Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Tommy is well regarded by world class musicians and critics alike as being one of the greatest living guitarists in the world. No one plays the instrument quite like Tommy. A finger style guitarist inspired by the legendary Chet Atkins (who became one of Emmanuel's biggest fans and gave him the title `certified guitar player'), he can simultaneously play multiple parts, much like a pianist does with his left and right hands. But his astounding technique isn't just for show; Emmanuel uses it to organically blend folk, country, jazz, and other influences in his highly personal, emotive compositions. He's been nominated for a Grammy (for his album with Chet Atkins) and has also toured and/or recorded with some of the world's greatest musicians including Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Joe Walsh, the Beatle's producer Sir George Martin, and Tina Turner. At the closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Tommy performed in front of millions. The Mystery and its 12 new compositions is certain to keep the legions of fans and accolades growing.
Down Beat (p.66) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] an intricate, folksy, finger-picked acoustic composition. He executes this with breathtaking cleanliness and velocity..."
JazzTimes (p.78) - "This is mostly a gee-whiz, lightning-fast journey up and down the frets, and there are moments of pure abandon."
Personnel: Elizabeth Watkins (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Tommy Emmanuel.
Recording information: Azalea Studio, Nashville, TN; Rainbow Recording, Yorktown, VA; Winstaria Studio; Wistaria Studio, Yorktown, VA.
Tommy Emmanuel has earned a reputation in his native Australia as a master guitarist who dabbles in many different musical styles. Utilizing a number of acoustic and electric instruments, sometimes overdubbed on a single track, it is easy to appreciate his formidable technique, though his original compositions don't leave much of a lasting impression. Virtuosity for its own sake can grow tiresome, much like excessive multi-tracking, so Emmanuel is best appreciated when he is holding back just a little, as in "Lewis & Clark" and the touching ballad "Footprints." The one vocal track features Emmanuel sharing duties with Elizabeth Watkins, sounding like the contemporary country made popular on music video channels. This is a pleasant, well-engineered CD, with obvious comparisons in spots to the late Nashville guitar master Chet Atkins. ~ Ken Dryden
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