Friday 18 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Emmanuel forever

Emmanuel forever

Tommy Emmanuel has picked his way from Australia to the realm of guitar greats, one finger at a time.

Joshua Boydston September 7th, 2011

Tommy Emmanuel
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14
Nancy O’Brian Center for the Performing Art
1809 Stubbeman, Norman

Almost 10 years to the day, Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel still remembers almost every detail of a show he played in Oklahoma City.

“Right after 9/11, I came through, and it was one of my first shows of the tour. Everyone was still pretty numb,” Emmanuel said. “I found some poetry about America, and I read it to the audience while a friend played ‘America the Beautiful’ on the guitar. I remember that it kind of broke the spell, the chains of what had happened. It was such a big outpouring of emotion, and I’ll never forget that night.”

That’s really saying something, being that the two-time Grammy nominee seemingly has a lifetime of potentially unforgettable moments. With nearly 20 albums to his name, the internationally renowned musician has played with the best of them: Eric Clapton, Chet Atkins and Les Paul, to name a few. His precise, fingerpicking style is unparalleled, and he’s only getting better.

“The harder you work, the more dedicated you are to it,” he said. “Good things keep coming to you.”

His biggest thrills come from being onstage.

“You can only practice so much behind closed doors,” Emmanuel said. “There’s nothing like playing for an audience; it’s the best feeling I know.”

I don’t think like a normal guitar player.
—Tommy Emmanuel

He’s touring as relentlessly and extensively now as he did 30-some-odd years back. The biggest difference now is his increased reliance on his old acoustic guitar, which, for a guitar player of his magnitude, offers a world of possibilities beyond its electric counterpart. His solo show sounds like more than just one guy, with his finger patterns opening up rhythmic, harmonic and percussive elements all at the same time.

“It’s all about state of mind. I don’t think like a normal guitar player,” Emmanuel said. “I’m trying to pull rabbits out of the hat to give people a good time, and it helps focus people in. I try to draw the crowd in and give them a good time.”

Emmanuel is currently touring in support of a greatest-hits album that coincides with the launch of a trio of websites that not only promote his music, but also stream instructional videos and more. But for all the things he’s done, he had never attempted a Christmas record. That’s about to be checked off the list, however, with a disc dedicated to the season lighting up this November.

“It was great to have a little Christmas cheer in the middle of the year,” he said. “We decorated the studio with lights and such, and this was the first week of July. It was really lovely.”

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