On October 25, world-renowned Australian "fingerstyle" guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel, CGP, will release his first-ever album of holiday music, All I Want For Christmas (Favored Nations Entertainment). Emmanuel, who was honored as the CMA's Global Artist this year, co-produced the album with veteran Nashville picker and arranger John Knowles, CGP. They also collaborated on new arrangements for nine Yuletide classics including "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "The Christmas Song," and "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer." Emmanuel also wrote one original for the collection--"One Christmas Night"--and arranged a second new composition, "The Magic Of Christmas Time," by Rick Price, who plays piano on the song.
"People have asked me about doing a Christmas album so many times over the last 20 years," says Emmanuel. "When I had time to really get into this project, it just had a life of its own, and was so easy to make because we all loved the music so much. It's exciting that there will be so many fans happy about it coming out."
Most of the arrangements for All I Want For Christmas came together via Skype, while Emmanuel was on tour internationally, and Knowles--who also plays guitar on the album--was home in Nashville prepping. "We'd trade ideas back and forth," says Emmanuel, "working up key changes and places to go with the songs that would make our versions unique, yet still simple and direct, true to how they were written." Emmanuel employed several guitars for the sessions, relying heaving on a new David Taylor model that he says, "has a singing quality to it, a beautiful voice." Everything was recorded at Beech CreekStudios in Franklin, TN with Kim Person, who has produced Emmanuel's last five albums.
"I'd always wanted to write traditional sounding Christmas carol," says Emmanuel, and that urge inspired "One Christmas Night." The album's other new tune, "The Magic of Christmas Night," is one that singer-songwriter Rick Price played for Emmanuel, who felt it could be adapted into a great instrumental piece. The complete track listing is: "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," "White Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "The Christmas Song," "Winter Wonderland," "Mary's Boy Child," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "The Magic of Christmas Time," "One Christmas Night," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Silent Night," and How Great Thou Art."
Also this year, the new Tommy Emmanuel Web 3.0 website was launched. A platform designed to create an immersive and comprehensive online experience for the artist's fans worldwide, it interconnects three sites: TommyEmmanuel.com, with the latest news, artist/tour information, photos, fan forums, discussions groups, mailing list registration, and links to shop; CertifiedGuitarPlayer.com, home to the Tommy Emmanuel storefront for music, DVDs, merchandise, lesson books, and gear; and TommyEmmanuel.TV, an online social and educational experience featuring exclusive footage of live performances, interactive lessons, interviews and a behind-the-scenes view of Tommy on the road as he tours the world.
All I Want For Christmas follows up Emmanuel's latest album, Little By Little. On the album's release day in February 2011, Emmanuel and Little By Little's guest artists Anthony Snape, Pam Rose, Frank Vignola, and Vinny Raniolo performed a sold-out concert in San Diego, CA. The show was filmed in HD for PBS Television, and Tommy Emmanuel and Friends: Live From The Balboa Theatre has been airing on PBS stations in the U.S. since June.
Long one of Australia's most respected and best-loved musicians, his award-winning career now spans five decades and multiple genres including jazz, rock, blues, and country. He is known for his distinctive "finger style" playing, using all ten fingers--a technique he was inspired to try after hearing his hero, the legendary Chet Atkins, play in the early 1960s. Atkins became a mentor to Emmanuel after they met in the '80s. Atkins presented Emmanuel with a coveted "Certified Guitar Player Award" (CGP), an honor the Nashville icon bestowed on only 4 other guitarists before his death in 2001.
For more information: www.tommyemmanuel.com.