Xmas Dolly, who invited me to this little ol’ blog hop, told me this week is a freebie, and that I was welcome to post anything I like. I’m going to use this opportunity to feature the music of one of my favorite fingerstyle players, Australia’s Tommy Emmanuel, Certified Guitar Player. (“Certified Guitar Player” is an honor bestowed on him by Chet Atkins, who basically made the whole thing up.)
My introduction to Tommy’s playing was not as a fingerstyle player. About fifteen years ago, I was walking through the music department of my local Borders Books and Music (sadly, no longer in existence), and saw this CD, The Journey, by Tommy Emmanuel, who was pictured on the jewel case holding a Fender Telecaster to his chest. But, in reading the credits on the back, I saw no mention of a vocalist. I really enjoy instrumental rock, so I bought the album and brought it home. By the time I got to “Somethin’s Goin’ On,” the third track on the album, I was hooked. This guy was amazing!
Eventually I learned of his fingerstyle playing, mostly through the magic of YouTube. Here’ his version of “Classical Gas.” It segues into a couple of other songs along the way.
Tommy did a talk at TEDxMelbourne a while back, “My Life as a One-Man Band.” I won’t embed it here, but it’s worth watching the next time you about twenty minutes to kill.
Here’s Tommy’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” This was recorded live at the sommer NAMM show in 2009.
Tommy plays well with others. Here he is with another Certified Guitar Player, John Knowles, doing the Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love.”
Tommy’s latest album, It’s Never Too Late, came out last Friday and is available from iTunes and Amazon. It is a remarkable album, and I recommend it highly. It’s the first time in fifteen years he’s recorded a totally solo album, and the songs are beautiful. Here’s the opening cut off the album, “Only Elliott.” It’s one of my favorites.
Last Friday, I featured a song by Tommy and Frank Vignola, “Swing 42,” a Django Reinhardt song. I won’t embed it here, but it shows that he can play as well with a flat pick as he does fingerstyle.
Tommy has a YouTube channel on which he shares a lot of his music, and there are a lot of videos on other channels of him playing, talking about playing, and sharing some of his philosophy. He also has a website where you can get his latest news, tour dates, learn about him, join his fan club, and buy gear.
I really hope you take some time and listen to this fantastic guitar player and great human being.
That’s it for Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 21, 2015.