Master guitarist Tommy Emmanuel at Odeum


One of only three guitar players that Chet Atkins had named certified guitar player, Australian born Tommy Emmanuel will play East Greenwich’s Odeum Theatre on Saturday, June 17 at 8 p.m.

Emmanuel lives in Nashville these days, spending much of his time in the recording studio and making frequent trips home to Australia.

The Grammy Award winner recently released his new album, “Live From the Ryman,” which showcases his incredible talent. While everybody in the music industry has recorded “Over the Rainbow,” Tommy’s rendition will give you goosebumps. He promised to play it at the Odeum, along with “Mona Lisa” and “Imagine.”

“Ninety percent of my music is original,” he told me by phone from Nashville, where he was preparing for his evening concert at the Ryman with country star Marty Stuart, “but I like to include some of the best inspirational, positive music. People need to be reminded about the good in the world.”

“I came to New York and L.A. in 1980 to meet Chet Atkins, and he became my mentor,” Tommy said. “I had my first guitar at age six and played in a family band. We played rock and jazz and country music.”

I noted on his bio that he was the guitarist with Air Supply, one of my favorite all-time groups.

“I met Russell and Graham when we were doing a concert of “Jesus Christ, Super Star” and I was on their five hit records,” he said. “Listen to ‘All Out of Love’ and you’ll hear my opening guitar number.”

Emmanuel remembered playing Providence’s PPAC years ago and is looking forward to playing the Odeum.

“America is full of these old theatres, and I love playing them,” he said. “My set will have a bit of everything. I like to tell stories without words, and I write most of my own songs.

Blues singer and harmonica player Mitch Grainger will open for Emmanuel. The show begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 17. Tickets are $38-$60. Call 885-4000 for the opportunity to hear one of the best guitar players in the world.


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