Day 394 - Tommy Emmanuel and Jerry Douglas: Choctaw Hayride

Tommy Emmanuel is arguably the greatest acoustic guitarist in the world - and without question, the most entertaining. He returns to Perth Concert Hall on March 8 next year (tickets here) with special guest Jerry Douglas, best known for his co-leadership of the Transatlantic Sessions alongside Aly Bain. Here they join forces for a brilliant instrumental that perfectly showcases their immense virtuosity.

Anytime you talk to any of Tommy Emmanuel’s fans, 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!”

“He’s one of the best guitar players I’ve ever seen.” Chet Atkins

“I watch him, and I want to take lessons from him.” Steve Vai

“He’s playing the same 12 notes that the rest of us are using. He’s got the same 6 strings. He’s not playing the most unusual guitar in the world. He’s pretty much using the same tools, but what he achieves with it is pretty monumental.” Joe Satriani

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