Watch Tommy Emmanuel and Richard Smith Duet in New “Serenade to Summertime" Video

Portrait of Australian musician Tommy Emmanuel, photographed in Bath, England on May 22, 2018
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to musical influences Tommy Emmanuel and Richard Smith are kindred spirits. With a deep-rooted love of Chet Atkins, the pair immediately hit it off and spent hours playing together.

“I heard about Richard through other players at the Chet Atkins events in Nashville,” recalls Emmauel, “and when we first met up, we played until we were exhausted! I had found someone I could have the best time playing all the music I loved from my childhood and who had a similar attitude and energy!”

Guitarists Chet Atkins (l) and Jerry Reed (r) perform together onstage on acoustic guitars at a telethon in circa 1970.

Chet Atkins (left) and Jerry Reed, 1970 (Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Image)

Due out on September 10, Emmanuel’s new EP - Tommy Emmanuel Accomplice Series Vol. 2 with Richard Smith – pays homage to their duetting guitar heroes Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed by following in their footsteps with four choice covers: “Serenade to Summertime”, “Twichy”, “Nashtownville”, and “Baby's Coming Home”.

Recorded at TuneSmith Studio near Nashville, TN earlier this year, Emmanuel and Smith’s rendition of “Serenade to Summertime” originates from the Atkins/Reed album, Me & Chet. And in this brand-new video for the song – the first track from Emmanuel’s forthcoming EP – the love for their heroes’ formative playing styles is tangible as they duet on acoustic guitars.

Tommy Emmanuel Accomplice Series Vol. 2 EP Cover

(Image credit: Tommy Emmanuel)

Speaking of the new track Emmanuel points out, “It’s a typical melodic piece that Chet would have chosen to showcase his tenderness in a musical setting. Richard really stayed close to Jerry’s perfectly honed part as the accompanist and I tried to perform the song without too many frills or embellishments, just heart and feeling.”

Following the EP’s release, Emmanuel and Smith will be touring together from November 5. Click here for more information.

Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.