Album Reviews

Tommy Emmanuel

Accomplice One

Artist:     Tommy Emmanuel

Album:     Accomplice One

Label:     CGP Sounds

Release Date:     1.18.2018

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After some years of scarcity and lack of recorded offerings, Australia’s simply astonishing acoustic guitar wonder Tommy Emmanuel has unexpectedly and delightfully decided to roll out a raft of new releases in the course of the past year, from work with Americana giant Dave Grisman, a genuinely great Live at the Ryman release capturing just what this marvel can do as a live act, to this latest mammoth album featuring countless big-name buddies from the world of modern Americana, blues, country and rock.

The opening track features Emmanuel alongside current Nashville favorite Jason Isbell with a tasty take on the old Doc Watson favorite, “Deep River Blues” (sometimes known as “Deep Elum Blues”) moves through shared honours with ex-Dire Straits frontman, Mark Knopfler, and covers some very slick jazz-infused shuffle with Jorma Kaukonen. Emmanuel, teamed with JD Simo, even includes an unmissable cover of the Steve Cropper/Otis Redding hit “Dock of the Bay.” Other buddies adding their personal quality include Rodney Crowell, Amanda Shires, Jerry Douglas with a searing version of “Purple Haze,” Ricky Skaggs, ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro, and Django-inspired work with Frank Vignola.

Out in iJanuary, 2018, this delicious album of duets already seems likely to be an album of the year. Emmanuel is always genuinely extraordinary, with Accomplice One, he has again pushed out the boat, delivering a 16-track masterpiece.

—Iain Patience

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