Fellow musicians have voted Tommy Emmanuel as the best acoustic guitarist in the world today and we’re not surprised at all. Only a few weeks ago Tommy was revealed as part of the lineup in our first artist announcement for the 2020 Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival.
Long recognised as as the international master of the solo acoustic guitar, Tommy plays hundreds of sold-out shows every year from Nashville to Sydney to London. Commanding much respect from music fans and fellow musicians, according to MusicRadar, over a third of the votes were cast for Tommy.
In January 2019, he released Accomplice One, an album of collaborations with some of the finest singers, songwriters and, yes, guitarists alive today – a list 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.
Since he and his brother Phil taught themselves to play as toddlers, the guitar has been Tommy’s real first language–and he’s more articulate on his signature Melbourne-made Maton acoustics than most people are with words. Influenced by the Merle Travis/Chet Atkins finger-style 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. While some artists take ten-piece bands on the road and still fill out the sound with backing tracks, Tommy builds a complete sonic world entirely on his own.
For many players, the technical mastery of the technique would overwhelm the emotion of the music, but not for Tommy. His idols are not just the great players, but also the great pop songwriters and singers–Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, The Beatles and their ilk.
While thousands of fans have spent years trying to unpack and imitate Tommy’s technique, for him it’s just the delivery system. His approach is always song and emotion first, his music the embodiment of his soulful spirit, sense of hope and his love for entertaining.
With over a third of the participating musicians voting for Tommy Emmanuel as the best acoustic guitarist in the world today, you’d be mad to miss this legendary performer at the 2020 Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival. Check out the 4-5 star accommodation options available and come and stay for the whole festival.