Mindlessly following browser links earlier today, I stumbled across this YouTube clip, showing Tommy Emmanuel fooling around with his guitar at a concert. I love this sort of stuff. It's like watching Tiger Woods do golfball tricks, or Michael Jordan play H.O.R.S.E, or Chuck Avery draw crazy doodles. A professional having fun with his skill is great to watch.
Turns out there is quite a collection of clips of Tommy on YouTube, of varying sound and video quality. For somebody who hasn't heard him before, recommended are
- Angeline, a song he wrote for his youngest daughter (the sound is a bit poor on this clip, but it's a nice sampler),
- Day Tripper/Lady Madonna medley, just to hear what he sounds like doing "classical" stuff, and
- Countrywide, one of the many pieces he wrote and played that tries to capture the Australian country and outback environment in music.
- Update At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, there's even a recording of Mombasa! Probably a must-see if you've never seen a guitar used as a drum set. The video/sound sync is a bit dodgy, so the initial percussion doesn't look as impressively hard as it should and the audio recording is a bit fuzzy in parts, but this is a nice piece.
I have a fairly large collection of Tommy Emmanuel's albums. Not all of them, but most of them. They are great background music for relaxing or doing stuff that doesn't require intense concentration. He's also a fantastic live performer and I've shelled out for tickets three times to go and watch him. Particularly in smalller venues (pub settings), he's great. His wikipedia page doesn't really do justice to his history. This page is probably a better musical history.