Little By Little
(Favored Nations)


Watching Tommy Emmanuel play a live show is the aural equivalent of watching a freight train steaming down the line. The energy, excitement and thrill of watching Emmanuel seize command and control of his acoustic guitar is an experience unmatched in modern music. Recent live albums from Tommy on Favored Nations—including the acclaimed Center Stage CD and DVD—lays any argument about that to rest. Same pretty much can be said about Tommy’s 2010 double CD set on Favored Nations entitled Little By Little. Although he was greatly impacted by American guitarists Les Paul and Chet Atkins, over the years Tommy has truly developed his own trademark instrumental guitar sound. For his 24 track double CD set, Tommy chose a Swahili proverb as the inspiration for the title Little By Little. Tommy explains, ‘The proverb holds a special significance to me because it’s a lesson I had to learn in my life—to take things one day at a time and not be so concerned about tomorrow and I think that’s an important lesson to learn.’ Although Little By Little is primarily an acoustic based instrumental music showcase for Tommy’s distinctive finger style solo guitar sound, the set also features guest appearances from a number of artists including Rick Price, Victor Wooten, Doyle Dykes and a track with singers Anthony Snape and Pam Rose, who join forces with Tommy on the title track “Haba Na Haba”—Swahili for “Little By Little”—which is featured twice, both as an instrumental and a vocal version. In the well crafted booklet accompanying the double CD set, Tommy goes deep in his liner notes about how ‘life is not a rehearsal’ and then he speaks about the need to ‘find our mission and run to it with all our strength and energy.’ Guitarists and guitar lovers will find much to applaud on Little By Little and perhaps two words that best describe the fretboard mastery in play here are: Mission Accomplished. /


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