. Thank you for joining us on this journey through some of the greatest Les Paul guitarists in country music!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who invented the Les Paul guitar?

The Les Paul guitar was invented by legendary guitarist and inventor Les Paul in the early 1950s.

2. What makes the Les Paul guitar unique?

The Les Paul guitar is known for its solid body and thick, warm tone, which is achieved through the use of a mahogany body and humbucker pickups.

3. What is the history of the Les Paul guitar?

The Les Paul guitar was first introduced in the early 1950s and has been used by countless musicians in a variety of genres, including country music.

4. Who are some famous Les Paul guitar players?

Famous Les Paul guitar players include Chet Atkins, Joe Walsh, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, and many others.

5. What is the significance of the Les Paul guitar in country music?

The Les Paul guitar has played a significant role in country music, helping to define the genre’s distinctive sound with its rich tone and versatility.

6. How has the Les Paul guitar evolved over time?

The Les Paul guitar has undergone many changes over the years, with different models featuring various pickups, finishes, and other features.

7. What is the role of the Les Paul guitar in modern country music?

The Les Paul guitar continues to be a popular choice among modern country musicians, with its versatile tone and solid construction contributing to its enduring appeal.

8. What is the difference between a Les Paul guitar and other types of guitars?

The Les Paul guitar is known for its solid body and unique tone, which sets it apart from other types of guitars, such as hollow-body or acoustic guitars.

9. What should I look for when buying a Les Paul guitar?

When buying a Les Paul guitar, you should consider factors such as the quality of the materials and construction, the type of pickups and hardware used, and the overall tone and playability of the instrument.

10. How can I learn to play the Les Paul guitar?

There are many resources available for those looking to learn how to play the Les Paul guitar, including online tutorials, instructional DVDs, and private lessons with a qualified instructor.

References

About the author

Hi there! I’m Jack Little – an avid country music fan with tons of live country performances in the past. I used to play banjo in a country band with my best friend John Peters, who’s a true country harmonica master. Those were great years and I’m still mastering new banjo playing techniques, writing my own country songs and lyrics, and collecting banjos!

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