28-30 July 2017 sees the welcome return of Ramblin' Man Fair to Mote Park in Maidstone, and the line-up is chock full of classic rock and blues-lilted six-string talent.
Here, we’ve compiled a short list of must-see guitar types. From progressive icons to blazing blues stars and rock royalty, the line-up has more than its fair share of exciting players.
Find out more and get your tickets on the Ramblin' Man (opens in new tab) website.
Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme)
It takes More Than Words to do Bettencourt justice.
The guitarist who brought you Pornografitti is in almost undeservedly good shape compared to his '80s rock brethren - a reminder of the days when giants walked the earth, limos were a valid expense claim and ‘shirtless with jean shorts’ was acceptable clubwear. Extreme headline Saturday night.
Scott Gorham (Black Star Riders)
The Thin Lizzy veteran recently dropped his third effort with BSR, Heavy Fire, and still seems convinced that nothing in life matches the high of a hard rock show.
His dual harmony leads with sparring partner Damon Johnson (formerly of Alice Cooper) bubble with that renowned ‘Lizzy fizz, while numbers like newbie Who Rides The Tiger don’t fear going off the beaten track into raucously heavy territory.
Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
It’s scary to think that 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of ZZ Top’s inception. Gibbons seems to mature like a vintage amp, sounding better with age.
The band recently released a live greatest hits record, but far from pausing for a breather, have continued to scuff shoe leather on stages all over the world. Do not miss this chance to see the sharp dressed man do his thing.
Progressive stalwart Devin Townsend never sits still, and you never really know what’s going to come next from the ex-Strapping Young Lad frontman.
Townsend headlines the Prog In The Park stage on Sunday; expect operatic bombast, appealingly obscured melodies and mechanical riffs out the wazoo.
Big Boy Bloater
Modern rhythm ’n’ blues ace Big Boy Bloater counts Wanda Jackson, Imelda May, Paloma Faith and Jools Holland among his fans, with the latter dubbing him “one of the great bluesmen of our time”.
Expect a well-worn Japanese Fender Start, a gruff voice and more licks than a litter of labradors.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Louisiana bluesman KWS had the fire lit by Steve Ray Vaughan, before making his name in the '90s with some of the era’s most successful records, including debut Ledbetter Heights and Trouble Is…
He returns to the UK in support of recent album Lay It On Down, which saw the stellar guitarist come full circle, recording in his hometown of Shreveport.
Joanne Shaw Taylor
One of the leading lights of contemporary British blues, Shaw Taylor’s has always been positively electrifying, but her recent team-up with producer Kevin Shirley on 2016’s Wild has caused more heads than ever to snap to attention, hitting the top 20.
Finally, it seems Shaw Taylor is getting the spotlight she deserves. As she told us recently: “It’s been a 16-year overnight success.”
Jared James Nichols
Nichols’ 2015 debut Old Glory And The Wild Revival was a bolshy, beefed-up take on classic blues rock, with songs like Can You Feel It? channeling elements of Kossoff and Albert King.
However, it’s new single Last Chance that’s cause for most excitement. Opening with a truly warped run and showcasing a distinctly heavy rock influence, it suggests that last year’s touring with Zakk Wylde may have rubbed off.