Phil Emmanuel | Australia's Greatest Electric Guitar Player

"Phil's musical prowess is so astonishing that there are times when the man becomes the guitar and the guitar becomes the man. His passion is illuminating, his ability is breathtaking"

 Glenn A. Baker


Whilst most kids were playing in their backyards, Phil was touring with his family band; consisting of his older brother Chris on drums, sister Virginia on lap-steel guitar, the family tutor on bass, brother Tommy on rhythm guitar and Phil on lead. They travelled Australia for six years (1960 - 1966) playing their favourite tunes which started to the following forty three (45) years of Phil’s professional career.

After completing his schooling, Phil returned to Sydney where he scored a gig at the Texas Tavern (Kings Cross) entertaining American servicemen, from whom he developed his love of American country music.


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, with it 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.


Phil’s career spans every genre of music and almost every conceivable musician, which reads like a ‘who’s who’ of the music industry that is Phil Emmanuel’s life. He has not only released 2 solo albums with CD sales in excess of 20,000 he has for years been one of the most sought after Australian guitarists to date.


In 1991 he was the recipient of the Hands of Fame award (A country music award won previously by Slim Dusty, Ted Egan, Reg Lindsay and John Williamson to name a few). The release of his first album "Kakadu Sunrise" in 1992 saw Phil pushed into the limelight as a result of nationwide media saturation.


Phil’s influences include guitar great Hank B Marvin & The Shadows, the Ventures and the Beatles. Phil once said " If it wasn't for 'Hank B. Marvin & The Shadows' I wouldn't be an electric guitar player today. When I first heard Hank play in 1959 I was fascinated and hooked by his sound and use of echo. To this day he is still my favourite guitarist”


Phil then turned his attention to the music of Al Di Meola, Carlos Santana, Steve Morse and Gary Moore. He has also shared the bill with some of the worlds very best musicians - Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Dire Straits, The Shadows, Midnight Oil and John Farnham; to name a few.


His love of Al Di Meola, Gary Moore and Carlos Santana’s music is evident in Phil’s last release being the “Phil Emmanuel Live In Concert” Dvd and CD release, which was made possible by Southern Star, and captures Phil and his band in full flight. The release coincided with an East Coast tour of sold out shows, and media saturation via the Southern Star network in all its forms.


Phil is currently putting the final touches to his latest album, which is called "Phil Emmanuel - Electric Guitar Player".  He has been writing the album for 8 + years, and will include some covers of well-known songs as well as the ever-famous Phil Emmanuel originals. This latest creation from Phil will be the benchmark for Australian guitar instrumental music everywhere!

2000 saw him performing to an estimated worldwide audience of 4.5 billion at the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics with brother Tommy, INXS, VANESSA AMOROSI, SAVAGE GARDEN and MIDNIGHT OIL, but it was the beginning of the ‘forgotten’ son’s return to the limelight and recognition that he so undeniably deserves.

To ask Phil who his personal favourite performers are that he has graced the stage with, reads like a who’s who of the Music Industry. The list is endless which matches the talents of an artist that has been thrilling audiences worldwide since his teenage years.

Phil’s personal favourites – sharing the same stage as legendary guitarists John Jorgensen (Elton John, The Hellecasters), Will Ray (The Hellecasters), Bonnie Raitt, Duanne Eddy, James Burton, (Elvis Presley), Carlos Santana, ‘America’, The Ventures and Eric Clapton at NAMM in the United States in July 2000. This must be a dream come true for any guitarist.

His second tour of Europe in 2000 was also a highlight. Phil was invited to headline ISSENDEN, the worlds’ largest guitar festival. Following this he set off on a brief tour of Europe before heading home for a tour of outback Queensland and a well earned rest with his family over the Christmas holidays.

After 40 + years of hard work, Phil is finally receiving Australian and worldwide recognition as one of our finest musical talents. His versatility is well known and acknowledged – obvious from the shows, and the musicians he has performed alongside, from Jazz – James Morrison, Don Burrows to big-band – Ed Wilson, the Royal Military College Band, to Country – Slim Dusty, Lee Kernaghan, Dolly Parton, to rock and blues – Jimmy Barnes, Roy Buchanan, Don Walker, John Farnham and Ian Moss.

After several years working solo, Phil finally formed his own band, something which had taken a while because of the lack of availability of seasoned professional musicians. Although at the time, only in its infancy the band received overwhelming audience responses. At their first ever performance they received a standing ovation after the first song in, of all places, Canberra ACT.

Phil and his band play a wide range of guitar oriented music ranging from their own interpretation of Chariots Of Fire to Santana's Black Magic Woman plus a bit of country, rock, classical to ballads. Their target audience age is 18 to 80 so there is something for all ages, plus a lot of pieces most bands anywhere in the world would not even attempt.

2001 marked the long awaited release of new material by Phil in the form of the five track EP “The Miracle” which includes two tracks by his inspiration – The Shadows. The EP has been received with critical acclaim, and completes the ‘trio’ of Phil’s works with a track ‘Blue Angel’ which will also appear on his next CD “EGP – Electric Guitar Player” 

April and May of 2002 saw Phil in Italy, and Kuala Lumper where he performed with younger brother Tommy in a showcase event to literally thousands of fans.

Back in Australia, the busy schedule of touring and recording resumes and the incredible abilities of Phil Emmanuel continues to enthral audiences worldwide. After many years of working on creating his own tribute to the Shadows, Phil is successfully touring "Shadoland" - A show that is proving extremely popular to groups of all ages.



Take Off


If you would like like to book Phil Emmanuel for your venue, festival or next function, please email Dierdre Le Blang (aka Dee) at

 Primal Entertainment



"Music can touch people at a primal level - evoking different emotions and triggering memories of particular places and times. 

Music is such a part of our emotional makeup - it can make you patriotic, it can make you want to fight,

it can make you want to cry"

Reproduced with the kind permission of Jimmy Barnes from his book Say It Loud


Copyright 2007 Primal Entertainment. All rights reserved.