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Tommy Emanuel (from the album Accomplice Two on CGP Sounds) (by Lee Zimmerman)
A follow-up to his earlier Accomplice One, an album that found him sharing the spotlight with a remarkable array of A-list artists — Jason Isbell, Mark Knopfler, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas, Amanda Shires, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Simo, David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, and Suzy Bogguss, among them — Accomplice Two arrives five years later and seizes on that same strategy. As before, the set list consists of both seminal standards and contemporary classics, some of which Tommy Emmanuel wrote, while others come courtesy of others.
Once again, Emmanuel manages to recruit an impressive array of guest stars — among them, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Little Feat, Michael McDonald, Raul Malo, David Grisman, Molly Tuttle, Del McCoury, Jamey Johnson, Sierra Hull, Jorma Kaukonen, Richard Smith, and Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams adding their instrumental acumen to the proceedings. While certain songs accrue an instant familiarity factor — Townes Van Zandt’s “White Freight Liner Blues”, “Tennessee Stud”, “Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man)”, “Tennessee Stud”, and “Yeller (sic) Rose of Texas” among them — most retain an Americana imprint that’s stirred with genuine Folk finesse. Naturally, Emmanuel’s fretwork takes center stage — he is, after all, widely acclaimed as the foremost acoustic guitarist working today — but he also subs on bass, drums and backing vocals whenever the situation demands.
Remarkably then, the music retains an unassuming, down-home sound. “Doc’s Guitar/Black Mountain Rag”, “Everybody Loves You”, “Sweet Temptation”, and “Mama Knows” are obvious examples, despite the fact they vary in tone and tempo.
Tommy Emanuel hails from Australia, but musically he’s been fully assimilated and obviously eager to apply his own imprint. The fact that he’s managed to corral so many superstars and keep the results so coherent and compatible and coherent is testimony to the esteem he’s been accorded by others. Even when he cedes the spotlight to others — Michael McDonald on his own original “Someone Like You,” Jorma Kaukonen with the tangled trappings of “Another Man Done A Full Go Round”, and Raul Malo, courtesy of his commanding vocal, on the beautiful ballad “Faraway Places” — Emmanuel is never far from the frontline, lending his supple strum to underscore each offering. Whether gentle, jaunty, robust or refined, the music Tommy Emanuel makes stirs the sentiment and consistently takes command. A more riveting record would be hard to find. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Tommy Emmanuel from AMAZON
For more information, please visit the Tommy Emmanuel website
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