Two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel has a professional career that spans over four decades and continues to intersect with some of the finest musicians throughout the world. A household name in his native Australia, Tommy has garnered hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide. Tommy's unique style - he calls it simply "finger style" - is akin to playing guitar the way a pianist plays piano, using all ten fingers.
Guitar legend Chet Atkins was one of the first to inspire Emmanuel to pick up the guitar as a child. Decades later, Atkins himself became one of Emmanuel's biggest fans. In 1999, Chet 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 Warner and John Knowles). Atkins eventually recorded with Tommy in 1996 on "The Day the Finger Pickers Took Over the World", for which Emmanuel received his first Grammy award nomination. This was also Atkins last recording.
After a recent recuperative rest, resulting from an exhausting touring schedule, Tommy is now completely rejuvenated and embarking on a full tour schedule in 2008. A new double live CD and DVD, “Center Stage” filmed in High Definition and recorded at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California will be commercially released in Spring ‘08. The DVD portion will also air on Public Television affiliates all over the United States. Every element of modern technology was used in the production of both the DVD and CD. Tommy’s record producer, Kim Person, recorded and mixed the audio tracks, while long-time Sierra Nevada video producer/director Peter Barlow tied the entire package together in state-of-the-art quality. It makes for a stunning package, both aurally and visually.
The double disc Live CD “Center Stage” contains many fan show-stoppers, including Emmanuel’s Beatles Medley, Mombasa, and Initiation – the aboriginal tribute song that has evolved over the years and never sounds the same on any recording – or during any show. Tommy also introduces four never-before recorded tracks, “Ruby’s Eyes”, “Lenny Bro’”, “The Jolly Swagman” and “Papa George” (inspired by George Harrison). Also, included are several arrangements of popular traditional tunes like “House of the Rising”, “Nine Pound Hammer”, “Amazing Grace” – and for his Japanese fans, “Sukiyaki” This new CD is a great mix of the rare, the new, the traditional and the favorites.