14. Judah Bauer—Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Jon Spencer may take the lion’s share of the credit (and therefore the blame, but that’s another matter) for Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, but if the band began and ended with his calculatedly cartoonish antics it never would have gotten off the ground. His two partners in crime—drummer Russell Simins and guitarist Judah Bauer—were what made the NYC-based JSBX a marquee act, particularly Bauer. Here we had a young guitarist who’d seemingly absorbed every note Keith Richards played in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and could effortlessly spit it all back out on a battered Telecaster, playing like a man well beyond his years. Yet he didn’t sound studied and therefore stiff but rather telepathic in how he assisted Spencer in gluing the band together over 10 albums for a range of independent labels.