John Petrucci- "Through Her Eyes" (Live in NYC). Minute 7:40 and entire first 2 minutes+. So My top 5 could have easily been
a) Through her eyes-John Petrucci
b) Hollow Years-John Petrucci
c) Another Day- John Petrucci
d) Spirit Carries on- John Petrucci
e) Comfortably Numb- John Petrucci (and ALMOST picked this one as a cheat code to get Petrucci and This iconic solo in one combo).
When selecting the perfect Petrucci solo this one lands atop for me because- It was the first I fell in love with, It's Melodic, It's Long Haired Petrucci, It's Live (knew it would be a live one), there are moments of playability (meaning I've ripped melodic moments off in church before in my own playing), and there are moments of no way playability (lightning fast riffs I could never duplicate)... Great initials JP...Great solo JP...The only way to start this list #1
Phil Keaggy- "Spend My LIfe With You" (Live 1983). Minute 28:19 and 35:30. If Petrucci is my fave guitar player, Phil Keaggy is my favorite musician ever. I've seen him in concert more than any other artist.
I've watched this live concert more than any other ever. I can quote every line between songs, and can sing every guitar part. When selecting my fave, this has to be it. 1st introduction to an ebow for me. My first obsession with delay/chorus (anyone who knows me knows this tone here screams JP affection)... Even his imperfections in this live performance are perfect...
3. Dann Huff- "Stay". Minute 2:40. Finally a non live track! Shocker I know. I knew Dann would make this list (as much as I talk about him he had to have an appearance)...But which one? The Way he starts this one, the way he blisters, the sleeveless shirt and headband, the false harmonics...This is the Dann we all should know and love. Pick up your axe and shred along with Dann in C#m folks...Destroy those sand castles...
4. Eric Clapton- "Old Love"...Minute 5:27...Back to live action. The 4th spot has changed 3x's in the past hour. They are duking it out and I've almost hit send on this coveted 4th spot (the cleanup batter) multiple times but the picking+palm work at 6:25, the classic Clapton phrases we all know and love, the ridiculous high bends at 6:40ish mark, the black suit with black shirt and clean cut Clapton, the black strat, the cheap classic ernie ball strap that everyone has owned at sometimes....
This all screams blues completion and redemption for EC in his post heavy drug use era... I can taste my mothers homemade dirt cake watching this live concert on my couch for hours on end (yep nerd) and this was always a highlight. Had to get at least 1 bluesish solo on this list too amidst the shredders and tone chasers.
5. Eric Johnson- "Lonely In The Night"... (minute 3:37) Knew this one was either going to open or close this list for me. If asked my favorite guitar solo ever, this one stands atop the mountain...It will never leave the list.
I will always remember where I was the first time I heard The Venus Isle album and I had to ask the person I was riding with to "rewind the tape (yep tape)" several times on this track...It's the best thing you will hear today...Let the tone, the phrasing, the brilliance speak for itself...