Undoubtedly one of the most robust and visceral, in-your-face concert recordings I've ever heard, Aussie guitar hero, legend, and Chet Atkins' dubbed "Certified Guitar Player" Tommy Emmanuel literally takes center stage in your listening room and leaves the rafters shaking long after disc two comes to an end.
I cannot recall when I was so immediately drawn to a live recording of this high a caliber as I am/was by Center Stage. (Well, yes I can actually remember and some of the titles may spin you for a loop: Allman Brothers—Fillmore East, The Who—Live At Leeds, J. Geils—Full House", Derek & The Dominoes—Fillmore East, Sam Cooke—Live At The Harlem Square Club, Coltrane's—Live At The Village Vanguard)
Also where have I been that I've never come across this guy before? There is not one of the twenty-four tracks that you will not want to hear and marvel at for whatever your cup of tea: Virtuosity, technique, fluidity, lyricism, personality… It is all right here.
Whether it's a Beatles' medley, Hoagy Carmichael, Merle Travis, Haggard, Billy Joel or his own richly constructed and vibrant compositions, Center Stage is the mind changing, expectations-smashing concert we all hope to attend. After forty years of sustained wizardry and artfulness, I have to ask one more time: Where the hell have I been?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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