The name Steve Lukather is probably not on the lips of many people who think of great guitarists - Jimmy Page, Brian May, Jimi Hendrix, BB King and Ry Cooder normally attract muso's ears, although I personally prefer Vini Reilly, Glenn Phillips, Jeff Beck, J Mascis, John Abercrombie and Pat Metheny.
Steve Lukather's pedigree might also turn a few noses up - Toto are probably remembered for "Africa" and "Rosanna", rather than "Hold the Line" and the good stuff. Apart from Toto, however, the man has sessioned for some of the biggest names in 80s rock and pop including Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, Jackson Browne, Eddie Van Halen and The Tubes. Add to that a few solo albums of note, including a new album for 2010, "All's Well That Ends Well", and you have a repertoire worth singing about - well, maybe riffing about in Steve's case. Check his discography on his website for a full list of appearances and recordings - it literally runs into the hundreds!
He has announced a European tour in November, including three dates in the UK that really shouldn't be missed. The first is in London at the Islington Academy on the 18th, followed by Wolverhampton on the 19th and Southampton on the 20th - Tickets for London go on sale tomorrow morning, Wednesday at 9am, priced at £25. The others are on sale now.
Robert Cray Band
There are other superb guitarists doing the rounds throughout the remainder of the year - bluesman Robert Cray and band, plus Andy Fairweather Low in support, is due to play the Barbican on Wednesday [watch this space for a review - Ed], as well as a few dates across the country including the Maryport Festival (tickets are still available).
Peter Green and Friends
Other blues-men include Fleetwood Mac's ex-guitarist Peter Green and Friends (three dates from 31st July - 2nd Aug) in the North and Walter Trout (extensive October tour from Hull to Exeter and back again - 5th to 30th Oct). Tickets are still available for most of those too.
If you want a bit more 'rock' for your buck, then try Joe Satriani on tour in October (16th - 23rd) opening in Dublin on 16th, with dates in Manchester, Bristol, London, Newcastle, Glasgow and finally Birmingham, for around £33 a ticket .
Finally, former Mr Big and Poison man Richie Kotzen is on the Road for a short November tour (with possibly more dates to be added - watch this space) , tickets costing between £12 and £15. Steve Hackett also hits the road in November, hitting Southampton, Manchester, Swansea, Brighton and many more before finishing in London at the Shepherds Bush Empire on Tuesday 30th November. Tickets cost around the £20 mark. See below for more details and ticket availability.