For all of the masterful technique that has moved Tommy Emmanuel into the ranks of the world’s greatest guitarists, on Tommy Emmanuel’s It’s Never Too Late you’ll hear the distinctive squeak of finger noise. It’s an imperfection in the performance that players typically try to eliminate, but Emmanuel knows how to convey warmth and humanity, and honest recording. The same approach was taken with Tommy Emmanuel’s latest offering, LIVE! At The Ryman: “No fix ups, a no-frills recording,” says Emmanuel. “Each of my guitars has pickups and microphones included when you buy them, so the sound you hear from this recording is exactly as it sounds in the hall.”
Recorded at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in February 2016, Emmanuel was joined on stage for a performance of “San Antonio Stroll” by Steve Wariner and John Knowles, the only other two living “Certified Guitar Players,” the moniker Chet Atkins assigned to himself and four other guitarists he felt contributed to the legacy of guitar playing.
He’s worked with the likes of Eric Clapton, Doc Watson and John Denver, and Emmanuel teamed with Chet Atkins on The Day Finger Pickers Took Over the World, which proved to be Atkins’ final project. “It’s all about the feeling of the music,” Emmanuel says. “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.
“I know why I’m here,” he says. “I know it’s not brain surgery, I know I’m not saving someone’s life. I’m just a musician trying to do his best, but each one of us has to do that, and that’s what makes the whole thing work.”
Tommy Emmanuel is on tour, so you might hear a concert similar to LIVE! At the Ryman. Click HERE for dates.