Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel has toured constantly as a solo act, often more than 300 dates a year. However, what really matters is how Tommy makes people feel when he performs. With his powerfully charismatic persona and a simply untouchable musical virtuosity, Tommy draws his listeners into an incredible vortex of happiness from which they are content never to escape. Chet Atkins said, “You can’t watch Tommy play and not feel happy. I just love him.”
A master technician, Tommy Emmanuel started professionally at age six, rising through the ranks as a studio player and member of several Australian rock bands before he set off on a solo career. One of only five musicians handpicked by his mentor, Chet Atkins, as a Certified Guitar Player (CGP), he’s piled up numerous accolades, including two Grammy nominations, two ARIA Awards from the Australian Recording Industry Association (the Aussie equivalent of the Recording Academy) and repeated honours in the Guitar Player Magazine reader’s poll.
A noted fingerstyle guitarist, Emmanuel frequently threads three different parts simultaneously into his material, operating as a one-man band who handles the melody, the supporting chords, and the bass, all at once. His talents, which translate in any language, carry him to the far corners of the globe, but Emmanuel never plays the same show twice, and he improvises big chunks of every date. That leaves him open to those technical imperfections, though they also provide some of the humanity to an other-worldly talent.
“It’s about the feeling of the music,” Emmanuel says. “And it has to make me feel something. I’m still playing for myself, you know, because I figure if I please me then I’m pretty sure I’m gonna please you. And that’s not an arrogant statement, it’s just quality control.”
Andy McKee is among the world’s finest acoustic guitarists. His youthful energy and attention to song structure and melodic content elevates him above the rest. He entertains both the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into a full orchestra via his use of altered tuning, tapping, partial capos, percussive hits and a signature two-handed technique.
McKee’s crossover success has helped him to achieve millions upon millions of YouTube viewers, underscoring his emergence as one of today’s most unique and influential artists. He has been featured as a cover story in both Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the U.S. and Acoustic Magazine in the UK, and is also the figurehead of the unique Guitar Masters tours. McKee’s tour dates have taken him through Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, including tours with legendary acts including Prince and Dream Theater.