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 what’s next. When you’re widely acknowledged as the international master of the solo acoustic guitar, what’s next is an album of collaborations with some of the finest singers, songwriters and yes, guitarists alive today.
Tommy’s latest album is Accomplice One, which is out on January 19, via CGP Sounds and distributed by Thirty Tigers. The album is a series of duets with major names like Jason Isbell, Ricky Skaggs, Jorma Kaukonen and Pat Bergeson, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas and more.
The album serves as a testament to Tommy’s musical diversity, the range of expression that stretches from authentic country-blues to face-melting rock shredding, by way of tender and devastating pure song playing. The songs are a mix of new takes on indelible classics and brand new originals from Tommy and his collaborators.
What happens when two of the world’s great guitarists join forces? The results are surprisingly humble in the acoustically picked “You Don’t Want To Get You One of Those”, which we are excited to premiere on Glide. The song is a Knopfler original, a simple track that mixes blues, folk and touch of humor. Like many of the songs on the album, the tune showcases the organic chemistry that the ever-versatile and soulful Tommy Emmanuel is able to conjure with his musical peers. There is a sense of warmth and camaraderie to the song that will immediately bring a smile to the listener.
Telling the story behind how the collaboration came about, Emmanuel has this to say:
“When I approached Mark Knopfler about playing on my album, he told me he would love to but it has to be one of his songs and ‘none of that fast s**t’ I immediately concurred, as I love all his compositions. I made my way to his studio in London and we sat down with our acoustic guitars and he sang me the song. It’s brilliantly written, and honestly and humbly performed. We recorded it like a performance, playing and singing in the same room. We purposely left it raw and didn’t try to polish it up. It was a great experience for me to be directed by such an accomplished artist as Mark.”