10 Artists That Should Play at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival

The lineup for the 2023 rendition of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival was recently announced. It’s a stacked lineup with top stars from the past, present, and future. While the lineup is great there are some additional artists we feel are deserving to play at the festival.

Here are 10 artists we’d love to see play at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival.

Walter Trout

Walter Trout has been a staple in the guitar and blues rock scene for decades and remains one of the most prolific artists in the game. Seeing Trout perform on a stage like Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival would be a feather in the cap. There are few artists out there that deserve the opportunity more.

King King

King King has been one of blues rock’s finest acts since its inception and frontman Alan Nimmo may be one of the most underrated guitarists out there. King King has built out nice success in the UK but it would be great to see them come to the U.S. and perform at Crossroads to get them exposed to a new audience. King King’s style fits really well with the artists at Crossroads and it could serve as a worldwide coming out party for one of the best bands around.

Hannah Wicklund

Hannah Wicklund has been performing live since she was 9 years old and puts on one of heck of a live performance. Wicklund is just in her mid 20s but her debut album back in 2018 was one of the more impressive debuts you’ll hear. With a platform like Crossroads, Wicklund could really expand her audience to a new group of fans that would love her music and guitar playing.

Anthony Gomes

Anthony Gomes’ career has been on fire in recent years. Back in 2018, Gomes’ Peace, Love, and Loud Guitars was voted Blues Rock Review’s #1 album of the year. His most recent release, High Voltage Blues, was voted the #3 album of 2022. Gomes has been grinding for many years and is seeing the fruits of his labor. A platform like Crossroads would serve as a great opportunity to get in front of a new group of appreciative fans.

Philip Sayce

Philip Sayce is one of the world’s greatest guitar players, but still deserves more attention. Back in 2013, Sayce did get the opportunity to take the stage solo at Crossroads in Madison Square Garden for three minutes. Sayce won the Play Crossroads Competition getting selected from over 3,000 entrants. However, it would be great to see Philip play Crossroads with a band behind him.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd is well established but he’s never actually performed at a Crossroads Guitar Festival. His style fits in well and he’d be a logical choice to perform at one. As one of the top modern day blues rock acts and guitarists out there it’d make a ton of sense to see him at Crossroads.

Larkin Poe

Sister duo Rebecca and Megan Lovell have really built a name for themselves over the past decade. Still independent artists, they’ve done a fantastic job cultivating an audience while really using social media to their advantage. Their style works so well with the artists that traditionally play the festival and they’d be a great choice for an act that represents the present and the future.

Larry McCray

Larry McCray has been on the scene for decades but it’s only been in recent years that he’s really started to get out to more people. Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith produced his most recent album, Blues Without You, which was voted Blues Rock Review’s #1 album of 2022. Many people don’t know that McCray was actually the first artist to record the legendary song, “Soulshine.” His career is on the rise and Larry would be a perfect fit for Crossroads.

Dan Patlansky

Dan Patlansky has earned Blues Rock Review’s #1 album of the year twice and cracked the Top 20 Albums of the year on numerous occasions. Hailing from South Africa, Patlansky is one of the world’s top blues rock guitarists. While Patlansky did have a short stint in New Orleans, in the early 2000s, he’s still flying under the radar stateside. Patlansky has been building an audience in the UK and Europe but performing at Crossroads could really help his career take off in North America.

Joanna Connor

Joanna Connor started her career in the 1980s and after 40 years in the business she landed her first #1 Billboard Blues album with 4801 South Indiana Avenue. Joanna is a top level guitarist and has several videos showing off her guitar prowess that have gone viral and racked up millions of views. Still, Joanna deserves more attention on a wider scale and Crossroads is the perfect opportunity for that.

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete founded Blues Rock Review in 2010 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

19 thoughts on “10 Artists That Should Play at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival

  • How about Robin Trower

  • There are a lot of good guitar players out there. They can’t all play at Crossroads. Maybe they have other obligations or just didn’t make the cut. I would think Kenny Wayne Sherperd would be there if he wanted to.

  • Though I like the artists on the additional wish list, especially those representative of Chicago Blues, I agree you can’t pack in everyone, and I could likely name a couple dozen more that are worthy or interesting. Good list that though, Pete, good read, and nice to see Larry and Joanna get the spotlight, and I’ll have to check out those I’m not overly familiar with.

  • Need to add in Micki Free!

  • Davy Knowles is special ❤️

    • Davy Knowles graced our Island in the Pacific, Vancouver Isle with his positively nuclear Blues sound from the Isle of Man. Manx Blues. Eris Clapton often sang Davy Knowles praises in many articles and interviews of upcoming Blues guitar stars. I agree, Fred, Knowles should take his place at Crossroads and He will. Sooner than later. Good call and cheers bro.

  • Philip has played Crossroads. He won the Ernie Ball contest for Emerging artists and got a chance to play at one of the festivals held in NYC. Now granted it was a quick 10 minutes solo slot. Much less than I think he should have been given.

  • Cardinal Black is a must for that list

  • Aynsley Lister should be on the list too.

    • This page is giving me the chills in a great way. I was sort of pushed into Ainsley Lister with a sweet set of head phones and collected all of his tunes to this present day. Ainsley is on my phone, Bluetooth buds and a Davinci hybrid Bike every day. Vocals compliment his guitar sound beautifully. At this time, I discovered Davy Knowles and struck gold again. Into my playlist. Then one night I found a live concert of King King, then discovered Nimmo Bros. Live at the Blue Moose Cafe. They blew me away with their sound and stage presence. Almost made me want to buy my Derbyshire print Kilt. I’m damn glad these musicians got mentioned. They deserve to be heard and enjoyed. Do yourself a great favor and treat yourselves to Nimmo Bros. Black Cat Bone on YouTube. Watch their magic! There’s nothing comparable. Thanks John and Pete Francis, you hit a triple with this aticle. Thanks bud.

  • Dom Martin all day long …uk instrumentalist of the year 2022 and 2023….A no brainer!

  • I couldn’t agree more with Hannah. She combines blues rock, southern rock, and straight up hard driving rock. She’s the complete package very few people know about.

  • The fine and excellent Vintage Trouble, who’ve toured the world opening for indeed The Who, opened for the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, and will strike a level of soulful blues/rock that even had the AC/DC crowd in Europe applauding—trust me on this.

  • Maybe one day for Anthony Gomes…I would love to see it..

  • Kinda seems like the same names keep popping up in these big festivals of blues talent nowadays. We’ve seen them frequently,but sometimes isn’t it wise to give the new “kids,” who’ve struggled for decades,their time for a day in the sun? Just asking, because the BRR has come up with a great list of top blues musicians who also deserve to play, perhaps even in their own festival!! js…

  • How about Jimmy Thackery….

  • Agree with the fact that Anthony Gomes, could bring new blood to this festival, he is absolutely one of the best out there on the road today!
    Very happy to see Eric Gales on the bill for this years event, after watching him and meeting him on RLC#9, he is insanely good, and deserves to be in this festival.

  • Albert Castiglia would be fantastic!!



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