Earlier this week, we were saddened to hear of the untimely death of Phil Emmanuel, an Australian guitar icon, and the older brother of another master guitarist—and longtime friend of Guitar Player—Tommy Emmanuel.
From early childhood, Phil and Tommy frequently played live together and in 1994, they even released a collaborative instrumental album, Terra Firma. The album cracked the top 10 on the national Australian chart, and got them an ARIA Award nomination for Best Adult Contemporary Album.
In 2000, when the Olympics came to Sydney, the Emmanuel Brothers were a natural choice to perform at the game's massive closing ceremony. You can watch their dazzling performance of "Terra Firma" at the ceremony above.
"He taught me so much right from the start, showed me how to recognize song keys, chords, harmonies, how to get a sound that worked, how to stay out of the way on stage and when to step forward when I had something to say, musically or otherwise," Tommy Emmanuel wrote in a statement on his Facebook page. "We spent so many years traveling, playing shows, setting up, packing up, sleeping in little cheap motels and pubs, all because we loved to entertain people and have fun. We shared everything, and he taught me about kindness, giving, listening, how to love people as they are.
"He was a walking contradiction, and a dreamer, but mostly, a loving kind, concerned brother."
Our thoughts go out to the Emmanuel family at this difficult time.