By: Derek Jung
There's always a tangible anxiety that hangs in the air during meet and greet sessions. Everyone in attendance is a die hard fan who forked over more money than necessary to shake their musical hero's hand and maybe have a brief conversation with them. This was the position I found myself in on this fateful evening. I was introduced to fingerstyle guitar playing many years ago by my father, who had a Michael Hedges album that I fell in love with. It was from this spark that led to other fingerstyle greats, Don Ross, Andy McKee, Antoine Dufour and many more. I've had the honor of seeing many of them on their tours through Cincinnati, but never Tommy Emmanuel. So when Joseph was able to snag meet and greet passes through a client, I found myself nervously waiting to shake the hand of one of the most talented guitarists that I've heard. I am very happy to note that not only was Tommy a gracious host to our group, but he also took time to talk to each of us, to the point where he needed to move quickly through the last few people because he was short on time. He joked, told stories, and played/signed everything that was brought before him.
The show itself was just as great as I imagined it would be. Tommy's playing is fantastic, and he inserts his personality and humor into each song. His Beatles medley, which I've listened to so many times before, was powerful live, as was his tribute to military veterans. There are times where fingerstyle guitar playing can get a little gimmicky, and Tommy's set was no different, especially during a percussive solo where he used his guitar basically as bongos. It went on for a bit too long, especially having seen many other artists do similar things before, but I imagine for those in the audience who were unfamiliar, that was a rather unique and interesting moment in the show. The crowd's reaction certainly alluded to that being true. Tommy Emmanuel's new album, Accomplice One, is a collection of duets with a variety of different singer-songwriters. On this tour, Tommy's only accompaniment was from Rodney Crowell and his fiddle player, who also served as the night's opener. You might recognize Crowell as being Rosanne Cash's ex-husband, but he's also a great songwriter himself.
Check out a video of Tommy Emmanuel performing "Saturday Night Shuffle earlier this month at Paste Studios.
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: