I don't know that I agree with JIm on this one. For much of my life, a lot of the guitar sounds I heard were live, not recorded, not through a mic or preamp or console. In some cases, it was an acoustic guitar, so there wasn't even an amp. With electric guitars, it was fairly easy to tell what was being played, as long as you weren't homogenizing the sound through a ton of pedals.
I was a color matcher for 40 years, We had different pigments, maybe 3 reds, 4 blues, 3 different yellows. I could easily tell you which pigment was used for a product, just by looking at it. assuming you didn't start blending stuff together although I could often spot them as well.. It was experience that allowed me to look at a color and tell you the product used. Just like a Telecaster or a Barney Kessel, they have distinct characteristics.
The problem I have is the use of the word "tone". It's an ambiguous word. It can mean different things to different people, except maybe in the broadest sense. The "tone" knob on a guitar or amp is mostly a bass/treble control. Yet people talk about "tone" when they are discussing overdrive, sustain, technique, and just about anything that can be adjusted with a guitar (or any other instrument).
As for if someone sounds like Keith Urban, or Joe Walsh, or Derek Trucks, that's not "tone". Technique isn't "tone". If you take Derek's SG, and try to play it, you probably won't sound anything like Derek, unless you've really worked hard to mirror his style of attack, how he holds his slide, and how he uses vibrato.