In music as in love, one + one can add up to…not two but a new and greater one.
On Heart Songs two of the world’s greatest guitarists, Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles, make this clear. Both are masters of their instrument, honored by the iconic Chet Atkins with the rare designation of CGP (Certified Guitar Players). Emmanuel has twice been voted “Best Acoustic Guitarist” by readers of Guitar Player Magazine and honored as both a “Member of the Order of Australia” and an official “Kentucky Colonel”. Knowles is a Grammy winner, a member of the National Thumb Picker’s Hall of Fame, and editor of the respected FingerStyle Quarterly.
Their early journeys were dissimilar. Emmanuel began his in Australia, grew up on the road with his family’s band, settled as a teenager in Sydney and left his rock band to launch a spectacular solo career. Knowles followed a more academic path, eventually earning a Ph.D. in physics from Texas Christian University but then electing to pursue his true love of music.
Inevitably they would cross paths, become friends and perform on stages and clinics around the world. Their styles were distinctive but for that very reason they meshed seamlessly, with Knowles generally creating sophisticated but compelling foundations over which Emmanuel’s guitar would soar in astonishing yet always musical flights.
The more they got to know each other, the more they talked about someday recording together. Busy schedules made this difficult; still, the idea simmered on the front burner until, finally, the time was right.