Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor Releasing New Album

Mon, 28 January 2013
Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor are set to release their new collaborative album, "The Colonel & The Governor." on March 4th 2013.

The acoustic duet album stemmed from a simple idea: find songs that Tommy and Martin love and come up with arrangements that could allow both of them to, as Tommy Emmanuel says, “fly their own our kites,” and have some fun playing together in the process.

Says Tommy, “During periods of heavy touring, we would send each other emails with song suggestions and mp3s of some of Martin's rare recordings of some of the older guys like Eddie Lang, Django Reinhardt, Carl Kress and Charlie Christian. We also wanted to have some original songs on the album and Martin's songs suited so well.”

Tommy’s relationship with Martin goes back to the early 90s when Tommy first discovered him on Australian television. “I was so amazed by his playing,” recalls Tommy. “I rang the TV station and they gave me his hotel details. I immediately rang him and invited him to play with me at a beautiful theatre in Sydney. We hit it off like brothers and musically had a wonderful chemistry.”

“Martin likes to have as much fun as I do on stage - that's important to me. I have learned so much from Martin, as he comes from a jazz background and I come from a country and rock background. I think we both have a strong love of melody and arrangement that allows our playing to interweave effortlessly and sometimes it feels like time stands still when we are playing together. Martin once introduced me on stage as "the abominable showman" - I have always called him "The Governor".

On the new album Martin played his signature Maestro jazz guitar, while Tommy played his 1930 Martin 017 Mahogany guitar for some of the tracks and a Godin 5th Avenue guitar for the rest. On Tommy’s solo track, “Secret Love”, he used a Maton custom EGB808. Both guitarists were miked and plugged in as well.

“It was fun and challenging to record to make,” says Tommy. “It's honest and in your face playing. Martin swings like a member of the Basie Big Band and phrases like a pioneer of jazz. The album was skillfully and sensitively recorded and produced by Kim Person.”

Track Listing

1. I Won't Last A Day Without You
2. Jersey Bounce
3. Bernie's Tune
4. A Smooth One
5. True
6. Heat Wave
7. One Day
8. Lullaby of Birdland
9. The Nearness of You
10. Down at Cocomos
11. The Fair Haired Child
12. Secret Love
13. Wonderful Baby
14. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

They will be launching a UK in support of the effort on March 2nd in Belfast. 

The 17-date UK tour will see both guitarists playing together and separately, starting on Thursday 6th March at the The Anvil, Basingstoke. Tickets are on sale from the 24 hour box office 0844 478 0898 and www.thegigcartel.com.

Tommy Emmanuel is unquestionably one of
the most gifted artists of our time

- Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Martin Taylor out-shred's all of us put together ...
I've never seen anything like it

- Jeff Beck

While they are both serious "men of letters" with Tommy Emmanuel being an honorary Kentucky Colonel, a CGP (Certified Guitar Player), an Order of Australia Medalist (AM) and the holder of an honorary masters (MA) and Martin Taylor being an M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) and holder of two Honourary Doctorates, they honour each other affectionately with these titles. Both acoustic guitarists are leaders of music in their respective countries - Australia and the UK. Call it a British Commonwealth thing!

Known for his complex finger-picking style, Tommy Emmanuel is an Australian guitarist who performs energetic concerts, and is highly regarded for the use of percussive effects on the guitar. In 2008 and 2010, Guitar Player Magazine’s Readers Poll voted him Best Acoustic Guitarist.

Martin Taylor is a multi-award winning guitarist and Acoustic Guitar magazine calls him the acoustic guitarist of his generation. He dazzles audiences with his solo shows, which combine virtuosity, emotion, humour, and a strong stage presence while his inimitable style has seen him recognised as the world’s foremost exponent of solo finger style guitar playing. Taylor has invented and developed a way of playing the guitar that is admired, and often imitated, by guitarists all over the world.

Collaborations with artists including Jeff Beck, Bill Wyman, Jamie Cullum, David Grisman and Bryn Terfel have seen him garner two honorary doctorates, a BBC lifetime achievement award, Top 10 albums in both the USA and Europe, a record 14 British Jazz Awards and in 2002 he was appointed MBE ‘For Services to Jazz Music’ by Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain.

As one of the worlds most recognized online guitar teachers his innovative online guitar school with its headquarters in Napa, CA has been featured on NPR, BBC, Fox News and the LA Times and is subscribed to by guitarists in over 58 countries.

2012 saw the London premiere of Martin Taylor’s ‘Spirit of Django’ orchestral Suite at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.

Martin Taylor is one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument. He's unbelievable.
- Pat Metheny

No matter how complex or daring, Taylor's interpretations never short change the melodies; indeed his remarkable fluid touch embues a seamless beauty. Martin Taylor is something to behold.
- The Washington Post


Throughout his career, Tommy Emmanuel has played with many notable artists including Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, Sir George Martin, Air Supply, John Denver, Les Paul and Doc Watson. 

Tommy and his brother Phil performed at Sydney’s closing ceremony at the Summer Olympics in 2000. The event was televised worldwide to an estimated 2.85 billion viewers.

Tommy has said that even at a young age he was fascinated by Atkins’ musical style of playing bass with the thumb and melody parts with the first two or three fingers at the same time. This technique became the basis of Tommy's guitar style.
While Tommy has never had formal music training, his playing ability has won him fans from all over the world. He is known to play percussion parts on the body of his guitar. As a solo performer he never plays to a set list and uses a minimum of effects. He usually completes recordings in one take.


Tommy Emmanuel's steel-string fretwork
is technically dazzling and atmospheric.

- Chicago Tribune

Emmanuel frequently uses his left thumb to fret bass notes on the 5th and 6th strings as well as playing chords such as Am and E with just two fingers. He uses a thumb pick mostly, a flat pick or just fingers.

His main guitar is a small-bodied custom Maton EBG808 that is fitted with a pickup and an internal condenser microphone, to which he has given the nickname "Mouse" due to its quieter volume unplugged but massive sound when plugged into an amp. Two of his three main stage guitars, notably his signature TE1 Maton dreadnought, are battered and worn from his excessive playing and percussive techniques on them. He once stated that all three of his stage guitars have been broken and repaired numerous times over the years.

As a young man in Australia, Tommy wrote to his hero Chet Atkins in Nashville. Eventually Atkins replied with words of encouragement and a longstanding invitation to drop by to visit.

In 1997, Emmanuel and Atkins recorded as a duo and released the album The Day Finger Pickers Took over the World, which was also to be Atkins' last recorded album before he died in 2001. In 1998, a year after the album was released it won Best Country Instrumental Album at the Nashville Music Awards.

Blessed with impeccable taste and exceptional technique,
he’s able to perform folk, rock, jazz, country and blues
with fluid ease and impressive authority.

- San Diego Union Tribune

In July 1999, at the 15th Annual Chet Atkins Appreciate Society Convention, Chet presented Tommy with a Certified Guitar Player award, an honor Atkins has bestowed on other guitarists. This award gains its fame from being bestowed by Atkins himself, a widely recognized leader in guitar music. The award states: "In Recognition of his Contributions to the Art of Fingerpicking." Tommy performs at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society in July each year in Nashville.

“Tommy is about the only guitarist I’ve heard,” said Chet Atkins, “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 finger-picker in the world today. He’s inventive, fearless and has a flawless sense of rhythm. He’s a great showman, too.”

Emmanuel’s duet with Chet Atkins, Smokey Mountain Lullaby, was nominated for the 1998 Grammy award for Country Instrumental Performance. In 2006, Emmanuel received his second Grammy award nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance for Gameshow Rag.

Tommy Emmanuel’s last album Little By Little was released in 2010. The deluxe 2xCD set features special guests Pam Rose, John Knowles cgp, Victor Wooten, Doyle Dykes and many more. The album is available to purchase from www.tommyemmanuel.com.

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