Inspired by Alec’s column last week, we think it is time to decide once and for all who is Scotland’s greatest ever guitarist. This week we invite more of your suggestions and next week we’ll nominate 5 for a public vote. Today Glaswegian singer-songwriter Roddy Hart tells us why he’s endorsing John Martyn. (Photo : Wilson Neate)

Roddy Hart on John Martyn

“John Martyn played guitar like a man possessed. He understood that to truly connect, it was the soul of a song that mattered and nothing else. Martyn conveyed this not only through his timeless vocals, lyrics and melodies, but through his playing. Sweet and soulful, but always with an air of trademark menace, he made the guitar sing.”


Roddy Hart’s new album “Sign Language” is scheduled for release on the 9th November 2009 on Vertical Records.  The first song from the album “Send A Message” was released as a download single on the 26th of October. Download it here. Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire’s tour dates are on their myspace page.

More details on the Scotland’s Greatest vote

As well as gauging opinion on Scotland’s greatest guitarist, over the next few weeks we thought it might be interesting to seek your suggestions and votes for Scotland’s greatest ever drummer, bassist and vocalist.

But first up are the guitar players, so feel free to email or leave a comment below or on the Facebook page or via Twitter if you think there is someone else who should be considered for the title of “Scotland’s Greatest Ever Guitarist”.

Then, over the next 7 days, the Dear Scotland contributors will put together a shortlist of 5 for you, Dear Readers, to vote on Wednesday 4th November.

Alec’s top five was Zal Cleminson, Stuart Adamson, Brian (Robbo) Robertson, Bert Jansch and Dave Arcari. Other Guitarists named last week included:

Simon Neil – Biffy Clyro

Solely responsible for originating a guitar style that has thousands of mascara-ravaged kids hidden in bedrooms all over the UK trying to be Biffy Clyro.


Charlie Burchill – Simple Minds

Alec says that his own personal jury is still out on whether Charlie is a guitar god or not but he has to be on here just for that Waterfront riff.

Stuart Braithwaite – Mogwai

Mogwai guitar hero and pun master.

Who do you think should be in the top 5? The voting commences next week.

The Dear

Dear Scotland is grateful to photographer Wilson Neate for allowing us permission to use an image of John Martyn on this article. However, due to unauthorised uses elsewhere, that photo has now been removed. You can see more of Wilson Neate’s work at his myspace page and his Flickr pages.


  1. The ones stated are all masters but ….. its got to be Brian ‘Rocky’ Robertson – Thin Lizzy teenager of the 70’s?
    Surely !!!!!!!!!

  2. Rob Slevin – Ireland, here . Didnt mean for my comment on Stuart’s sparkling playing to be anonymous. Everything the man played was inspired , truly. If you only know the early stuff , you need to buy The Buffalo Skinners album (extra tracks edition if possible) , it is one of The Great guitar albums . Treat yourself.

  3. Rab Howat, Edinburgh. This guy can play anything and everything. Must be heard to be believed.