Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Critics toss out the word virtuoso till it seems to have lost all true meaning, with Tommy Emmanuel it only scratches the surface. Live and Solo in Pensacola Florida is an electrifying acoustic romp through some old and soon to be new favorites from the Australian guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel. This self released DVD & Audio CD package captures one of those rare moments when all the stars are in perfect alignment and the chemistry created from an incredibly raw yet delightfully intimate show is preserved for posterity. Having long been known as an incredible live showman this often unheralded legend clearly lays down a legitimate claim to perhaps the finest "fingerstyle" guitarist over the last forty years. Oh, did I mention that Tommy has been doing this for roughly five decades?
This two time Grammy nominated artist transcends the accepted form and functionality normally associated with this style of acoustic technique to embrace a far more textured approach, no notes are wasted but they are fully developed. Emmanuel is so highly regarded as a master technician that legendary guitarist Chet Atkins soon became one of Tommy's biggest supporters. It was the influence of Atkins during Emmanuel's formative years that led him to this style of performance and the rest has been history. The DVD portion of this package is beautifully shot and magnificently edited to convey that true live feeling for the viewer at home. The audio disc is equally impressive in sound with such stellar tunes as "The Bug" along with "Countrywide" and "Waltzing Matilda" all shot in a special "hands only" angle format.
17 tracks that are live, solo and acoustic. Only a true virtuoso artist can hold an audience for this length of time while keeping them on the edge of their collective seats. PBS ran a special "Introducing Roy Buchanan" which is often incorrectly referred to as "The World's Best Unknown Guitarist." While Tommy Emmanuel has achieved global recognition he is still a major force that does not get near the ink he deserves. You never review brilliance, you celebrate it! But...
An absolute must for any guitar aficionado or fan of acoustic music across any genre!
Tracks: El Vaquero, Hope Street, The Bug, Traveling Clothes, Endless Road, Countrywide, Dixie McGuire, Waltzing Matilda, Miyazaki's Dream, Windy And Warm, Secret Love, Blood Brother, Angelina, The Duke, The Trails, Drums. The TE Ranch.
www.tommyemmanuel.com for purchase information.