Tommy Emmanuel, CGP
SHOW DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
“Songs are our teachers. They show us the depth of the human race and its unrelenting desire to create.” -- Tommy Emmanuel
Anytime you talk to any of Tommy Emmanuel’s fans, whether musicians or civilians, invariably they will speak of not one but two qualities that define his greatness. The first, predictably, is his extraordinary guitar playing. Considered by those in the know to be among this planet’s greatest guitarists, his playing is simply miraculous, as it would take three musicians, or more, to do what Tommy does solo. Who else, for example, when playing “Day Tripper,” can lay down the rhythm part, dig into the riff and sing the melody all at once on just one acoustic guitar? Which brings us to the other aspect of his music always mentioned, and without which the first might not be as powerful or as infectiously appealing: the joy. Yes, joy. Because it’s one thing to play these multi-dimensional arrangements flawlessly on an acoustic guitar. But to do it with that smile of the ages, that evidence of authentic, unbridled delight, is an irresistible invitation to feel his music as deeply as he does. “The joy, he says, “is there always because I'm chasing it through music. Seeing the surprise in peoples' eyes is worth living and working for... I can't help but play to the people with all my heart, which is overflowing with joy of being in that moment that I’ve worked all my life for. And here it is!” Although his expression is instrumental, he comes to the guitar much more like a vocalist, positively singing melodies through the strings. He inhabits the tunes he performs, delivering every nuance and turn of phrase. His own songs are also illuminated always with lyrical melodies that go right to the heart, such as his beautiful ode to his daughter, “Angelina,” or his great “story without words,” “Lewis & Clark.” That they resonate so deeply without words makes sense, as words only go so far. But music, coming from a genuine and joyful source, can go so much farther. Now with The Best of Tommysongs, he brings us a complete collection of his own songs, all rich with ripe melodicism and rendered with joy in real-time.
“When I was a kid, I wanted to be in show business. Now, I just want to be in the happiness business. I make music, and you get happy. That’s a good job.” --Tommy Emmanuel
VIP1 - Meet & Greet Experience Package
- Pre-Show Meet & Greet and Photo Opportunity with Tommy Emmanuel
- One (1) Canvas Bag
- One (1) Signed Event Poster
- One (1) Pick Set
- One (1) Commemorative VIP Laminate
VIP2 - Signed Merch Package
- One (1) Canvas Bag
- One (1) Signed Event Poster
- One (1) Pick Set
Tommy Emmanuel has achieved enough musical milestones to satisfy several lifetimes. Or at least they would if he was the kind of artist who was ever satisfied. At the age of six, he was touring regional Australia with his family band. By 30, he was a rock n’ roll lead guitarist burning up stadiums in Europe. At 44, he became one of five people ever named a Certified Guitar Player by his idol, music icon Chet Atkins. Today, he plays hundreds of sold-out shows every year from Nashville to Sydney to London. All the while, Tommy has hungered for what’s next. When you’re widely acknowledged as the international master of the solo acoustic guitar, what’s next is an album of collaborations with some of the finest singers, songwriters and, yes, guitarists alive today. “For me, music has always been about collaboration–the push and pull you get from another human being’s energy,” explains Tommy. “Even when I play solo, it feels like I’m playing to the emotions I’m getting from the crowd. To feel the love or the joy or the hope coming through these other pickers and singers was electric–I played in ways I never would on my own.” Accomplice One is a testament to Tommy’s musical diversity, the range of expression that stretches from authentic country-blues to face-melting rock shredding, by way of tender and devastating pure song playing. The songs are a mix of new takes on indelible classics and brand new originals from Tommy and his collaborators. The artists who stepped forward to join Tommy in the studio are an impressive list of some of today’s most respected performers, from across the musical spectrum–a lineup including Jason Isbell, Mark Knopfler, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas, Amanda Shires, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Simo, David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Suzy Bogguss and many more. This is an album for all types of Tommy Emmanuel fan–from longtime guitar aficionados who’ve followed his career for decades, to lovers of great songs and melodies who flock to Tommy’s shows for the emotional authenticity driving every performance. Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Isbell conjures up the sweaty atmosphere of his Muscle Shoals roots on opener “Deep River Blues,” a classic fingerpicked blues which has been a longtime staple of Tommy’s live shows. Country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs lends his mandolin and unmistakable voice to “Song and Dance Man,” a chronicle of a life lived for the next show. Tommy’s subtlety and tastefulness blends with Amanda Shires’gorgeous vocal and fiddle playing to transform Madonna’s “Borderline” and Rodney Crowell’s “Looking Forward to the Past” could’ve topped the country charts in another era, with Tommy’s propulsive rhythm supporting Crowell’s sly lyrics while his tasty lead playing weave in and out. For those hankering for virtuosic hot picking, the rave-up “Wheelin’ and Dealin’” sees him trading licks with J.D. Simoand Charlie Cushman, while a jaw-dropping rendition of “Purple Haze” with Dobro master Jerry Douglas captures all the fire and energy of the Hendrix original as the two modern masters push each other to new heights with each raunchy slide and bend. On “You Don’t Want to Get You One of Those,” a sly vocal and acoustic duet with Dire Straits’ legend Mark Knopfler, there was a third, invisible presence in the studio– the late Chet Atkins. “Mark and I both learned so much from Chet–he was a hero and a mentor to each of us, and we’ve tried to bring his spirit forward into the future in our own playing,” says Tommy. “This song that Mark wrote captured Chet’s sense of humor so well and I had the time of my life in the studio with him conjuring the master as we laid it down.” While this was the first time he and Knopfler had collaborated, the album also featured some of Tommy’s longtime fellow road warriors, who have covered the miles in buses and planes around the world on tour over many years. “Djangology” is a gypsy jazz treat cut live in Havana, Cuba with Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo and “Rachel’s Lullaby” reunites Tommy with Hawaiian ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro. The song, written for Tommy’s youngest daughter, shows him continuing to find inspiration from an evergreen source–his love of his family. Since he and his brother Phil taught themselves to play as toddlers, the guitar has been Tommy’s real first language–and he’s more articulate on his signature Melbourne-made Maton acoustics than most people are with words. His unerring sense of groove marked him as Australia’s youngest rhythm guitarist as The Emmanuel Quartet crisscrossed the country. By the time he made it to the big city in his late teens, Tommy was a rock star, slinging a Fender Telecaster alongside the biggest stars of the day. It was a good life, but deep down Tommy knew there was more to his musical destiny. A shy country kid with little confidence, it took an encouraging meeting turned jam session with his guitar hero Chet Atkins to build his self-belief. By the late 80s he was ready to go it alone, to make instrumental guitar records made for an audience broader than just guitar fans–a move with zero precedence in Australian music. Despite the odds, Tommy released a string of hit albums, racking up awards wins and nominations, and becoming a huge celebrity in his home country, culminating in an incendiary performance with his brother Phil at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Influenced by the Merle Travis/Chet Atkins fingerstyle of guitar picking, Tommy developed a style of solo guitar playing that encompasses the range of a whole band– covering drums, bass, rhythm and lead guitar and a vocal melody simultaneously. No loop pedals, no overdubs, just one man and ten fingers. While some artists take ten-piece bands on the road and still fill out the sound with backing tracks, Tommy builds a complete sonic world entirely on his own. For many players, the technical mastery of the technique would overwhelm the emotion of the music, but not for Tommy. His idols are not just the great players, but also the great pop songwriters and singers–Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, The Beatles and their ilk. While thousands of fans have spent years trying to unpack and imitate Tommy’s technique, for him it’s just the delivery system. His approach is always song and emotion first, his music the embodiment of his soulful spirit, sense of hope and his love for entertaining. Which is not to say he dismisses the CGP, the Guitar Player awards, the Grammy nominations, the numerous magazine polls naming him the greatest acoustic guitarist alive. He’s grateful for it all, and the incredible journey that’s led him to the most invigorating period of his career–six decades into it. For Tommy though, the greatest reward is always the same–to make the next great record, and to see the beaming audience at the next great show. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be in show business. Now I just want to be in the happiness business–I make music, you get happy. That’s a good job.” Tommy isn’t the kind of man who looks to nostalgia–it’s more that he treats his history in the same way he treats the history of music overall: There’s magic threaded in through all the eras that’s worth celebrating and revisiting. Now in his sixties –although on stage he can seem 25–life and music are about improvisation, variety and happiness. “Making Accomplice One has been this great journey through so many of the worlds I’ve inhabited through the years,” concludes Tommy. “Playing with old friends, new friends, heroes, people I’ve been like an older brother to… and musically to jump around from bluegrass to jazz to blues to just pure songs, it’s like going to the world’s greatest buffet and picking out all my favorite meals. People try to categorize what I do, to put me in a genre or put a label on me. I always go back to that old Duke Ellington line, about there being two types of music, good and bad.” Well I try and play the good kind, and on this record I got to play it with the best people.”
Mike Dawes is an English guitarist known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on a single guitar. He is hailed as one of the world’s most creative modern fingerstyle guitarists with a repertoire spanning solo viral videos and popular arrangements, alongside mainstream chart success performing with Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues.
Dawes was named ‘Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World’ two years in a row (2017 & 2018) by Total Guitar Magazine/MusicRadar reader polls and simply needs to be seen to be believed. His ability to combine the melody, bass, harmony and percussion all seamlessly together with just one guitar leaves audiences absolutely stunned, both with original music and popular covers.
He is now releasing his first ever live album, ‘Shows and Distancing: Live in the USA’ . The album features fan favorites such as ‘Boogie Shred’ and ‘The Impossible’ as well as ‘William Shatner’s Pants’ in its live debut. It also features many of Dawes’ viral cover arrangements with unique versions of ‘One’ by Metallica, John Mayer’s ‘Slow Dancing In A Burning Room’ and Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’.
Dawes says “The energy captured on Shows and Distancing is impossible to replicate away from the stage, which is something I miss dearly in these strange times. I didn’t want to release a live record without capturing the live energy of the room, especially at a time where all we have is recorded music. For that reason, I’ve included the crazy audience moments – the clap alongs, the laughs, the singing, the banter and all the devices I try to employ to reach the reluctant drag along at the back of the room! Shows and Distancing is about togetherness.” He continues, “I hope that the moments captured on this record keep the appetites of live music fans satisfied. I feel that so many people are missing their live music fix right now and it is the perfect time to release a live record, even if nothing more than a thank you to the fans for some wonderful shared memories across the USA, and across the world.”
Shows and Distancing was recorded in 2019 throughout the United States, with a few extras from the past. The first show was captured just off Central Park in New York City, whilst the second show turned out to be the last concert of the Justin Hayward 2019 US tour before quarantine. The album also features some rare highlights such as Dawes’ duet with Quist on ‘One’, cut at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. Added extras include previously unreleased songs from Mike’s first ever headline concert in the USA.
Dawes’ previous solo album, ERA, spawned a viral hit with his arrangement of ‘One’ that has over 4.5 million YouTube views and over 100 million more views on various social media sites. His debut record, What Just Happened?, features a large number of additional video hits with over 12 million YouTube views for two popular versions of ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’. He is featured on multiple Justin Hayward live releases including Spirits…Live, which debuted at #2 on the US Billboard Chart. Dawes also has a strong reputation as an educator, acting as a columnist for Guitar World and Acoustic Guitar magazines as well as teaching multiple guitar workshops all over the world, creating apps, publishing degree level literature and more.
In addition to touring with Justin Hayward, Dawes has toured with fingerstyle guitarists such as Andy McKee and the legendary Tommy Emmanuel. He has also been a prominent part of several ‘International Guitar Night’ tours throughout North America, most recently hosting the record breaking 20th Anniversary tour in early 2020.