Terra Firma is an album by Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel with his brother Phil that was released in February 1995 and peaked at No. 12 on the ARIA Albums Chart in Australia. The sing “(Back on the) Terra Firma”reached No. 45 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
At the ARIA Music Awards of 1995, the album was nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album but lost to Brood by My Friend the Chocolate Cake. (by wikipedia)
Phil has toured Australia with Brother Tommy as “The Emmanuel’ Brothers” seeing them playing in every major city in Australia with sell out concerts every night. What followed was the rise and rise of the Emmanuel Brothers, with the long awaited Sony Records release of ‘Terra Firma” in 1995 which debuted on the Australian Music Charts at #13 Nationwide, and climbing to #6 in the July of that year. “Terra Firma” was the first ever album release by the two Emmanuel Brothers and celebrated 35 years of guitar playing. It not only earned an ARIA Nomination for Best Adult Contemporary, it was also nominated at The Tamworth Country Music Awards for Best Instrumental Album. (philemmanuel.com.au)
Andrián Pertout speaks with Tommy about the Emmanuel brothers’ recording debut with the album ‘Terra Firma’.
After 35 years, and a career that began for Phil at 7, while amazingly for Tommy at 4 years old with the ‘Emmanuel Quartet’, a recording debut for these two brothers seems almost incredible. Over the years they have both individually won the admiration and respect of millions of Australians. You have to look hard for the producer’s credit on this very special project, which says a lot about Tommy’s very modest and down to earth nature. A great musician with an attitude hard to match, and a talent that needs no introduction. Unlike other current albums, ‘Terra Firma’ sets out to capture the purity of real performances by real people, with little emphasis on ‘high tech’ studio methods.
I’m sure that everybody is more than happy to finally see this long overdue collaboration. How did it come about?
TE: “Well, we’d been talking about doing this for a long time; But just didn’t feel the time was right, until now. I’m sure that if we’d made an album ten years ago we wouldn’t have been happy with it, and it would have sat on the shelf. I felt that we made it at the right time, and the choice of material was stuff that we both liked; And we wrote things for the album that we would never have written before.”
How did you chose the material?
TE: “We wanted to put things on the album that we’d been playing since childhood, as well as things that meant a lot to us along the way. You know, like there’s a ‘Shadows’ song on there, a couple of sort of bluegrass tunes, an ‘AC/DC’ medley and a ‘Mozart’ tune. So there’s a bit of everything there, plus there are some original songs. I think we ended up with about twenty five tunes, and then we honed it down into an album basically.”
In a recent press release you say that the new album is really about going back to your roots. What is the music that really inspires you both? What did you grow up listening to?
TE: “We grew up listening to instrumental music by people like the ‘Shadows’ and the ‘Ventures’ when we were kids. In the early sixties I discovered ‘Chet Atkins’, and he really changed my way of playing, listening to music and talking a lot, just through his records. We listened to anything and everything. In the seventies we discovered ‘Eric Clapton’ and people like that, and then in the eighties all sorts of people, from ‘Larry Carlton’, ‘B.B. King’ and ‘Stevie Ray Vaughan’ right through to ‘Steve Vai’.” (pertout.com)
This instrumental album is a real pretty good one … a great mix between rock, acoustic guitar music, and even classic.
And at the end of this album you can hear unique versions of 2 AC/DC songs … in a very bluesy way.
Joe Chindamo (accordion)
Phil Emmanuel (guitar)
Tommy Emmanuel (guitar)
Rob Little (bass)
Kevin Murphy (drums)
Broderick Smith (harmonica)
01. (Rock On The) Terra Firma (Jorgenson) 5.20
02. Love Gone West (P.Emmanuel/T.Emmanuel) 4.06
03. Nashville Express (Posa) 2.51
04. Rondo Ala Turka (Mozart/Brubeck) 2.42
05. Theme From “Missing” (Vangelis) 3.39
06. Happy Go Lucky Guitar (Owens) 2.36
07. Bendin’ It (P.Emmanuel) 3.53
08. Optimism Part One (Roche) 0.28
09. Shindig (Marvin/Welch) 2.08
10. Town Hall Shuffle (Maphis) 2.26
11. Last Post (Traditional) 2.10
12. Ashoakan Farewell (Traditional) 3.26
13. Rise And Shine (Emmanuel) 3.40
14. Optimism Part Two (Roche) 1.23
15. The Shaker (T.Emmanuel) 3.21
16. AC/DC Medley: Riff Raff/Let There Be Rock 6:02
Phil Emmanuel (6 July 1952 – 24 May 2018)