If someone as awesome as Steve Vai describes watching someone play for the first time and being “stunned to silence”, you know there is something special going on. And Tommy Emmanuel is the man for the job. Not only is he not of this planet from a technical point of view, he also turns out to be a stellar entertainer and a really funny guy.
Should you not know who Emmanuel is (hey, I was only introduced to him a couple of years ago), this man is a phenomenon on nylon and steel stringed guitars, preferably from fellow Aussies Maton. And not only that, sometimes he is a one man band, providing percussive sounds and bass along his chords and melodies. And on top of that, he sings as well. How can we not be impressed by this man’s capabilities? And now we’re at it, his rhythmic prowess matches that of his guitar playing.
So I dare you to watch this DVD and not be impressed. Whether it are the 11 tracks taken from various performances in the US or the 5 bonus tracks, prepare to be blown away. Not only by dazzling technique, but also by wit and feel. Alone, or with friends, the man is born to play and perform. And in his own words, still trying to become good at it. Humbling!
Recently I met a guy that was able to turn my attention to guitar players that mainly play acoustic. Thanks to YouTube I got to witness some performances that rocked my world. Yeah I have seen and heard numerous great guitarists, but they all mainly play electric. And now it appears there is a whole new world out there with musicians that can do things on a guitar I did not know were possible.
One of the examples is Tommy Emmanuel. His playing is of a technical level that is almost out of this world, like on opener Cantina Senese. And still, a song like title track the Mystery is so beautiful it almost hurts. Some in this genre are a one man band. Playing rhythm, bass, chords and melody on just a single guitar, using only their ten fingers and their 2 hands. Great to hear, yet phenomenal to watch. Emmanuel plays mainly a sort of fingerpicking style on this album. There is also a chilling vocal track, The Wall, where he even sings, besides Elizabeth Watkins. On the digipack it says he took care of all instrumentation, so it could be that one man band phenomenon is at play here as well.
Well, I am heading into much more adventure now, and hope to encourage you to do the same. Guys like Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee or Jimmy Wahlsteen (to name but a few) deserve it! Get it? Good!