Album Review: Tommy Emmanuel and Friends Shine on ‘Accomplice One’
Where do I start? There’s Emmanuel playing the Delmore Brothers’ “Deep River Blues” in full-on Doc Watson mode, with Jason Isbell sharing vocals. There’s the trio with Grisman and Sutton, who make Duke Ellington’s “C Jam Blues” sound like it was written for guitar and mandolin. There’s Emmanuel trading licks with Kaukonen on “Saturday Night Shuffle,” creating harmonies Merle Travis could have only heard in his dreams.
Emmanuel’s having fun, and these collaborations clearly bring out the best in everyone. Rodney Crowell unpacks a new song, “Looking Forward to the Past,” that’s among the sharpest he’s written; Mark Knopfler digs into his trunk for the sly “You Don’t Want to Get You One of Those,” which he and Emmanuel use as a tribute to Chet Atkins; and the album’s quieter moments, like the reels with Clive Carroll, the Gypsy jazz with Frank Vignola, and the lullaby with Jake Shimakaburo, are equally as good, finding Emmanuel playing at the top of his game.