“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 Emmanuel
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.
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, building a complete sonic world entirely on his own.
In 2018, Tommy released Accomplice One, an album of collaborations with some of the finest singers, songwriters and guitarists alive today –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.
“If you like guitar playing, it simply doesn’t get any better than Tommy.” – Jason Isbell