MIKE DAWES and TOMMY EMMANUEL Share New Single/Video

Article Contributed by SRO | Published on Friday, June 25, 2021

British acoustic guitar virtuoso MIKE DAWES, along with acoustic guitarist extraordinaire TOMMY EMMANUEL, today (June 25) shares a new single and video, “Somebody That I Used To Know.” The song (on Qten Records) is a stirring instrumental cover of the massive worldwide 2011 hit by Gotye which marks its 10th anniversary this year. Listen to the song here and watch the video here. It premiered yesterday (June 24) at Guitar Player which hailed the track as “spellbinding.” TOMMY EMMANUEL and MIKE DAWES, who have toured together in the past, will do so again starting in January 2022 with MIKE DAWES as special guest. Below are the tour dates and a Q&A with both artists about the single and video.



--What originally inspired you to record and release your version of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” in 2012?

It was the perfect storm of events really. I hate to sound too obvious, but I had a breakup that knocked me back at the time (boohoo, I know). “Somebody That I Used to Know” seemed an appropriate way to reset. I had also seen the fantastic 'Walk Off The Earth' cover version with five performers on one guitar. Taking on the challenge was a great way to channel that energy.

--What was it like to discover Tommy’s music and then tour with Tommy?

I mean, Tommy is the greatest guitar player alive in my opinion. It is beyond humbling and a complete honor to have been able to share the stage with him and observe not just his performance, but also to be around him on the road. He is the real deal and such an inspiring soul.

--How would you describe Tommy’s artistry?

I'd say it is an extension of himself as a person. Dedication to a craft he loves and honesty of expression. Pure fun.

-- What led you to record a new version of the Gotye hit with Tommy and can you talk about what you feel you musically achieved?

There are a few reasons why this collaboration had to happen, and I'm so glad it did. “Somebody That I Used to Know” is one of the biggest songs to come out of Australia and Tommy is an Aussie national hero! Not only that, but this month marks the 10-year anniversary of the song, as well as the 9-year anniversary of my 2012 arrangement. We’re also announcing our 2022 USA tour together. I am so proud of this collaboration, the arrangement and production. Once you add Tommy to a track, everything falls into place.

--Were there challenges in recording the song with you in the UK and Tommy in the US?

It was really fun. Tommy tracked his part to my original recording, and then I reworked my part into a re-recording with extra licks, structure and harmony based around what he played. That way I could get Tommy's DNA into the tune in a way that avoided a lazier approach of just having him play over the top of an old arrangement. I'm so happy with the result and I hope the fans of the original enjoy it too!

--Can you talk about the video with you shooting your part in the UK and Tommy in the US?

It would have been a dream to be in the same location but for obvious reasons we couldn't. Fortunately, Tommy and I have the same manager and he was graciously able to coordinate and film Tommy doing his thing. The funny thing was, I had just had eyeball surgery so was pretty blind whilst shooting. Thanks muscle memory!


--How did you first become aware of Mike and what was it like to tour with him?

I became aware of Mike through YouTube videos and people in England telling me to check him out. I loved his playing and his personality on stage--he has a generous spirit with his audiences! When my manager took him on as a client, he asked me if I'd like to have Mike on some shows, I jumped at the opportunity to have Mike on a EU tour. We got on as friends and found a good way of making our shows exciting for our audiences and I found I could rely on Mike to always give his best out there onstage. We had fun together and my team became his team too!

--How would you describe Mike’s artistry?

Mike’s style is so different to mine and that makes for a good chemistry between us. I ask him to play his arrangements as he did solo, then I found a way to blend in, harmonize, strengthen choruses and stay out of his way, musically, yet add to what he's doing! His approach to melodies is solid!

-- What led you to record this version of the Gotye hit with Mike and can you talk about what you feel you musically achieved?

The Gotye song is a powerful statement, musically, and his arrangement is very true to the composer. When it was suggested we should do it together, I jumped at the chance and hopefully added a part that enhanced what he was already doing. He was covering everything including melody, rhythm, bass and percussion parts!! So, I just needed to play the chorus melody and add some vocal-type fills around his playing.

--Were there challenges in recording the song with you in the US and Mike in the UK?

He recorded his part at his studio in the UK, I did mine in Nashville. After recording all my parts, we sent it to him and he chose what he needed of my playing and mixed it into the final cut. I played a lot more than was really necessary, to give him plenty to choose from as he mixed the track.

--Can you talk about the video with you shooting your part in the US and Mike in the UK?

The last job was to shoot the videos and make a version that would give the viewer an interesting look at two guys pouring their hearts into a duet of industrial strength! Thanks to Mike for his high standards!

Tommy Emmanuel with special guest Mike Dawes tour dates:

1/7 - Denver, CO - Soiled Dove

1/8 - Denver, CO - Soiled Dove

1/9 - Denver, CO - Soiled Dove

1/1 - Portland,OR - Aladin Theatre 

1/2 - Portland,OR - Aladin Theatre 

1/13 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door

1/14 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door

1/15 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door

1/17 - Red Blufff,CA -State Theatre 

1/18 - Berkley,CA -  Freight & Salvage

1/19 - Berkley, CA -  Freight & Salvage