Tommy EmmanuelTue. Jun 5, 2012 at 8:00pm EDT (-04:00)
21 and Over
The very best way to understand what Tommy Emmanuel is all about is by listening to what others have said about him. The late Chet Atkins had this recollection:
"Tommy is big in Australia and over in Europe, but guitar fans in America have just been learning about him the past few years. He appeared at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention a few years ago and brought the house down. People have been talking about him ever since, and his fame is spreading. He's about the only guitarist I've heard who can come close to what Lenny [Breau] did with harmonics, and he's got a style all his own. I think he's probably the greatest finger-picker in the world today. He's inventive, fearless and has a flawless sense of rhythm. He's a great showman, too. You can't watch Tommy perform and not feel happy. I just love him. We made an album together in 1996 called The Day Fingerpickers Took Over The World, which I'm very proud of. It's got some beautiful tunes on it, and our playing blended well. Tommy is going to give the world a lot of great music in the coming years"
A very big fan named Sherry Mabry from Kansas City had this to say:
"For most of the past 20 years, I have spent the third weekend of September in Winfield, Kansas at one of the premier acoustic music festivals in the country and have seen some extraordinary guitarists. In 2000, I wandered over to see this Australian guitarist that sounded interesting in the festival program. I was captivated from the first song. With each new tune, I kept trying to categorize what I was hearing. "Sounds a little jazzy." After Blue Moon, "Oh, he plays older, 'classic' tunes." By the time he did a drum solo on his guitar, I had given up and realized that what he plays is incredible, joyful music-whether it's a tune he's written himself, or a cover that he has "made his own". Tommy does the Beatles better than the Beatles. He can take a song that you never liked and make you love it. When he finally slows down, he goes from blistering hot to break-your-heart beautiful-sometimes within the same song.
Since then we've see Tommy six times, traveling close to 2000 miles. He never disappoints. One should never hesitate to see Tommy two nights in a row, if possible. He never does the same show twice. He says he just comes out and plays whatever he feels like playing. With a lifetime of performing behind him, his repertoire seems limitless. To say he loves to play is an understatement of the highest order. You'lf get your money's worth at a Tommy Emmanuel concert."
Fellow guitar player and Professor of Computer Science Zach Bergen from Colorado sums it up beautifully:
"What you will see when you hear Tommy is countless hours of hard work and passionate dedication to his art, because Tommy is an artist and he paints masterpieces with his instrument. That is why his music appeals to more than just guitar fans. What is happening to people during Tommy's concerts is that they are experiencing a man who shows love and compassion through his music and explores the frontiers of feeling, the way any truly great artist uses his/her medium to express the divine.
Tommy Emmanuel is a spiritualfy driven man whose instrument happens to be the guitar. He is a modern day prophet who is uniquely doing his service to mankind. There is meaning in his notes."
The year 2002 was highlighted by the release of the album ONLY in the United States and the world by Favored Nations Acoustic, the guitar label run by legendary guitarist Steve VaL The result was a rise in profile around the United States with every growing crowds and record sales. Tommy's fan bases in the United States, England, Germany and Italy have take a quantum leap.
The year 2001 was one of tremendous growth, both in audience attendance and musical collaboration, all over the world. After Tommy's appearance on the Closing Ceremonies of the Sydney Olympic Games, and his debut at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, in late 2000, everyone wanted to know who this mysterious Australian guitar virtuoso was.
In January Tommy was invited to open for Italy's most famous band, "Pooh" and spent the month performing to sold-out crowds all around the country. He then followed up with major solo appearances. In March and April he returned to New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong completing major TV appearances and a run of sold-out shows. Immediately following he was invited to open for Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings tour of the UK and also appeared on Wyman's critically acclaimed albums. In May he appeared on Mountain Stage, a US National Public Radio nation-wide program. In July, his beloved friend Chet Atkins passed away and Tommy came to Nashville for the annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society convention shortly after Chet's passing to celebrate his life with other great guitarists and friends.
The events of September 11th prevented Tommy's return to the Walnut Valley Festival on September 1ih. but he finally arrived on the first available flight to the United States to commence a large scale tour encompassing brand new territories including Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Northern California, Oklahoma, Connecticut, and New York State. His appearances included a performance at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. where he was introduced by the Australian Ambassador to members of the US government community and local Australians.
November marked the release of his album ONLY in Eng!and, distributed by Southbound Records, and he supported this release with a full tour of the country including ten days in Ireland. This tour recruited a large legion of new fans in the UK and Ireland, and generated tremendous media coverage.
Tommy Emmanuel is a household name in his native homeland of Australia. His music and his life have become part of Australian legend. Through hard work and endless tours, he has earned a success unequalled by any instrumental artist ever in Australia. With 4 platinum & 3 gold albums and many awards, he sets the standard for others to emulate. As a songwriter (co-writing with 1960s star Steve Kipner), his compositions have been recorded by Olivia Newton-John, AI Jarreau and Sheena Easton. His career has spanned 4 decades and continues to forge on into the 21 st century with a new CD titled "ONLY" his first solo acoustic album, with a mission to expand his audience and take his music to the rest of the world.
"!'ve spent all my life from the age of 4 playing music and entertaining people, ! never wanted to do anything else" he says... "Music brings people together."
As a child prodigy during the 1960s, Tommy and his brother Phil formed their own bands like The Emmanuel Quartet, The Midget Safaries and The Trailblazers (completed by siblings Chris on drums and Virginia on slide guitar). Tommy commenced his session career during the 1970s; some of his most notable appearances were on the Air Supply hit singles 'Lost in Love', 'All Out of Love', 'Every Woman in the World' and 'Now and Forever'.
Tommy's presence was felt in the USA when his album "Midnight Drive" was in the top 5 for 16 weeks, which made him the "most added artist" on the NAC radio charts in 1997.
In Nashville in 1999, Tommy was honoured by his mentor, Chet Atkins, receiving the Certified Guitar Player (CGP) award, for his contribution to finger style guitar. It was a crowning moment for the "Kid from Down Under."
His versatility has taken Tommy from international Jazz Festivals to special events at The Sydney Opera House, The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, performing for the King of Thailand and the Australian Prime Minister and going to remote areas in Peru and Africa to name a few.
Tommy has toured and worked with; Sir George Martin, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Michael Bolton, Olivia Newton-John, Tina Arena, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, James Burton, John Denver, Albert Lee, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Dave Koz, Martin Taylor, Leo Kottke, Hank Marvin, Joe Walsh, Warren Hill, James Morrison, John Farnham, Roberta Flack, Randy Goodrum, David Hirshfelder, The Chieftains and many more.
" One of the greatest players on the planet" - Chet Atkins
"I'm gonna steal all his guitars, the kid's entirely too good." - Jerry Reed.
"Tommy's recordings and his songs are imbued with a vitality and beauty rarely heard in instrumental music today" - Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
Nancy Jean W
David V O
Nancy Jean W
David V O