BOONE — The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is welcoming Australian native and award-winning recording artist Tommy Emmanuel, C.G.P. to the mountains for a live appearance and debut performance at its historic venue in downtown Boone at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7.
The highly-anticipated concert is part of the Mast Store Americana Music Series on the Doc Watson Stage of the Appalachian Theatre. This series is an ongoing, year-round program of artists and events celebrating the genre unique to our country.
William Thomas Emmanuel, AM, is an Australian guitarist regarded as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists of all time. He is known for his complex fingerstyle technique, energetic performances, and use of percussive effects on the instrument. Originally a session player in many bands, Emmanuel carved out his own style as a solo artist, releasing multiple award-winning albums and singles. In 2010 Emmanuel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), and in 2011 he was inducted into the Australian Roll of Renown.
The ”C.G.P.” after Emmanuel’s name stands for “Certified Guitar Player.” This designation, assigned by the late Chet Atkins, recognizes guitar players who excel far beyond the normal line of playing. Atkins handed this title to only four guitar players in his lifetime, with the first one presented to Emmanuel.
Emmanuel insists on shining the light back on the music. “Songs are our teachers,” he said. “They show us the depth of the human race and its unrelenting desire to create.” The first quality that defines Emmanuel’s greatness and is mentioned anytime you talk to his legions of fans, whether musicians or civilians, is his extraordinary guitar playing.
Considered by those in the know to be among this planet’s greatest guitarists, his playing is simply miraculous, as it would take three musicians, or more, to do what Emmanuel does solo. Who else, for example, when playing “Day Tripper,” can lay down the rhythm part, dig into the riff, and sing the melody all at once on just one acoustic guitar?
Another aspect of his music that is infectiously appealing: Joy. It’s one thing to play these multi-dimensional arrangements flawlessly on an acoustic guitar. But to do it with that smile of the ages, that evidence of authentic, unbridled delight, is an irresistible invitation to feel his music as deeply as he does.
“The joy,” he says, “is there always because I’m chasing it through music. Seeing the surprise in peoples’ eyes is worth living and working for… I can’t help but play to the people with all my heart, which is overflowing with joy of being in that moment that I’ve worked all my life for. And here it is!”
Regarding to his concert appearances, Emmanuel said, “When I was a kid, I wanted to be in show business. Now, I just want to be in the happiness business. I make music, and you get happy. That’s a good job.”
For tickets and more information on this event, or to join the theatre’s eblast list and purchase memberships, please visit the ATHC website at www.apptheatre.org.