Give a listen to “Old Photographs,” the closing track on Tommy Emmanuel’s It’s Never Too Late, and you’ll hear the distinctive squeak of finger noise as he runs his hands across the frets of his Maton Signature TE guitar. Many musicians would edit those imperfections out, but to Emmanuel, those imperfections are perfect.
A master technician, Emmanuel started professionally at age 6. He pursued music with a passion, continuously working in a variety of bands through his school years. After graduation, Emmanuel became one of Australia’s most in-demand rock musicians, playing guitar in a succession of bands, including one of Australia’s best-known acts, Dragon. He supplemented that with a side job as a studio musician, playing on albums by the likes of Air Supply and Men At Work, and on commercial jingles.
It was a rewarding period, but it had its limitations, too. Playing the same set list night after night can turn the road into a chore. And working in a band prevented Emmanuel from making full use of his extraordinary talents and expressing his entire artistic voice. He ventured out on his own and began to treat his shows like a jazz musician would, eschewing set lists, improvising his way through many of his songs to capture and shape the mood of the room.
One of only five musicians handpicked by his mentor, Chet Atkins, as a Certified Guitar Player (CGP), Emmanuel’s piled up numerous accolades, including two Grammy nominations, two ARIA Awards from the Australian Recording Industry Association (the Aussie equivalent of the Recording Academy) and repeated honors in the Guitar Player magazine reader’s poll.
A noted fingerstyle guitarist, Emmanuel frequently threads three different parts simultaneously into his material, operating as a one-man band who handles the melody, the supporting chords and the bass all at once. His talents, which translate in any language, carry him to the far corners of the globe, but Emmanuel never plays the same show twice, and he improvises big chunks of every date. That leaves him open to those technical imperfections, though they also provide some of the humanity to an other-worldly talent.
“It’s all about the feeling of the music,” Emmanuel says. “And it has to make me feel something. I’m still playing for myself, you know, because I figure if I please me, then I’m pretty sure I’m gonna please you. And that’s not an arrogant statement, it’s just quality control.”
It's Never Too Late Tour!
Friday, March 3, 2017 8pm
Tickets: $44 - $59
One of Australia’s most respected and best-loved musicians!
Guitar players of all levels come to his shows to watch him work his magic,
but his appeal goes far beyond musicians.
Special Guest: JOE ROBINSON
Special Guest: JOE ROBINSON
Twenty-five-year-old Australian Joe Robinson is considered uniquely gifted as a virtuoso guitarist and singer/songwriter. He walks a tightrope between the instrumental music that has put him in the spotlight and a unique fusion of vocally based rock, blues, jazz, and R&B that is entirely his own. "Since day one, I found it easier and more intriguing to create songs rather than learn existing ones, so the compositional element of my music is somewhat deep-rooted,” Robinson says.