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Sound Check

Sept 8 , 2011
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By Michael Swanger

Tommy Emmanuel

"Little by Little"

Favored Nations

Veteran Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is revered in his home country for his body of work that spans five decades and multiple genres. In 2008, Guitar Player magazine named him "Best Acoustic Player." But after listening to his new double album, "Little by Little," it appears that this talented guitarist prefers to let his fingers do the talking as all 10 of them glide up and down the fretboard with the greatest of ease. The mostly instrumental affair displays Emmanuel's versatility as a finger-style player, covering genres such as folk ("Half Way Home"), jazz ("Jack Magic"), Latin ("Haba Na Haba"), country ("Guitar Boogie"), classical ("The Fingerlakes") and blues ("Willie's Shades"). Fans of fellow finger-style virtuosos like Chet Atkins and Leo Kottke will appreciate Emmanuel's tasteful playing and amazing technique. CV

(Tommy Emmanuel performs Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Theater. $25 and $35.)

The Envy Corps

"It Culls You"

Tempo Club

The Envy Corps, the much hyped indie rock band from Des Moines, might start living up to its hipster reputation with the release of its first album in two years, "It Culls You," to be issued on Oct. 3. Luke Pettipoole (vocals, bass), Brandon Darner (guitar), Micah Natera (synthesizer) and Scott Yoshimura (drums) have somewhat redefined their sound by merging their pop melodies with starkly percussive and relatively sparser instrumentation. Longtime fans can be assured that "It Culls You" still offers multiple layers of sound, but the album's real strength is the interplay between Yoshimura's crisp drum beats and Pettipoole's seemingly languorous, falsetto vocals on songs like "Make It Stop," "Ms. Hospital Comers" and "Command + Q." The band excels on the semi-funky, Verve-like "Palace on Stilts" and the early '80s New Wave-like "Dipsomania." CV

(Fans can download a copy of The Envy Corps' new album beginning Sept. 9 by visiting

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