Tommy Emmanuel: All I Want for Christmas

Superbly talented guitarist picks holiday chestnuts

Australian guitar player Tommy Emmanuel may just be the single most talented picker of his generation. His finger- and flat-picking are precise yet graceful, with tone that’s clean but still soulful. Emmanuel sticks to his acoustic here, playing in both solo and band settings. It’s the former, in which his syncopated bass runs support the melodies, that is the most mesmerizing. The song list is mostly well-worn chestnuts, but Emmanuel’s sprightly and sensitive renderings make them sound fresh. This album will fit perfectly into many different holiday activities, whether you need background music for family gatherings, meditative instrumentals to unwind after the rigors of shopping, or rich instrumental versions of Christmas classics to set a holiday mood. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

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