Watch Tommy Emmanuel and Mike Dawes give Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit a virtuosic acoustic makeover

In recent months, acoustic guitar maestros Tommy Emmanuel and Mike Dawes have been frequent collaborators, both onstage and in the studio.

What's more, neither are strangers to re-tooling high-volume rock standards to fit their own, distinctive acoustic styles. So perhaps it wasn't a huge surprise to stumble upon this recently-uploaded, fan-shot video of Emmanuel and Dawes re-working Nirvana's grunge landmark, Smells Like Teen Spirit, live at the Triple Door in Seattle.

The duo's take on the holiest of grunge sacred cows is fairly faithful (at least at first) but is still richly imbued with their respective musical personalities.

Dawes incorporates plenty of the against-the-guitar's-body percussive work and bell-like harmonics he's known and loved for, while Emmanuel ventures off the beaten path with some rapid-fire lead lines that showcase his second-to-none, bluegrass-influenced pickin' chops.

Nirvana by way of the Appalachians? We're here for it and, judging by his visible glee, so is Dawes. You can check out the video (which does, sadly, cut out a little early) above.

It also reminds us of the time – during the 2016 edition of the G3 tour – that Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Guthrie Govan gave Smells Like Teen Spirit their own (decidedly more shreddy) makeover

Emmanuel and Dawes are scheduled to play quite a few more shows together – in both North America and Europe – over the next few months. We're most certainly hoping to see more amazing, location-themed covers as the tour goes on... 

You can see where and when the dynamic duo are set to perform together at Emmanuel's website.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.