Watch current interviews with music and entertainment icons and influencers of the baby boomer generation as well as rising stars in music.



Tommy Emmanuel
With Loren and Mark
September 21, 2014
The Tennessee Theater
Knoxville, Tennessee

Photo by James Patterson


I apologize for the lateness in posting this concert review. You see, what happened was that Tommy Emmanuel hit the stage and for over two frenetically entertaining hours, the “Certified Guitar Player” (an honor bestowed on Emmanuel and four other guitarists before his death) wore out his audience . . . and left us all with a contented smile on our faces.

Before Tommy’s performance, the opening act, Loren and Mark took the stage at precisely 7:30pm and wowed the near capacity crowd with their acoustic guitar duet mastery.  Along with originals (written by friends) like “China Blue” (THE Boomerocity favorite by these two gentlemen), these acoustic guitar whiz kids played some amazing treatments of songs like Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” Elvis’s “Mystery Train” and Chet Atkin’s treatment of “Mr. Bojangles”.

After a very brief intermission, Mr. Emmanuel took to the stage and went non-flippin-stop for over two hours (I think I told you that already, huh?). Among the long list of great songs and medleys was a bluesy instrumental version of “Amazing Grace,” the musical panoramic tune, “Lewis and Clark,” his amazing Beatles medley and (one of my personal favorites), his treatment of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”

I was hoping that Tommy would play “Initiation” but he didn’t. He did better than that. He played a new composition of his entitled, “Blood Brother” and “The Trails” – a moving number about the plight of the Native American Indians (again, composed by Emmanuel).

Emmanuel’s playing was often fast (clocking cruising speeds of 90 mph with gusts of up to 120 mph) but flawless. When the tempo slowed, it did so with raw, heartfelt emotion.

For the last couple of pre-encore numbers, Tommy brought out Loren and Mark and included an amazing cover of “Good Time Charlie’s Got


Photo by James Patterson

The Blues”. For his solo encore, Emmanuel performed an incredible version of “It’s A Wonderful World” that, no doubt, had Louis Armstrong smiling down on him.

During the show, Tommy mentioned how he had hoped that his work and the work of Loren & Mark would inspire kids around the world to take up guitar and take it to a whole new level. I’m sure that these three gentlemen accomplished exactly that during their show. I am also convinced that Craig’s List has a bunch of used guitars for sale, put up as such by many aspiring guitarists who watched these three maestros and decided to throw in their musical towels and take up needlepoint.

If you ever get the chance to see Tommy Emmanuel perform, I guarantee you that you will NOT be disappointed.

Read the latest Boomerocity interview with Tommy Emmanuel here and keep up with him here and with Loren and Mark here.