This year’s Savannah Music Festival features for the first time Grammy-nominated guitarist, songwriter and singer Tommy Emmanuel, set to play two shows in a double bill with Jayme Stone’s Folklife on April 9 at the Charles H. Morris Center. Expect this joining of talent to be a mix of acoustic sounds and revamped folk songs.
Jayme Stone’s Folklife is a folk music group that was recently nominated for a JUNO (Canada's Music Awards) for Traditional Roots Album. The group is led by two-time JUNO-winning banjoist and composer Jayme Stone. This also will be their first appearance in the festival.
Emmanuel was born in Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia, in 1955. At about the age of 4, he was given his first guitar, which sparked his interest in music.
In his early childhood, Emmanuel was inspired by Chet Atkins, musician, songwriter and producer, leading to his guitar playing style of “Travis picking," which uses chords, bass lines, melodies and harmonies simultaneously. Named after Merle Robert Travis, a country and western artist, this style creates an ever-changing sound that shines in Emmanuel’s new album “Accomplice One." The album showcases his wide range, spanning pop, rock, country and jazz.
In an interview with Acoustic Magazine, Emmanuel said, “I’m always looking for something different to do for my audience or for my show. Because really, we're in the entertainment business, girls and boys. We’ve got to give people a good time..."
He also mentions, “It’s all in the name of surprising people. It’s like, let’s see what we can do with this instrument that hasn’t been done before."
Jayme Stone's Folklife features a variety of talent, including Stone (banjo, voice), Moira Smiley (voice, accordion), Sumaia Jackson (fiddle, voice), Joe Phillips (bass, voice), Dom Flemons (voice, guitar, quills), Ron Miles (cornet) and various others.
Their newest album, “Jayme Stone’s Folklife,” stems from Stone’s previous collaboration, Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project, which strived to take older songs and remake them almost entirely for a more modern feel. Expect Sea Island spirituals, Creole calypsos, and some stomp-down Appalachian dance tunes as this group takes old folk songs and breathes new life into them. Educating audiences on the music and stories of a forgotten past.
Stone recently told North Carolina's The ArtsCenter that "... this project has lasted because it’s so deep — these archives are so vast, and I will never get to listen to all the songs as long as I live! It’s a very deep well ... the band is like a family now and we love to play together, unearth old songs and dust them off."