I recently discovered a coterie of amazingly talented guitarists recording for CandyRat Records (here's a link to their site). They are not classic prog-rockers by any stretch, but they are so good that I'd like to give them some recognition among the ProgVine crowd. The Wikipedia entry just lists artists with no info, but here's how I got into the coterie: An immensely talented metal guitarist that I work with told me to go look up Andy McKee on YouTube.I thought it was going to be some Kirk Hammond wannabe (Wikipedia tells me that I'm coming late to the party; he is very well known in some circles), but when I plugged his name in, this is the video I found. It is an absolutely beautiful song, and a masterful display of fabulous finger-tapping guitar technique. Almost all of the artists on CandyRat put up gobs of videos, so you can browse forever through the ranks of immensely talented guitarists. It's almost all acoustic guitar solos with some duets and some guitarists using some electric/digital effects.
Some of the other CandyRat artists I've grown very fond of through their YouTube presence are Stefano Barone (if you like Eno and 70s German electronica, check this guy out), Antoine Dufour, Craig D'Andrea, Pino Forastiere, and Don Ross. I'm a huge, huge Trey Gunn fan, and McKee's finger-tapping reminds me of some of Gunn's work with the Warr Guitar, though the resulting music is very different.
McKee lists among his influences Michael Hedges (no surprise), and, interestingly, Dream Theater, Steve Lukather, Metallica, Joe Satriani, Iron Maiden, Pantera, King Crimson, Primus, and Pat Metheny.
If McKee and CandyRat are familiar to you, then I'm glad I finally jumped on this particular bandwagon. If not, let me introduce you.