Masterful interpreter and guitarist
If you're bothering to read this, then you know that Tommy Emmanuel is a heck of a guitar player. He can seemingly play anything that pops into his head, and do so while laying down a bass line with his thumb. Chet Atkins was, and would be very proud of Tommy.
That said, Tommy Emmanuel is NOT much of a composer or vocalist. It's just not his bag. If you're looking for strikingly original guitar work and compositions, check out Julian Lage or Grant Gordy, or dig out your old Michael Hedges records. What Emmanuel does is to interpret other peoples tunes, and then to play them on the guitar with ridiculous chops. It's fun for him, and for we fellow guitarists. The pleasure is all in the playing, which is why Mr. Emmanuel plays so many live shows - it isn't the tune, its the execution and the joy of doing it.
That said, I'd go see this man play 5 nights a week if I could, and I wouldn't care if there were no originals at all. That approach doesn't translate so readily to recordings, but by duetting with others he manages to keep things varied and interesting. I had fun listening to it.
Not my coup of tea.
By Musician, Reader & Viewer
Firstly, I am a huge fan of all things guitar.
I like Tommy Emmanuel's music, but, lately, I feel like he's just been releasing music to make more money.
Wikipedia notes 13 albums in his discography within the last 10 years.
Of these 13, 11 albums were recording from/with
1. live performances
2. Work with other artists
3. holiday music
This choice of content speaks volumes to me:
Live performances: you paid to go to my show, now pay me more money to buy the heavily edited version of the music my audience already heard (but could not have recorded at such a high quality) at my show
Work with other acoustic artists: I do not have much original material in order to write a full solo album these years. But, if I play with someone else, I don't even have to do half of the "work" thinking about my music since, by now, because of my muscle memory, command of a guitar in standard tuning and fanboydom, I can pretty much just jam with someone, make an album, wait for it to sell and call it a day.
Holiday albums: I can play my "arrangements" of holiday music that was written by other musicians. Maybe I'll throw in a personal composition (to make it authentic) which I may have written when I was "inspired" by the holiday season--although I may not have written it during the season (when I should have been overtaken and inspired by the joy of the season) because I was too busy having a holiday tour to make money off people's nostalgia!!!)--record, and sell it, and keep making more money. [Also, I can use a few tracks, maybe another stringed instrument so that my arrangement work is cut considerably, since I won't have to struggle having the boom chick bass, backing, and melody of holiday songs everybody's been playing for ages all into my six stringed instrument. Yes... I'll do just that!!1]
And, now, he's releasing a new album!!!
I heard a couple of the track previews and see that this album is more like the 11 albums (released within the last 10 years) that I dislike, rather than the 2 that I absolutely love.
Reviewing this album based off the track previews, I can safely say that I will not be buying this, and can give it 1 star ahead of time.
I'm a quality vs quanitity guy who does not like forcing his creativity process. if I do not think my personal works are legit, I will take a break, go back and create when I feel ready, have something to make/write, may stumble upon it, or a mixture of these 3. If I wear out, I have to rest. I'm not gonna force myself to produce simply because I do not feel like doing something besides my creative outlet in order to make a living. If others can have jobs outside of the entertainment industry and still maintain a creative outlet, I think I can too. I will not keep inflating my fame and fortune by selling music my audience has already heard--live albums--, playing with other people just to keep things going and have something new on my Wikipedia page (and bank accounts)--work with other "artists"--, and/or try to sell you other people's songs and melodies because you've already heard and are hearing these during the holidays in your everyday lives---Xmas albums. I am special but not that special. I have to make a living, and contribute to my society (if I want to) somehow. That's just me.
I know I've ranted and vented.
If you've read this far thanks.
Please keep in mind, this is my opinion.