Tommy Emmanuel has been hailed by many as the best acoustic guitar player to date, and I might just have to agree. Several descriptive words that came to my mind after seeing him in concert were: WOW! AMAZING! NEVER SAW ANYONE PLAY LIKE THAT BEFORE!
I think guitar players around the world are especially able to appreciate the skill set that Tommy has acquired over the years. Not only because of the wide variety of styles he seems to play with grace and ease, but also the mesmerizing harmonics, speedy licks, and percussive techniques he incorporates into his playing.
Watch these videos and see for yourself just how good he really is…
The Tommy Emmanuel Version of Classical Gas:
Tommy received his first guitar at the early age of four. His mother gave him some initial lessons, but it wasn’t long before he was playing by ear. He began performing with his mom and brother Phil when he was only six years old. His father, seeing they had real talent, decided to sell the family home and take them on the road. He took care of the business side of things and would set up gigs for them to play. By the time Tommy was 10 years old he had already traveled and played extensively throughout his native country of Australia.
Born with a seemingly insatiable appetite for learning, Tommy has continued his quest for greater knowledge and musical experiences. Here are some of the things he’s done…
- During the 1970s he played drums for the band Goldrush
- He was lead guitarist for the Southern Star Band in the late ’70s
- He joined John Farnham’s band during the early 1980’s and was featured on the album Uncovered
- Later in the 1980s he joined and toured widely with the rock group Dragon
- He toured with Tina Turner in 1987 while in the group Dragon
- In 2000 he played for the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Sydney with brother Phil
- He played at the Washington National Cathedral in 2002 on behalf of victims of the Bali bombings
- The Readers’ Choice and Players’ Choice Awards for both Guitar Player Magazine and Acoustic Guitar Magazine named him Best Acoustic Guitarist and Gold Medalist in 2008
- In 2010 he was selected for a second time by Guitar Player’s Choice Awards as the Best Acoustic Guitarist
Other notable experiences include the opportunity of meeting and performing with his childhood hero Chet Atkins. In addition to this, he has also played with Les Paul, Doc Watson, Edgar Cruz, John Denver, Air Supply, George Martin, Eric Clapton, and Martin Taylor.
Tommy Emmanuel is a master musician of the highest caliber and his performances are absolutely spell-binding. I highly recommend seeing him in concert if you ever have the chance. He’ll put a smile on your face and make you feel good, leaving you with a special memory that you won’t easily forget!