Reviews Zone

Tommy Emmanuel: Music’s Gone Public DVD (CGP Sounds)  Out Now



4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)




There are said to be seven wonders of the world. As a guitarist, perhaps Aussie Tommy Emmanuel is the eighth? You can be the judge of that after watching the superb DVD release “Music Gone Public,” which captures the virtuoso at his best from three of his seven appearances on America’s Public Television in the last 15 years, plus some bonus moments that did not air.

Rather than highlight one concert, his episode of Music Gone Public – Curated Concerts for Public Television, combined many of his performances for PBS over the last decade. Including Tommy Emmanuel & Friends – Live from The Balboa Theatre, San Diego, Live and Solo from Pensacola, Florida and from the Sierra Nevada Brewery, Chico. It includes seven never-before-seen performances and musical collaborations, and features personal stories about the songs and performances from Tommy himself.

The globally acclaimed finger-style guitar legend has a five-decade career which has seen him land two Grammy nominations, maintain a touring schedule of circa 250 shows a year and be voted best acoustic guitarist in several magazine’s reader’s polls.

His catalogue includes more than 20 recordings of solos, duets, ensembles, cover tunes and originals on both electric and acoustic guitar. He has made six performance DVDs, and six instruction DVDs. He has been awarded several major honours, including Member of the Order of Australia, bestowed by the Queen in his homeland. He is an honorary Kentucky Colonel and he has several honorary Degrees.

Tommy is rightly viewed as one of the world’s greatest guitarists, and if you have seen him no stage, and when your jaw hits the seat back in front of you, you will know why. He is a  master of his art, and this DVD is a perfect showcase of his skills and that sublime mastery. He frequently threads three different parts simultaneously into his material, operating as a one-man band who handles the melody, the supporting chords and the bass all at once. No mean feat.

He earned the opportunity to work with the likes of Eric Clapton, Doc Watson, John Denver and the Governor; Chet Atkins. Tommy teamed up with Chet on a 1997 project, “The Day Finger Pickers Took Over the World”, which proved to be Atkins’ final project before he died.  

Here, the frenzied “The Bug,” and the serene “Miyazaki’s Dream” are highlights. Although it is all pretty damn special and will, I am sure, prompt many a bonfire when frustrated guitarist get to the end of this superb insight into just how gob-smacking a talent Mr Emmanuel is, and how easy it makes it  all look.  But this is thoroughly entertaining too, not just a nerd fest for axe victims! 


The track listing is as follows 

1.      Nine Pound Hammer (from Center Stage)

2.      The Bug (from Live & Solo from Pensacola)

3.      Angelina (from Live & Solo from Pensacola)

4.      Guitar Boogie (from Live from The Balboa Theatre)

5.      Avalon with Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo (Previously Unreleased)

6.      Mombassa/Drums (from Center Stage)

7.      Miyazaki’s Dream (from Live & Solo from Pensacola)

8.      Blood Brother (from Live & Solo from Pensacola)

9.      The Trails (from Live & Solo from Pensacola)

10.  Tall Fiddler (from Center Stage)

11.  Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Previously Unreleased)


Special Features Track List (All Tracks Below Are Previously Unreleased)

1.      Tears for Jerusalem

2.      Haba Na Haba

3.      Golliwoggs’s Cakewalk

4.      Nuages with Frank Vignola

5.      If I Had You with Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, and Vinny Raniolo



By Simon Redley




1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
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