Review Tommy Emmanuel & Rodney Branigan at Celtic Connections 21st Jan by Danny Matheson
This was definitely a night for guitar aficionados. Not one but two outstanding guitarists performing sublimely.
First up was Texan Rodney Branigan who stunned the packed city halls with superb skills playing two guitars at the same time as well as singing. Never before have I seen such fantastic coordination and dexterity with his fingers as he plucked away at the strings of both guitars so adeptly. Rodney also added a good amount of humour into his act which rounded off a wonderful performance. Starting off with a song called “Insanity” and moving on to other songs such as “Crash and Burn” and “Devils Delight” this was a highly entertaining set.
Next up was the Australian supremo Tommy Emmanuel. His guitar playing moved up another level from Rodney Branigan which no-one thought possible. His fingers moved across the strings like a demon possessed. I kept expecting smoke to start emanating from the guitar such was the speed of Tommy Emmanuel’s playing. That fortunately didn’t happen although what did happen was the audience being enthralled with the sounds created. At times you would think that there were other accompanying musicians such were the contrast in sounds coming from the guitar.
Tommy Emmanuel has a new double album coming out in May which is definitely one to watch out for. It’ll be one of those albums that you could have as background music or one that you could ramp up the volume and totally immerse yourself in.
By Danny Matheson