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  1. #1

    Red face My Most Amazing Musical Weekend!!!

    My wife and I just returned from Tommyfest in Elizabethtown, KY and the Frank Vignola "100 Years of Django" show in New Albany, IN and thought I would give you a report.
    Tommy Fest
    When we arrived for Tommy Emmanuel's concert on Friday evening, I met a lady named Gina who was sitting at the merchandise table. As it turned out, she is Tommy's manager and we talked just a little about TrueFire and Tommy's upcoming work there. I tried to stay out of her way because she was busy.

    We went into the auditorium as soon as the doors opened and took our seats on the front row near the center. We were no more than ten feet from the performers. Jackie Bristow opened the show for Tommy. She is a lovely young woman with a great voice who plays very well using a lot of open tunings. She was delightful and here is a link to her web page:

    The fellow who sat to my left was named Todd L. from Austin, TX. He flew to KY to just to catch Tommyfest. Awesome! Tommy seemed to know the ladies who sat to our right as he commented that one of them could enter Guinness's Book of Records for the most Tommy Emmanuel concerts attended in a lifetime.

    Tommy's playing and virtuosity were amazing. I cannot find words to describe the experience, but it was something like just "being in the moment" as he later called it.

    The next morning, I went to the guitar workshop Tommy held and got a good seat on stage with about 50-80 other guitar wielding fans. During the 3 hour workshop with Tommy, he did a lot of question and answer things. He talked about practicing things like getting every note to resonate clearly, practicing new finger patterns until the mechanics are easy and you only hear the music, playing SONGS because scales and finger patterns will eventually bore you, playing with a metronome, and seeking new inspiration all the time by listening to good music.

    During the last 15 minutes of the workshop, Gina came into the auditorium and sat in the front row (Tommy and participants were all on stage). Also during this time one fellow asked Tommy what he was planning to release next and what projects he hoped to do in the near future. He mentioned some things, but said nothing of the work with TrueFire. I asked Tommy if he could tell us something about a project I heard mentioned called "Tommy TV." He said, "Oh yes! Hey, of course you would know about that: you have on one of their shirts." (And yes, I did so I just smiled. Gotta love that shirt!) Tommy then told the group about some of the super cool things TrueFire has to offer. He introduced Gina as his manager and she chimed in as well about TrueFire. I thought that was super cool. The session closed and I purchased Tommy's newest double cd release called "Little By Little."

    Frank Vignola's "100 Years of Django" ShowWe left Elizabethtown, KY in a little snow squall (miraculously the only snow we saw during the whole trip) and arrived in New Albany, IN, for the Frank Vignola show.
    Frank, Julien Labro, Vinny Raniolo, and Andrew Kratzat together played the tightest sets I have ever heard in my life. It was as if they all were hard wired into the minds of one another. Timing, execution, precision, excellence, and everything that goes into the formula for virtuosity was there exponentially. Absolutely amazing performances and one of the most entertaining shows you will ever see!

    During the middle of the show, Frank saw me in the front row wearing my TrueFire shirt as I started to take a photo (they did not allow flash photography at Tommyfest, but it was cool here). He looked down and said, "Hey, you want to take a picture?" I said, "Sure, if you don't mind." He said, "How about you come up here on stage wearing your TrueFire shirt and let your wife take a picture of us with you in the band." I said, "Sure!" As I made my way up to the stage, Frank told the audience what a great source of instructional materials could be found at TrueFire. He really bragged on it.

    I may be the most blessed guy on the planet. I certainly had an amazing weekend!
    Here are some pics. (BTW to avoid confusion, I am the fat guy with no tie next to Frank).
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Proverbs 17:22 says "A cheerful heart is good medicine..." So I must be overdosing. "Guitar: for me it is just an all consuming, compulsive hobby." Alumnus of Jeff Beasley's Shred Warehouse Classroom! & Steve Lasner's Bar Room Blues Workshop!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Blog Entries


    How cool was that review wvg"the"man I think you've made a lot of us really jealous from your weekend. And how inspirational to see heroes up close never mind having the Truefire connection card played by Frank Vignola. Brilliant dude


  3. #3


    That's awesome dude!

    That's a great story taking a pic with Frank and his band.

    'Retired' Truefire Swat team member

    "You should never lose the groove to find a note"-- Victor Wooten

  4. #4


    That's great
    Maybe Brad will send you a free shirt since it ignites a lot of good PR for TrueFire when you wear it mate

    Less is more

  5. #5


    What a sweet Ride..! Thats one of those"once in a life time" events..I wish we could keep up with events like that..My Sister lives in Elizabethtown, KY,,, hadn't been up to see her in while and would of been a good excuse..
    Thanks for sharing WV

    Praise Be The Lord, My Rock, Who Trains My Hands For War, and My Fingers For Battle;

    "One of these days I'm gonna cut you up into little pieces."

    Check out the "Triads & Hendrixian Double Stops" Study Group" Put in your 2 Cents

  6. #6


    Awesome weekend

    Great to hear how cool Tommy and Frank are in real life.

    Did anybody else ask about the shirt?

  7. #7


    Wow! Congrats on the awesome weekend!!


    A lack of effort will give you a lack of results. PebberBrown)
    MY GEAR: Epiphone 2007 Les Paul Standard; Ibanez AEF30E Acoustic/Electric; Fender 2008 MIM Stratocaster; Epiphone Studio 10s 19watt
    Line 6 Spider ll 30watt; Yamaha CG172SF; Digitech RP300A

  8. #8

    Red face Super cool!

    LeeDelta asked,
    Did anybody else ask about the shirt?
    I did get to talk to a lot of other folks about TrueFire, but I don't recall if it was the shirt that started the conversations. I do think it was so super cool that both of these great artists recognized the shirt and had excellent things to say about TrueFire!
    Proverbs 17:22 says "A cheerful heart is good medicine..." So I must be overdosing. "Guitar: for me it is just an all consuming, compulsive hobby." Alumnus of Jeff Beasley's Shred Warehouse Classroom! & Steve Lasner's Bar Room Blues Workshop!

  9. #9


    Whooow, what a super weekend.


    -- If you can dream it, you can do it ! ;)

  10. #10


    Excellent review and nice pic Wvg!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Blog Entries


    Very cool... THe shows would have been cool enought but the story with FV and the pics... priceless! A night to remember. Thanks for sharing it.
    Stay tuned


  12. #12


    Very cool reviews wvgman thanks. I haven't seen Frank V. play, but I've said this on here somewhere before. I'd seen Tommy E's videos but I had no idea how the man can play until I saw him live. He's definitely a "don't miss" for anybody that's never had a chance.
    The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. -- Plutarch

  13. #13


    Cool, indeed!

    So there was Kratzat AND Fat Cat on stage at the same time?

    Sorry, you opened up that opportunity. I'm such a runt I need two gnomes to help me carry my guitar and stack phone books so I don't play it hanging at my knees (what knees?)...and I made sure to get an f-hole hollow-body because they are lighter and I can't fall into the sound holes like with the average acoustic...

    Glad the weekend was everything and more than you anticipated...and the weather was cooperative.

  14. #14

    Red face You know murray... does sort of look like I may have eaten their drummer, doesn't it?

    It figures, I only get to have my photo made on stage with virtuoso guitarists AFTER I gain almost a hundred pounds from predisone. Thankfully we had a wide angle lens or the bass player would be out of the photo. Oh, well, maybe by the time this happens again, I will have won some victory in the battle of the bulge, but I sure do need to get some serious firepower if that is going to happen.

    I should worry about getting into shape, but isn't round is a shape?
    Proverbs 17:22 says "A cheerful heart is good medicine..." So I must be overdosing. "Guitar: for me it is just an all consuming, compulsive hobby." Alumnus of Jeff Beasley's Shred Warehouse Classroom! & Steve Lasner's Bar Room Blues Workshop!

  15. #15


    GMan-great reporting on your excellent weekend. What a fantastic way to kick-off a retirement!

    Rock on bro,
    "Life's too short to play with dead strings"

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