Center Stage - Live DVD
DVD Release Date: October 14th, 2008
Favored Nations Acoustic presents two new projects from virtuoso guitarist Tommy Emmanuel c.g.p. (certified guitar player): Center Stage a live two CD set, followed by a full length concert DVD.
Recognized as one of the greatest living acoustic guitar players, two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel has mesmerized both fellow musicians and audiences alike with a professional career that spans over four decades. Tommy's dazzling performance, flawless guitar skills and voluminous repertoire never fail to amaze and engage his legions. From the wilds of Australia's outback to bustling major cities throughout the world, Emmanuel's flair, unforgettable showmanship and exhaustive world wide touring schedule have created an enviable fan base that continues to grow even larger every year.
A household name in his native Australia, Tommy has garnered hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide. Tommy's unique style - simply called finger style" - is akin to playing guitar the way a pianist plays piano, using all ten fingers. Guitar legend Chet Atkins honored Tommy Emmanuel with the title of Certified Guitar Player" for his lifetime contribution to the instrument, a rare honor shared by only three other people in the world (Jerry Reed, Steve Wariner and John Knowles.)
Capturing Tommy Emmanuel's immense talent is Center Stage, a two CD set and separate DVD release - originally recorded live over three nights in October of 2007 at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California for the PBS television series Sierra Center Stage."
Center Stage is a great mix of the new and the fan favorites from previous Favored Nations Acoustic releases like The Mystery and Endless Road. Both the CD and DVD feature such songs as Emmanuel's Beatles Medley", Mombasa", Initiation", Morning Aire" and include arrangements of popular traditional tunes House of the Risin' Sun" and Amazing Grace".
Introduced are four never-before recorded songs of Emmanuel's - Ruby's Eyes", The Jolly Swagman", Lenny Bro'" and Papa George" (inspired by George Harrison). Following the CD release will be the DVD version mixed in 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and filmed in eye-catching High Definition. Every element of modern technology was used in the production. Tommy's record producer, Kim Person, recorded and mixed the audio tracks, while long-time Sierra Nevada video producer/director Peter Berkow tied the entire package together in state-of-the-art quality. It makes for a stunning package, both aurally and visually. This is a must have for any fan of Emmanuel's.
The CD and DVD each contain extra performances of Tommy's that were not originally part of the Sierra Center Stage" PBS television program.
Emmanuel's music and life are legendary in Australia. He began playing guitar at age 4 by learning to play by ear without any formal instruction. Emmanuel and his older brother Phil were child prodigies, starting their professional careers in the 1960s. By the age of six, Tommy was already working as a professional musician. Shortly after his father's death in 1966, the Emmanuel family was approached by Australian country music star Buddy Williams, who took the family on the road until they were forced by the Australian child welfare department to stop traveling. The Emmanuel children were then sent to a regular school. During these years, Tommy was playing in The Trailblazers (with siblings Chris on drums and Virginia on slide guitar) on weekends. He also taught guitar and made numerous television appearances in musical competitions. Emmanuel's first brush with fame came when The Trailblazers won two televised talent contests and recorded an EP. He and his siblings worked hard to create the family's sole income for several years. In his early teens, Tommy left home and moved to Sydney to pursue a professional career as a guitarist. Playing in clubs all over the city, Emmanuel soon found himself in high demand as a session player for some of the era's most popular performers. During the mid '70s through the early '80s, he joined one of the decade's biggest acts, Dragon, recorded thousands of commercial jingles" and played on recordings for Air Supply, Men at Work and dozens of other popular artists. In 1987, Dragon toured with Tina Turner on her Break Every Rule" tour.
In addition to his storied career, which includes 16 music and instructional recordings, Tommy is also an accomplished record producer and musical arranger. He is also well regarded for mentoring students by offering guitar workshops and master classes on tour. Other accolades include his 2007 Grammy nomination for Gameshow Rag / Cannonball Rag" from the Favored Nations Acoustic CD The Mystery, induction into the Thumb Pickers Hall of Fame in Muhlenberg, Kentucky (the only non-American so honored), and the Acoustic Guitar magazine readers' poll for placing in the top 3 favorite artists. Emmanuel was voted Rolling Stone (Australia) magazine's Most Popular Guitarist" for two consecutive years. He has earned four Australian Platinum and Gold albums and two consecutive Golden Guitar" awards (2006, 2007) at the CMAA Awards in Australia. Another stellar career highlight was Tommy's performance (with his brother Phil) at the Sydney 2000 Olympics Closing Ceremonies, viewed by over 2 billion people around the world. Emmanuel has set Australian sales records that have yet to be broken and performed with hundreds of musical legends including Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Keith Urban, Eric Clapton, Sir George Martin, Tina Turner, Joe Walsh, Stevie Wonder, Nokie Edwards (of the Ventures), Hank Marvin, the Lexington (Kentucky) Philharmonic, the Dortmund (Germany) Symphony, and the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Tommy hosts several annual TommyFest" concerts, where other stellar internationally recognized musicians are invited to share in a four day all-out celebration of music.
The list of achievements in Tommy Emmanuel's illustrious career has now grown even longer by the inclusion of the magnificent CD and DVD Center Stage.
BREAKING NEWS: Tommy Emmanuel has just been voted BEST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST" in the Guitar Player magazine annual Readers' Choice Awards for 2008