Grammy nominated guitarist Tommy Emmanuel releases a collaborative album, Accomplice One, in January. For this album he’s teamed up with a whole host of talented musicians to perform a mix of cover versions and original songs. The list of musicians includes Ricky Skaggs, Mark Knopfler, Jerry Douglas and many more, playing instruments including the mandolin and singing.
My only doubt before listening to this album was because Tommy Emmanuel is known as an acoustic guitarist, so I wasn’t sure how the songs included here would sound acoustic vs electric – “Purple haze” is a perfect example – how can this Jimi Hendrix classic be played on an acoustic guitar? Surprisingly the answer is incredibly well. Yes it sounds very different to the version we’re familiar with but it does sound far better than I could have imagined.
Songs such as “(sittin’ on) the dock of the bay” are so well known that again it seems like madness to cover them but such is the strength not only of Tommy Emmanuel’s playing, but his ability to come up with a new way to do some of the songs that he manages to successfully take a well known song and perform it in a different way to the original and still have it sound great and not sound like an inferior version of a much loved classic.
Some of the playing on this album is staggeringly good – if you think the acoustic guitar is only for ballads and can be a bit monotonous, this album will show you that in the right hands you can get some amazing music out of an acoustic guitar. There is some electric guitar used here too (e.g. in Wheelin’ & Dealin’) but it’s mainly acoustic guitar. The way the songs have been interpreted means they work superbly well, and when you put everything together you have an album that isn’t just somethign for guitar fans, it’s an album that a wide range of people will enjoy.
An excellent album with some of the best acoustic guitar playing I’ve heard.
“Accomplice one” will be released on 19th January 2018
1. Deep river blues
2. Song and dance man
3. Saturday night shuffle
4. Wheelin’ and dealin’
5. c-jam blues
6. (sittin’ on) the dock of the bay
8. You don’t want to get you one of those
9. Keepin’ it reel
10. Looking forward to the past
11. Purple haze
12. Rachel’s lullaby
14. Watson blues
15. Tittle tattle
16. The duke’s message