Here is my performance of Borsalino, a wonderful song that was arranged by Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel. Chet and Tommy are two of my heroes and both will always have a special place in my heart. Borsalino appeared on their 1997 album The Day Fingerpickers Took Over The World. Claude Bolling originally wrote Borsalino for a French film of the same title in 1970.
The moment that I heard this song, I fell in love with it. I had watched Tommy Emmanuel play it on YouTube and I knew I had to learn it. I can’t recall another time I was so inspired. It took quite a bit of time and practice to be able to play it. I played it over and over so many times that my roommates at the time still cringe when I play it today. I realized quickly that I would have to learn how to boom-chick fluidly if I wanted to tackle this one. Off I went learning Freight Train and practicing chord changes. When I felt ready, I started playing with song for hours and just about every day. I’ll never forget playing that bizarre A chord with the equally bizarre syncopation for 45 minutes straight – a story I often tell my students. Now I’ve performed it live on the radio and have it recorded on my Melody Bird album.
This is a special song that I know I will be playing for a long time. For me, Borsalino will always be a reminder of that surprisingly beautiful place that greets you when you least expect it. Learning to play Borsalino gave me the confidence that I could learn any song if I wanted to and put effort into it. I will forever be grateful to Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel for this fun and light-hearted masterpiece. Nothing would make me happier than knowing that I inspired just one person as much as Tommy playing this song inspired me.