What is there left to say about Orianthi ? Every superlative to describe her ability and talent has been written. I watch some of her performances online and they often leave me speechless. Last year, Australian Guitar Magazine offered up their ‘Definitive Top Ten Australian Guitarists of All Time’ list. Having been a rock fanatic my whole life – monsieur Rockbrat is more than qualified to offer my thoughts on this ‘definitive’ gathering of six-string slingers. Angus is at #1 and deservedly so – he has his own style and sound. No argument there folks – and there are some other amazing players is their top ten as well, such as Tommy Emmanuel, Mossy, the great Rick Brewster, the Iceman, and Lobby Lloyde. The fact that Orianthi has already established herself on the world stage – is spoken about in the same breath as Hendrix and admired by the likes of Carlos Santana and Steve Vai – yet cannot make an irrelevant list like this ! Now that is funny – and downright embarrassing – especially for a couple of the people on that list. How can you look me in the eye and tell me that that card-board cut-out ‘punk’ from the Living End – (who shamelessly aped the Clash and others before him) – is superior to Orianthi ? Gimme a break. Or Ross Hannaford from Daddy Cool being named above her ! Now that is amusing. That geeky fossil may’ve blown the doped-out minds of surfies back in 1971, but really – just how influential was he ? Exactly. Whatever – she shoulda been on that list, but I couldn’t really care – and I bet the humble Orianthi couldn’t either. Those in the know, can recognize just how special she really is. I am not going to give you the complete history – but her first gig was as a 15 year old supporting Steve Vai in Adelaide – who clearly knew that he was witnessing a once-in-a-generation guitar player – and it all started from there. Make sure you view her 2009 Grammy Awards performance – where she performed as part of Carrie Underwood’s band. If you can ignore the cliched, long-legged nonsense which Underwood carries on with – and close your eyes and listen, you will get what I am saying. The licks she lays down during those four short minutes would make Hendrix and Clapton jump in fright. She simply smokes, and without even trying – steals the show. Although landing the gig as Michael Jackson’s guitar player not long before – Orianthi, at that time was still relatively unknown. In my opinion, this was the performance which made many people sit up and take note….including me. I knew of her as the ‘Australian guitar player who landed the gig with Michael Jackson’, but shame on me for not discovering her earlier. So again, go to that Awards performance – close your eyes and listen to her playing – listen to what is actually going on along her fretboard. The feel, flair and natural ability which she possesses cannot be rehearsed and it cannot be taught. It is a gift. An instinct. Orianthi is a visionary who has magic flowing through her fingers. Fellow-femme players like Bonnie Raitt and Lita Ford (whom I adore) – do not receive the accolades which Orianthi has received. But being female does not enter the equation – her gender and looks are indeed irrelevant – you need to look further my friends. look and listen with your ears. When you have so many young women artists nowadays all vying to be the next Kelly Clarkson or discovered on one of the many ‘talent’ programs – it’s refreshing that the ass-kicking Orianthi is around. Let me ask you this – is she the greatest guitar player since Hendrix ? – Hmmm – that’s a big call – but in time, you will add her name to Beck, Hendrix, Rhoads, Clapton, Ray Vaughan, Santana and the like. That I can assure you. Until then friends, be in no doubt – Orianthi is the greatest guitar player alive today….