Well supplied with guitar strings | VailDaily.com

Well supplied with guitar strings

Staff Report
Special to the DailyTommy Emmanuel can make his guitar sound like anything from rushing water to lyrical bells. The composer and musician performs at the Vilar Center Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

According to Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel is one of the greatest players on the planet. The former guitarist for Air Supply plays the Vilar Center Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

The Grammy-nominated musician is known particularly for his finger-style playing. He was named Best Guitarist by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1990, the same year he was named Ambassador of Music in his native Australia. Since his 2000 appearance as a featured performer at the Closing Ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Sydney, interest in the musician has run high.

Emmanuel’s session work in the 1970s produced some of Air Supply’s biggest hits including, “All Out of Love” and “Now and Forever.” His compositions have been recorded by Olivia Newton-John and Al Jarreau. He’s toured and worked with Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Leo Kottke, Joe Walsh, Roberta Flack, Jerry Reed, John Denver, The Chieftains and of course, the late Chet Atkins, who gave Emmanuel a Certified Guitar Player Award for his contribution to guitar.

“Tommy is big in Australia and over in Europe, but guitar fans in America have just been learning about him the past few years,” said Atkins. “He appeared at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention a few years ago and brought the house down. He’s about the only guitarist I’ve heard who can come close to what Lenny (Breau) did with harmonics, and he’s got a style all his own. I think he’s probably the greatest fingerpicker in the world today. He’s inventive, fearless and has a flawless sense of rhythm. He’s a great showman, too. You can’t watch Tommy perform and not feel happy. I just love him. We made an album together in 1996 called “The Day Fingerpickers Took Over the World,’ which I’m very proud of. It’s got some beautiful tunes on it, and our playing blended well. Tommy is going to give the world a lot of great music in the coming years.”

Including the concert at the Vilar Center Sunday. Call 845-TIXS for more information.

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