With their excellent Undertoad EP out this week, we caught up with Blueprint Blue's Elliot Hayward to talk guitar idols. It seems he's a Laurel Canyon boy at heart!

Blueprint Blue play London Fields Brewery on May 24th as part of the Hear No Evil Festival, and at Madame Jojo's White Heat on June 10th. Order the EP by heading here.


Stephen Stills

Stills' acoustic guitar sound is so distinctive; for me it is the definitive sound of Laurel Canyon. Did you know he played the bass and guitar on Joni Mitchell's 'Carey'? His playing often appears really simple because he uses a Palmer Modal Tuning (EEEEBE) creating tension and harmony using basically only the top two strings, but it's his picking/strumming style that is so difficult to emulate and SO cool.



Buddy Guy

Apparently Hendrix once cancelled one of his own shows to see Buddy Guy play. His playing style is super expressive and not particularly technical - true blues. He has such patience that he teases the audience - you know what he can do but you have to wait for him to do it. Here he's jamming at the 1969 Supersession with Jack Bruce (Cream) and Buddy Miles (Band of Gypsys).



Ry Cooder

Like his friend David Lindley, Ry Cooder has probably played sessions on some of your favourite records. He's a master of stringed instruments in general and a great user of alternative and open tunings. He's also wonderful to watch because he's so selfless and generous as a musician and ensemble member.



Neil Young

He's how I justify most of what I do, including making lots of mistakes in performances. His style is totally sporadic and wild and he has real technical ability, which is most evident when he's playing acoustically. Seeing Neil and Crazy Horse's messy extended jams was as close as I've ever been to a religious experience. I don't believe in God but I believe in Neil Young.



Jimi Hendrix

Any guitar player that doesn't include Hendrix on their list either isn't a guitar player or has never heard his music. Musical academics have spent years trying to analyse the affects of his amp settings, string gauges etc as well as more specifically his technique but still no one gets close to understanding his magic. He had the rare combination of being a brilliantly creative thinker and being able to execute all of his far out ideas with effortless soul.