by Kim Hodgson
WDAV listener and Sparks Society member Debra Camper-Brazis checked in recently with some passionate words about Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, sometimes referred to as the best guitarist you never heard of. A number of clips featuring his work are on YouTube. This one features Emmanuel trying to play Classical Gas (anyone remember that one?) but he keeps getting distracted by other pieces, including a number of classical snippets. (Challenge: identify as many classical works as you can in this clip.) Emmanuel was also interviewed by NPR’s LeAnn Hanson about a year ago, and you can listen to that interview here. After hearing him play, I was astounded to learn that he doesn’t read music.
A question, Dear Listener: if you were to hear a performance by Mr. Emmanuel on WDAV – carefully selected, of course, for qualities which match those that classical listeners seem to be seeking – would you be (a) thrilled, (b) pleasantly surprised, (c) horrified, (d) disgusted, or (e) indifferent? Or perhaps you might couch your reaction in very different terms. If you have a moment, let us know.