Tommy Emmanuel cgp
Live and Solo in Pensacola, Florida– 9/20/2013
Run time 1:15:32
17 songs

by Michael Rampa

Acoustic phenom Tommy Emmanuel is literally a one man band. Inspired by guitar legend Chet Atkins, his “fingerstyle” picking technique enables him to play the bass, melody and drum parts all at once. He is one of only five recipients of Atkins’s coveted CGP (Certified Guitar Player) award.

His highly anticipated CD/DVD combo  “Tommy Emmanuel cgp: Live and solo in Pensacola, Florida” is an  intimate showcase at the Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio where the 58-year-old Aussie shows his astonishing range. He shreds like Yngwie Malmsteen, plays with symphonic finesse worthy of an opera hall and performs a slapstick number straight out of Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree handbook with equal aplomb. Whatever the case, it all works in a cohesive hour and 15 minutes.


He tells the stories behind select songs throughout.  A consummate troubadour, he draws inspiration from talking clothes to old Westerns. Each track sonically reflects the texture of its title; Miyazaki’s Dream was written after the Japanese tsunami and sent over as a message of love. It is mystical and melancholy yet filled with hope for the future.

Countrywide is a TV theme song he wrote in 10 minutes under duress from his car.  It wound up running for 14 years.

He only uses a capo when it fits the song. Angelina was written for his  daughter and the melody brims with youthful exuberance as a result of the higher pitch.


He said of his legacy, “I want to let the younger generation  know you don’t need a lot of pyrotechnics to turn people on. You need to have good songs.   The “Hands Only” option features video close-ups of his astonishing technique on selected songs. It is a pyrotechnics display in and of itself.