Tommy Emmanuel plays Flatt Did It with Rob & Trey

CGP Sounds has announced a four-track EP from Tommy Emmanuel in May, featuring him recorded live in the studio with Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley. Titled Accomplice Series Vol. 1, it finds these three virtuosic pickers trading licks and having fun in their natural artistic environment.

Emmanuel has long been known for his free form guitar style, displaying a mastery of both the finger and flat picking genres. He first hit the music scene from his native Australia as a disciple of the great Chet Atkins, who later conferred on him the title, Certified Guitar Player, one of only five to be so named. Recent years have seen Tommy more involved in the bluegrass world, recording one of his original tunes with Michael Cleveland, Tall Fiddler, and appearing on Kristy Cox’s latest album. He has also been appearing live and virtually with Jerry Douglas.

A music video has been released for the album’s first single, a classic instrumental called Flatt Did It, recorded by Doc Watson and Chet Atkins in 1980. The melody is clearly based on the now standard guitar lick Lester Flatt played, generally known today as The Lester Flatt G-Run.

Tommy says the video was shot as the three of them were tracking this tune, and that the whole time in the studio had a loose, impromptu feel.

“The sessions were very spontaneous, and in fact, I suggested Flatt Did It and Copper Kettle as pieces on the day we recorded them. That’s how it came about. It was very spontaneous.”

Check out the video, where the contrasting guitar styles of Tommy and Trey play off of Rob’s silky reso work. It really looks like they were having a blast.

Ickes agreed, saying that fun was indeed the order of the day.

“I love to hear Tommy and Trey play together. There’s a great respect between the two of them. They are both so brilliant. It’s great to hear them feeding off each other. And this song is just the perfect vehicle for a Dobro, so I’m enjoying the whole thing!”

Other tunes on the EP include Razz-Ma-Tazz Polka and It’s Never Too Late.

Accomplice Series Vol. 1 will be available on May 7, with pre-saves and pre-orders enabled now online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.