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#1: Re: Saw Tommy Emmanuel live last night - a review

Posted on 2006-07-21 22:24:16 by woland99

I have seen him here in Austin couple years back playing
Cactus Cafe - very small (<100 seats) place on the
University of Texas campus. What I I remember the most
was that unbelievable pure joy of making effortless music.
He has very infectious personality - smiling, laughing and
dancing on stage. No matter how bad your day was it would
be impossible to leave his show without carrying some of that
energy home. Truly great entertainer in an old-fashion - Count
Basie way (I think Count said once that he tries to play the
music for that guy in the crowd who just lost his girlfriend -
or something similar).

oasysco wrote:
> Let's just say that in a word (or two), he was awe-inspiring. I never
> knew it was possible to wrong so much music and rhythm out of a small
> bodied 6 string, non-cutaway acoustic. If you want to see what
> possibilities the guitar holds, you've got to see this guy. Blues,
> rock, jazz, pop, sound effects, the only genre he didn't cover was
> classical... the guy's truly a one-man band with only his voice, that
> guitar, and the occassional effect (looping, delay).
> The venue is a coverted barn with seating for about 200 or so. Tickets
> were $25/head. The concert started promptly at 7:30PM (within 5 or 10
> minutes) and went until just about 11:30PM.
> Prior to the concert, an older couple behind me were chatting... who is
> playing tonight? Y' Manuel. Who? Y' Manny? I dunno; I've never heard of
> him. (I assume they got free tickets).
> Tommy came out on stage first and played 2 solo tunes, teasing the
> audience with a a taste of what was to come later. He then turned the
> show over to Blue House - 2 young ladies from Australia (Tommy's home
> town of Melbourne, I believe).
> One played guitar, the other played bass (and mama sang tenor... :).
> The did a modern style of rock and were pretty good. For their last
> number, Tommy joined them on-stage and jammed. My Lord, that boy adds
> such a dimension to any song. Let's just say, Blue House didn't need no
> freakin' drummer or keys player with Tommy on stage. And you could
> tell that the girls were being pushed to stratospheric heights by Tommy
> by the way they were singing. In short, Tommy made Carlos Santana look
> like an amateur in the way he backed Blue House (ref: Carlos'
> instrumenal duets with female musicians)
> One thing I noticed up front... Tommy's two 6 string flattops have a
> ton of wear on the face because he uses brushes, sticks, and fingers to
> make sounds ranging from a washboard to congas on those poor l'il
> guitars of his :)-
> Tommy came out and did a duet number, introducing Steve (can't remember
> his last name) - a local guy in my area who specializes in "oddball"
> instruments, including a harp guitar, a 30's National steel resonator,
> and a uke as well as a flattop.
> For his opening duet with Tommy, Steve chose a uke, which was really
> funny since Tommy had just burned it up on guitar with Blue House.
> Steve then burned it up on the uke with Tommy playing guitar in a sorta
> gypsy jazz, blues, bluegrass type number, resorting to slide on the uke
> at times.
> Steve then went on to play some very nice solo music on guitar, harp
> guitar, and that resonator. I think I liked most the slide blues
> numbers he played on that resonator.
> Like Blue House before him, Steve was quite good (and funny, too).
> Still, Tommy's on another level altogether. It's like - hey, these
> folks (Blue House and steve) are excellent musicians and entertainers,
> but when you see Tommy, you quickly realize that he's levels ahead. So,
> if these other folks are angelic in their ability, Tommy must be Jesus,
> Mary, and Joseph!
> Tommy came out and I swear, he did the last 2 hours himself.
> Words are inadequate to describe what I saw last night when Tommy took
> the stage. He played gorgeous acoustic music, gypsy jazz, and raucous
> rock 'n blues. He sang, he danced (sorta), he was funny, he made funny
> musical sounds at just the right time, and best of all, he played and
> played and played.
> He did his signature Aboriginal tune whereby he uses short looping and
> delay to take you aurally to the Australian Outback. That was way cool.
> I assume folks who were in an "altered state of consciousness" were
> thrilled :)-
> He did a few numbers with the other folks at the end, winding up the
> concert with some gypsy jazz duets with Steve playing the harp guitar.
> $25/ head for about almost 4 hours of live, professional music and an
> exceptional aural and visual experience? Now, that's entertainment!
> Run do not walk to get tickets to see Tommy if you get a chance. You
> will not be disappointed - even you pro jazz guys. I guarantee it.
> Greg
> PS. Tommy doesn't read music. Additionally, his guitars must be
> outtfitted with some very special pickup arrangement that allows him to
> get clear sound from anywhere on the guitar that he taps.

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