Tommy Emmanuel "I think playing Sultans Of Swing with Pedro Javier Gonzalez and John Jorgenson was a pretty wonderful experience"
23 January 2019
Tommy Emmanuel Tours The UK this March!
Tommy answers fan questions here:
Kevin Lee: Tommy, what's the piece of music you put on to lift you from a miserable mood?
TE: Hello Kevin, ‘IGY’ by Donald Fagen, or ‘In The Shallow’ by Lady Gaga, or ‘I Keep Forgetting’ by Michael McDonald or ‘ What A Fool Believes’ by Doobie Brothers, there’s lots, there’s so many good songs out there!
Ted Christie: What's the strangest place you've ever performed?
TE: In a world war 3 bunker in Germany, it had its original light fittings and all kinds of stuff, it was a really weird place and it was called ZE BUNKER!
Elvin Jones: I notice you very often like to have a new or relatively unknown artist support you at your shows. Over the years has any of these artists turned into big stars ? thanks Tommy love your music.
TE: Thank you! Yes, I’d say several of them have done incredibly well and I love having people who are up and coming play and get them up in front of my audience so that they can be appreciated and they can get a feeling for what it’s like to have a audience that specifically come to see you. They need to have that experience so they can be hungry for it.
Oliver Baker: Hi Tommy what's your favourite restaurant; anywhere in the world and what would you be ordering from on the menu?
TE: Hi, I normally go for Thai Food, I’d probably order a panang curry with prawns or a green curry with pork or beef. I Like Legal Seafood here in Boston, I Like Little Maggiano's in Nashville, I also like the Malaysian Inn in Sydney.
Phillip Weaver: Hi Tommy, which have been your favourite live duet to date?
TE: Ohh, I think playing Sultans Of Swing with Pedro Javier Gonzalez and John Jorgenson was a pretty wonderful experience, completely unrehearsed , totally spontaneous and absolutely beautiful! Playing with Jerry Douglas has been fantastic for me and Frank Vignola, Martin Taylor, Mark Knopfler are also wonderful highlights but I think at the top of the list would be all the years I played with my brother Phil. That’s unbeatable!
John Phillips: If you were to cover a modern/current song in the charts what would it be ?
TE: Welcome John, it would have to be something that was really melodic and that really jumped out at me and made me think ‘man this would make a great instrumental’, At the moment, I can’t think of one song that stands out that I’d want to make into a instrumental.
Babs Swift: Hi Tommy, and would love to know if you were to write a song about Donald Trump, what would you call it xx
TE: Hello Babs; “I’m A Loser”, “I’m going nowhere fast”, “I’m A Loser”, that’s what it would be..
Thomas Battye: Do you have a specific process when writing new songs or adapting songs to cover them?
TE: Yes when I’m writing a new song I try to think that I’m writing a song for a singer in a band, I try to write in a pop kind of way, I don’t want to get to guitar orientated, it has to tell a story, take me somewhere and take the listener somewhere so I’m always trying to write so always as if I’m writing for someone to sing. When I’m doing a cover, first of all I have to really love the song and want to cover it, then my main process is finding the write key to play in so the melody really sounds good. When I did a cover of ‘Close To You’ the old song written by BBurt Backarach and recorded by The Carpenters in the late 60s . That song had been done a lot, so I had to find a way of making it fresh and new to my ear and I did that by using a capo on the second fret, getting the melody up a little higher, all the harmonies under the melody and then working out some unresolved chords to then resolved chords underneath the melody to keep the thing moving around, so yes. I try to make my arrangements as interesting as possible
Gavin Wilson: Do you have a favourite guitar in your collection, and have you ever lost or sold a guitar that you really miss, do you develop personal ties to musical instruments ?
TE: I try not to develop personal ties to my instruments but that’s pretty hard when you enjoy playing them all the time. The Guitar I’m playing the most now. My number one squeeze. Is a Maton that was made for me a few years ago and it’s slightly thinner than my other Matons, in other words it’s like a thin line, it’s a little bit not quite as wide, it’s actually a bigger sounding guitar and I’m totally crazy about it but I have a fairly new guitar that was made for me called a Pre War and what it is is a replica of a 1930s Martin 38 and that’s my ultimate acoustic guitar, it’s got everything. I very rarely guitars, I usually give guitars away and I try not to miss them, I can tell you where they all are. And I can tell you who’s got them but I’ve had guitars stolen and I’ve, by some miracle, got them back. Guitars come and go, people give me guitars or I buy them and then I hand them on to some-one else. I try not to get attached to thing, it’s not worth it, it’s just a hunk of wood.
Jody Webster: I love it when you turn your guitar into a full band sound it’s incredible, I have always wondered if there is a sound you want to add but can’t, a cow bell maybe :)
TE: Alright Jody, thank you! Haha that’s very good. I could find a way of doing that! Don’t underestimate that, but I’m happy to create the sound of the walking bass, a bit of bass drum, kinda slap and some moving chords or horn parts underneath the melody on top. I’m happy to do all that, I don’t want to be, you know, making it into a science experiment, it still has to be very musical all the way, and have a really swing to it so I kinda trust my instincts with how far I take it.
Tommy Emmanuel Tours The UK this March!
9 Mar Warwick Arts Centre
10 Mar Shrewsbury Theatre Severn
11 Mar Salisbury City Hall
20 Mar London Royal Festival Hall
21 Mar Sheffield City Hall
22 Mar Manchester RNCM
24 Mar Cambridge Corn Exchange
For Tickets and Information please click HERE