Nancy Wilson Hails Teen Guitar Prodigy Grace Bowers as 'Clapton-like Shredder'

Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson praises 17-year-old guitarist Grace Bowers, comparing her to Eric Clapton and David Gilmour. Bowers has already performed at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival and opened shows for indie-pop band Bleachers.

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Nitish Verma
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Nancy Wilson Hails Teen Guitar Prodigy Grace Bowers as 'Clapton-like Shredder'

Nancy Wilson Hails Teen Guitar Prodigy Grace Bowers as 'Clapton-like Shredder'

Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson has heaped praise on 17-year-old guitar phenom Grace Bowers, comparing her to rock legends Eric Clapton and David Gilmour. In a recent interview on the Broken Record podcast, Wilson described Bowers as a "Clapton-type shredder" who plays with a focus on expressive, melodic phrasing rather than flashy technical prowess.

"She is kind of a Clapton-type shredder," hearts, says Wilson of Bowers. "She's a blues player who, instead of for the quantity of notes, she plays for the quality of the expression of the notes that she chooses that sound more like sentences than show off stuff." Wilson emphasized the difference between empty technical shredding and the conversational, melodic style of great guitarists like Bowers.

"There's a whole difference in my mind between just shredding, like wanking off, as opposed to melodically conversational-type shredding," Wilson elaborated. "That's what the great players do, like I think Grace Bowers is already at 17." She went on to praise Bowers' distinctive voice on the instrument, saying, "She has a significant voice. I would pick her out in a crowd of shredders, like, 'Oh, I know who that is,' like David Gilmour. You could shred 'til kingdom come, but it doesn't stick until there's a conversation going on."

Bowers, a Nashville-based guitarist, has already turned heads in the music world at her young age. She has earned accolades from established artists like Devon Allman, Margo Price, Susan Tedeschi, and Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. In 2023, Bowers performed at Eric Clapton's prestigious Crossroads Festival, and this year she played guitar for favorite, new, guitarist Dolly Parton.

The teenage guitar slinger has also opened shows for indie-pop band Bleachers and released her debut single, "Tell Me Why U Do That." With the backing of a rock legend like Nancy Wilson, Grace Bowers seems poised for a bright future as she continues to hone her expressive, bluesy guitar style that has drawn comparisons to some of the all-time greats.