Top 10 Guitar Albums of 2011

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 27, 2011 at 1:16 PM

As we say goodbye to 2011 and prepare to welcome in the new year, it's as good a time as any to look back at our favorite guitar moments of the past year. So without further ado, here are our favorite 10 guitar albums of 2011.

10. Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL Brian Setzer
Jazz-Grass at its best and Setzer's first instrumental record—a must-listen for guitar aficionados. (Brian Setzer guitar tab, lessons, and jam tracks)

9. Dust Bowl Joe Bonamassa
Bonamassa had such a golden touch this year that he could even turn a cover of Barbra Streisand's "Prisoner" into one of the best blues tracks of the year!  (Joe Bonamassa guitar tab)

8.  The Majestic Silver Strings Buddy Miller
With guitarists Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, and Greg Leisz handling six-string duties on this platter of Americana delight from Buddy Miller, it's got to be a top pick. More tasty lines than NYC's restaurant week.

7.  A Dramatic Turn of Events Dream Theater
On this 77-minute magnum opus from the reigning kings of prog-metal, guitarist John Petrucci shows once again why he's one of the best pickers on the planet. (John Petrucci video lessons)

6.  Even Things Up Pete Anderson
With tone to die for and some of the finest phrasing this side of Robben Ford, country-roots guitarist Anderson leaves no room for doubt that he's a bluesman at heart on this high-octane release.

5.  Anything But Time Matt Schofield
Featuring his organ trio lineup and recorded in New Orleans, Anything sees rising British blues superstar Schofield explore his more soulful side. (Matt Schofield video lessons)

4.  Black Country Communion 2 Black Country Communion
Not surprisingly, the Joe Bonamassa-led supergroup brings greater confidence, cohesion, and sense of identity on their sizzling sophomore release on what just may be the best rock guitar album of the year. (Joe Bonamassa video lessons)

3.  Sympathetic Resonance Arch/Matheos
Arguably the best prog-metal release of the year, this reunion of Fates Warning principals shows guitarist Jim Matheos and singer John Arch at the top of their respective games. (Fates Warning guitar tab)

2.  Bakin' @ the Potato! Mike Keneally Band
Rock, jazz, fusion, avant-garde, outside, inside, slap upside yo' head—the only thing that's certain about a Mike Keneally musical experience is that no one—not even Mike—knows what will happen next, and that's what makes it so much fun!

1.  Twisted Blues, Vol. 1 Oz Noy
Truly one of the most unique voices on the instrument in recent memory (and one of its scariest technicians), Noy's version of "blues" is what you might get if Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane jammed over reharmonized shuffles with The Meters as a backing band. Oh yeah!

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Gratton on December 30, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues Mastodon - The Hunter