“Know your history. But don’t be cliché and try to do what the guys in Chicago did in the ’60s. We don’t need more of that”: Josh Smith is on a mission to save the blues – he names 10 guitarists who are pushing the genre forward

Josh Smith stood against a grey wall
(Image credit: Ibanez Guitars)

GUITAR SHOWCASE 2023: As far as contemporary blues goes, few bring the heat as hard and heavy as Florida native Josh Smith. His playing is steeped in history yet pushes the genre forward, and given his perpetual support of young musicians, Smith has proved himself one of modern blues guitar's most valuable players.

Having been a professional guitarist since he hit the road at 16 with his band, the Rhino Cats, Smith has seen and heard it all. But still, his inventive nature leaves him searching for progression within the genre he's long called home, resulting in an endless search for pools of new inspiration.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.