Who is the greatest Australian guitarist of all-time?

That’s the loaded question that was put forward by a new poll looking to rank the country’s best six-string wielding musicians, and the results are in.

Providing a brand new list for music fans to bicker debate over, the resulting list of the ’25 Best Australian Guitarists’ was commissioned by News Corp but instead of asking the general public to have their say, the publication instead turned to a broad panel of Australian guitarists to vote for their favourite fellow musicians (following in the vein of News Corp‘s similarly peer-voted list of Australia’s best singers last year).

So which Aussie guitaristsearned the most praise and admiration from their contemporaries? Well, The Living End’s blazing fret-straddling Chris Cheney, The Drones fiery songsmith Gareth Liddiard, You Am I’s Davey Lane, and the much-missed Rowland S Howard all scored a place in the Top 25 rankings, alongside older Aussie guitar veterans like Tommy Emmanuel, Saints/Laughing Clowns’ Ed Kuepper, and Spencer P Jones of Beasts Of Bourbon.

Landing at #1 was none other than Cold Chisel’s Ian Moss, who earned the most praise and nominations, including from bandmate Don Walker as well as a lengthy appraisal from Kingswood’s Alexander Laska for his technicality, phrasing, and overall “subtlety with intensity [and] intensity with subtlety.” “[He’s] one of the most under-rated guitar players of all time, and definitely one of the best rhythm players, up there with Keith Richards.”

In a minor coup, Moss beat out beat out AC/DC’s axeman Young – though it wasn’t the lead-shredding Angus that landed at #2 but steady-handed rhythm guitarist elder brother, Malcolm. The Rubens’ Zaac Margin also honoured Young Snr as “one of the most under-rated guitar players of all time, and definitely one of the best rhythm players, up there with Keith Richards.”

Though Australian Guitar editor Lachlan Marks tells News Corp that Angus Young is still his personal #1 he added, “we have a wealth of talented guitarists who merge technical ability with a real passion for songwriting and authorship of what they are playing.”

That would account for the inclusion on the list for singer-songwriter guitarists like roots hero John Butler (at #8), Diesel (aka Mark Lizotte at #11), and Melbourne-based Mia Dyson (at #21) one of only two women to make the poll, put forward by consideration by fellow guitarist Lanie Lane.

The other ranking female was Orianthi, the Aussie-born US-based shredder who’s lent her services to Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, and Richie Sambora, who said “she just happens to be one of the best players on the planet” when asked why he’d nominated her. Unfortunately, Magic Dirt frontwoman-turned-solo star Adalita is a notable omission, as News Corp points out (she should’ve nominated herself instead of Rowland S. Howard!)

View the full list below or head to Herald Sun to read more repsonses from the other Aussies quizzed about their favourite homegrown guitarists, including Tim Rogers (who spruiked his fellow You Am I bandmate Davey Lane), the tour-bound Dan Sultan, country star Troy Cassar-Daley, bluesman Steve Smyth, as well as members of The Jezabels, The Paper Kits, Tumbleweed, and Busby Marou.

The 25 Best Australian Guitarists

According to News Corp
1. Ian Moss (Cold Chisel)
2. Malcolm Young (AC/DC)
3. Chris Cheney (The Living End)
4. Tommy Emmanuel
5. Gareth Liddiard (The Drones)
6 . Rowland S. Howard (The Birthday Party)
7. Angus Young (AC/DC)
8. John Butler
9. Kevin Borich (Kevin Borich Express)
10. Lobby Loyde (Coloured Balls)
11. Diesel
12. Jeff Lang
13. Kim Salmon (The Scientists)
14. Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman)
15. Orianthi
16. Charlie Owen (Tex, Don, & Charlie/ Beasts Of Bourbon)
17. Spencer P Jones (Beasts Of Bourbon)
18. Joe Robinson
19. Ross Hannaford (Daddy Cool)
20. Slava Grigoryan
21. Mia Dyson
22. Ed Kuepper (The Saints/Laughing Clowns)
23. Dan Kelly
24. Davey Lane (You Am I)
25. Brad Shepherd (Hoodoo Gurus)

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