My latest hope for life on earth, guitaristically speaking, is Marco Sfogli. I recently discovered the Italian musician by deciding to finally check out James LaBrie's solo album, Elements of Persuasion. LaBrie, the vocalist for Dream Theater, recruited Sfogli to play on his 2005 release.
With guitar work that great, I had to get Marco's solo instrumental album, which came out last year, There's Hope. This exceptional guitarist not only excels in the progressive rock and metal genre (which already sets a high bar), but he demonstrates some bluesy, and even country, capabilities. His appreciation for country (which I lack) is shown at the end of the album with "Texas BBQ," the shortest track.
Okay, so now I finally have a little bit of country music. It took an Italian rock guitarist to do it!