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      Tommy Emmanuel in Key West


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      February 16, 2020

      Sunday   8:00 PM

      512 Eaton Street
      Key West, Florida 33040

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      Tommy Emmanuel


      If you like guitar playing, it simply doesnt get any better than Tommy. Jason Isbell Tommy Emmanuel has achieved enough musical milestones to satisfy several lifetimes. Or at least they would if he was the kind of artist who was ever satisfied. At the age of six, he was touring regional Australia with his family band. By 30, he was a rock n roll lead guitarist burning up stadiums in Europe. At 44, he became one of five people ever named a Certified Guitar Player by his idol, music icon Chet Atkins. Today, he plays hundreds of sold-out shows every year from Nashville to Sydney to London. All the while, Tommy has hungered for whats next. When youre widely acknowledged as the international master of the solo acoustic guitar, whats next is Accomplice One, an album of collaborations with some of the finest singers, songwriters and, yes, guitarists alive today a list including Jason Isbell, Mark Knopfler, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas, Amanda Shires, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Simo, David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Suzy Bogguss and many more. Since he and his brother Phil taught themselves to play as toddlers, the guitar has been Tommys real first languageand hes more articulate on his signature Melbourne-made Maton acoustics than most people are with words. Influenced by the Merle Travis/Chet Atkins fingerstyle of guitar picking, Tommy developed a style of solo guitar playing that encompasses the range of a whole band covering drums, bass, rhythm and lead guitar and a vocal melody simultaneously. No loop pedals, no overdubs, just one man and ten fingers. While some artists take ten-piece bands on the road and still fill out the sound with backing tracks, Tommy builds a complete sonic world entirely on his own. For many players, the technical mastery of the technique would overwhelm the emotion of the music, but not for Tommy. His idols are not just the great players, but also the great pop songwriters and singersStevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, The Beatles and their ilk. While thousands of fans have spent years trying to unpack and imitate Tommys technique, for him its just the delivery system. His approach is always song and emotion first, his music the embodiment of his soulful spirit, sense of hope and his love for entertaining. Which is not to say he dismisses the CGP, the Guitar Player awards, the Grammy nominations, the numerous magazine polls naming him the greatest acoustic guitarist alive. Hes grateful for it all, and the incredible journey thats led him to the most invigorating period of his careersix decades into it. For Tommy though, the greatest reward is always the sameto make the next great record, and to see the beaming audience at the next great show. When I was a kid, I wanted to be in show business. Now I just want to be in the happiness businessI make music, you get happy. Thats a good job.

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