One of my favourite guitarists these days, is England's own Matt Schofield. Matt plays an inspiring blend of traditional blues, fused with a modern feel and jazz inflections. The player he is compared to most would be Robben Ford. But calling him a copy of anything, is ridiculous. A player of deep influences, he combines sublime playing, with some good songwriting and vocal talents. The dude's got it going on!
What GREAT tone too! Fender Strat, through a simple pedal board (with a Klon overdrive, a clean boost and a delay. Dat's it). Plugged directly into a Two Rock amp (4 x 10" speaker cabinet). Simple, clean, and articulate tone that brings the most out of Matt's hands.
He has just recently released an excellent guitar instructional DVD in conjunction with Hal Leonard Publishing called "Blues Guitar Artistry". The DVD features lots of band performances and Matt explaining in some detail his approach to learning. Get it if you don't have it already.
Schofield's guitar playing is often likened to Robben Ford in reference to his melodic and fluid style, and jazzy lines. However, Schofield was also majorly influenced by B. B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Gibbons, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan. The influence of funk bands such as The Meters and Soulive can also be heard in his music.
Schofield has four studio albums and two live albums. The first of the live discs, The Trio, Live was recorded at the Bishops Blues club at The Half Moon, Bishops Stortford in 2004 and, funded and released by Richard Pavitt on his Nugene record label, gave the band their first breakthrough. The first studio album, Siftin' Thru Ashes was released in 2005. This album showcases not only Schofield as a virtuoso contemporary blues player, but also as a very competent songwriter, writing or co-writing eight out of eleven of the tracks on this album. AllMusic.com calls Schofield's approach "an enjoyable demonstration of what can happen when blues-rock and blues-jazz are united". The second live album, Live At The Jazz Cafe! was recorded at the London Jazz Cafe in April 2005, and was made available as a web only release. Schofield is one of only two living British artists to be given a four star (excellent) rating in the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings. The release of The Trio, Live prompted Schofield to be featured in a Guitarist magazine article listing the nine notable up and coming blues guitarists, Schofield being the only non-American. Of the album they said 'britblues meets jazz via N'Orleans - all played with the kind of sizzling guitar that just does not often surface in Fairford, Gloucestershire'. In 2007 Guitar & Bass Magazine picked Schofield as one of the "Top 10 British Blues Guitarists of All Time".
EDIT: Matt just released his fifth studio effort "Anything but Time"
Check out Matt Schofield if you are unaware of him. If you are a fan of the blues in any way, you will likely not be disappointed. Matt joins the ranks of other young great blues players like Joe Bonamassa and John Mayer etc. World class, young, and playing their behinds off. Love seeing this generation bring it!
Just like the title says "Guys who make me want to play!"
P.S. To digress slightly, what inspired this post, I recently saw Matt perform at the coolest venue I have ever attended. A small club in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada called Peter's Players. Seriously, if you are anywhere near this venue GO SEE A SHOW THERE! Peter essentially hosts shows out of his house (which includes a slippers only rule!) and you will NEVER see a more intimate performance. Here is some info about Peter, he deserves our support!