10 Best Country Guitar Songs

The 10 best country guitar songs cover a wide range of musical styles that the genre encompasses from the alternative country style of artists such as Ryan Adams to the more traditional artists like Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers. Country-influenced guitar songs show off the talents of some of the greatest musicians around.

  1. “Life in the Fast Lane” by the Eagles Although their sound is more west coast than Western, the Eagles are still considered by many to be one of the greatest country bands around. This mid-tempo song has a solid riff and is one of the ten best country guitar songs ever recorded. A real musical workout featuring the talents of Joe Walsh and Don Felder.
  2. “Jessica” by The Allman Brothers Band An instrumental number from one of southern rock's biggest bands. The lyrical guitar melody that runs throughout the piece makes this one of the ten best country guitar songs of its time.
  3. “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd Perhaps their most famous song, “Free Bird” shows just how effective a three-guitar lineup can be. From the mournful slide guitar to the outright gonzo coda, this is one of the ten best country guitar songs and one of the best guitar songs ever.
  4. “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” by Kenny Rogers Although he is known for his ballads, Kenny Rogers has some real up tempo gems, including this psychedelic country song. From the backwards guitar at the start to the mid-song instrumental, this song has all the ingredients of the ten best country guitar songs.
  5. “Personal Jesus” by Johnny Cash Proof that sometimes less is more, Johnny Cash’s unlikely cover of “Personal Jesus” is dominated by an ominous acoustic guitar riff. Dark and foreboding, one of the ten best country guitar songs comes courtesy of the man in black.
  6. “Waiting For The Sun” by The Jayhawks One of alternative country’s finest acts, The Jayhawks have a secret weapon in singer-guitarist Gary Louris as this '90s classic shows. An understated guitar solo perfectly underpins the drama of this song.
  7. “Tannin Bed Song” by Shawn Mullins A great storytelling song from Shawn Mullins. The picked acoustic guitar and electric overdubs capture the mood of the lyrics perfectly. When the final verse kicks in, the sense of urgency is reflected in the great guitar playing.
  8. “Lay Down Sally” by Eric Clapton Normally known as a blues player, Eric Clapton proved he had what it takes to be a good country musician as well. The chicken pickin’ tone of the rhythm guitar enhances the feel of the song and the clean country solo adding icing to the cake.
  9. Harder Now That It’s Over” by Ryan Adams A melancholy ballad from alternative country star Ryan Adams, the songs is an exercise in subtlety. A lilting acoustic guitar keeps the rhythm while the mood of the song is expressed by the swells of a pedal steel guitar that accompanies the chorus.
  10. “Texas Twister” by Little Feat A hyperactive guitar workout, “Texas Twister” features some of the most intense finger-picking on record. Offsetting the fast paced tempo is a staccato guitar solo that is reminiscent of many great blues players past.
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