John Mayer. By Hannah Johnston/Getty Images.
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For good old-fashioned guitar shredding that’s loud enough to take the roof off Radio City Music Hall, look no further than Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who is faster on the frets than Neil Young but just as soulful in his approach. On the lighter side, Sweden’s José González picks complex acoustic patterns while singing smart lyrics that make Mayer sound like ‘NSync’s bluesy third cousin. But of all the guitar gods busting eardrums out there, Jack White has the true Midas touch, whether he’s playing with the White Stripes or the Raconteurs.