If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Desert Island Discs 4

I first came across Tommy Emmanuel while randomly searching YouTube for some guitar music. I saw the clip of his famous 'Guitar Boogie' and was completely hooked. He is, for one thing, an extremely accomplished player and can make the guitar sound like a whole rock band by clever use of the plectrum and fingers of the right hand, playing chords and melody simultaneously and even creating his own rhythm section - Chet Atkins on steroids and perhaps a turbocharger. He's amazingly fast, and can get an incredibly solid tone out of a simple instrument. His enjoyment of what he does is obvious, and while a lot of his playing has slightly rough edges, this is more than made up by his sheer exuberance and audacity. A big bonus for me is that he is about my age, thereby proving that 50-something males can still rock'n'roll when the occasion demands.

I went straight out and bought one of his CDs - Endless Road - and I will probably get more in due course. I'm going to cheat here and choose two tracks. The main one is his own composition 'Angelina', which is just a marvellous song and beautifully played. But I couldn't resist including another - 'I Still Can't Say Goodbye'. It's perhaps over-sentimental, but anyone who has lost their Dad will know why I have included it.

If I could have one wish, it would be that I could play the guitar like Tommy Emmanuel.


  1. He's not half bad letting loose with Classical Gas either

  2. Agreed. Listen to him and Mason Williams back-to-back and Williams comes off second-best, although TE doesn't exactly stick to the script!


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