Have you ever seen a band perform at a small bar and thought the guitarist's performed so well you couldn’t believe they were not performing in front of millions? There are tons of incredibly talented guitarists in this world who are unknown or slightly known who either by choice or chance have never gotten to the level of fame that their talent deserves. Here are three guitarists who have all found a tiny amount of success and still remain somewhat unknown, one acoustic, one international-blues, and one electric.
Jon Gomm, an acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter was flung into the limelight with an one word tweet: “wow”. Comedian, director, actor, and writer Stephen Fry, who obtained 4 million followers on Twitter, sent the tweet, which included a link to Jon’s YouTube performance of his song Passionflower, in February 2012.
Jennifer Batten was born in New York City in 1957, and is a creative electric guitar player who won the sought after spot on Michael Jackson’s “Bad” tour from 1987-1989. Once the tour was over, she released her first album called Above, Below and Beyond. Next, she was asked to play in two of Michael Jackson’s follow-up tours, HIStory and “Dangerous”. She even did a halftime show with Michael in 1993 during the Super Bowl, which was seen by 1.5 billion people in 80 countries.
Jennifer was asked by Jeff Beck to join his band in 1998, and she later worked with him on two of his albums titled: Who Else and You Had it Coming. Both of his albums lead to world tours which featured Jennifer on guitar.
In addition to Jennifer's debut album, she recorded two other albums titled: Jennifer Batten’s Tribal Rage: Momentum in 1997 and Whatever in 2007. Some artists she has worked with, both live and in the studio include Michael Sembello, Carmine Appice, and Miguel Mateos.
Today, Jennifer Batten has been working as a musician touring countries such as Austria, Germany, United States, Italy and Spain. Jennifer also works as a music teacher and uses her passion for the guitar to teach others who are also truly interested in the art.
Guitarist and singer Ali Farka Toure was born along the Niger River of Mali in 1939. Mr. Toure released a total of 20 albums before he died in March of 2006, and was considered to be one of the most internationally renowned musicians to ever come from Africa. His music is best known for “blending blues” and has often been compared to John Lee Hooker, Sr., U.S. Blues Legend.
Ali Toure appeared in the movie Felt Like Going Home, a documentary released in 2003 by Martin Scorsese and he has also been involved in various movies through his music. Along with winning two Grammy Awards, he was nominated posthumously for his most recent album titled Savane, which was released in July 2009.
There are a ton of guitar players that could make this list, many of who will not become rich or famous doing what they love to do. All guitar players have their own style and if you happen to come across these hidden gems playing at a small bar, you will see they all have the same thing in common, they leave it all on stage.