If anyone could produce actual sparks from playing a guitar it would be Tommy Emmanuel.
Central New York's Guitar League again hosted Australian born Troubadour Emmanuel for a performance at Syracuse Center 4 The Arts on East Genesee Street in Syracuse last Tuesday night May 6. Emmanuel is a player with total mastery over the guitar, inside and out - yet he is a kind master - giving as much as he gets from his instrument of choice and making his intensity look like child's play.
Although he has performed with orchestras and in countless duets his performances are mostly solo as his work really needs no accompaniment. He makes the guitar sound like an orchestra; he is a true performer with all that entails, including incredible timing and stage presence including eye contact with his audience.
Peter Ryan, a member of the Guitar League, said that Emmanuel started his career as a drummer, which make a lot of sense, as he knows how to use the guitar for percussion. Another astonishing ability is that he employs a style with his strings where he is often playing lead, rhythm and bass simultaneously. Ultimately, he understands the total spectrum of sound that is possible from a guitar and even some that seem impossible.
Worth noting is his newly acquired Gibson from Kalamazoo, Michigan. It's a simple and true instrument made in 1934. Emmanuel said it was sold through Sears and Roebuck. A gentleman, who has since passed away from cancer, left Emmanuel this guitar. After explaining the sweet simplicity it would deliver, Emmanuel sat down and demonstrated how less can be more with a couple of numbers including a rendition of Mr. Bojangles that was so tender and beautiful. It perfectly played out the whole purpose of that particular song, as Sinatra's classic performance of "One for my baby (and one more for the road.)"