To find a unique voice on so ubiquitous an instrument as the acoustic guitar is quite an achievement: to do so within a centuries old idiom where the instrument has no real history is truly remarkable. Tony McManus has come to be recognized throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic Music. From early childhood his twin obsessions of traditional music and acoustic guitar have worked together to produce a startlingly original approach to this ancient art. In Tony's hands the complex ornamentation normally associated with fiddles and pipes are accurately transferred to guitar in a way that preserves the integrity and emotional impact of the music.
Self taught from childhood, initially through listening to the family record collection, Tony abandoned academia in his twenties to pursue music full time. The session scene in Glasgow and Edinburgh provided the springboard for gigs around Scotland and a studio set for BBC Radio began to spread the word. Tony's first self titled recording in 1996, followed by Pourquoi Quebec in 1999 led to worldwide recognition. However, it was with the release of Ceol More in 2002 that Tony's stature as a first class musician reached a new level.
In a relatively short time Tony's music has come to define a new role for the guitar in Celtic music. He has come to represent Celtic music in the guitar world. He has appeared at Guitar Festivals in Soave and Pescantina, Italy; Frankston, Australia; Issoudun, France; Kirkmichael, Scotland; Bath and Kent, England; Bochum and Osnabruck, Germany. His ability to reach audiences unfamiliar with traditional music is remarkable- he is quite comfortable at predominantly classical events such as the Dundee and Derry Guitar Festivals (appearing six times between the two) and even The Bogota International Guitar Festival where he followed virtuoso Eduardo Fernandez.
Today his live work ranges from intimate solo performance through various duos with friends Alain Genty, Bruce Molsky, and Alasdair Fraser to the quartet Men of Steel (with fellow guitarists Dan Crary, Beppe Gambetta and Don Ross). He is an enthusiastic collaborator both as a leader and as a sideman having worked with, among many others Dougie McLean, Phil Cunningham, Mairi MacInnes, Liam O'Flynn, Martin Simpson, Kevin Burke, Alison Brown, Martyn Bennett, Natalie MacMaster, Patrick and Jacky Molard, Mairead n_ Mhoanaigh and Dermot Byrne, The Nashville Chamber Orchestra, John Jorgenson, Jean Michel Veillon, Catriona Macdonald, Seikou Keita, Xos Manuel Budino, Ewen Vernal and Andy Irvine.
In this DVD Tony talks about his influences and approach to guitar playing as well as performing a wide array of tunes from jigs to reels to pop and jazz classics.
Titles Include: Medley: Hector The Hero, The Girls at Martinfield Guitar, Maids of Mitchelstown Guitar, Medley: An Ciarraioch Mallaithe (The Accursed Kerryman), Muireann's Jig, Medley: Seathan, Chloe's Passion Guitar, Breton Wedding Marches, Goodbye Porkpie Hat Guitar, Medley: Sleeping Tune, Na Gossidich, Wonderful World, Charlie Hunter's Jig, Humours of Tulla, Medley: Exile, Le Reve du Queteux Tremblay, Bidh Clan, Shalom Aleichem, The Lament for the Viscount of Dundee, Medley: A Tune For Frankie, O'Farrell's, Welcome to Limerick, Doina, Sliabh Na Mban
Running time: 86 Minutes
Review: Excellent In-The-Studio Recording. This is a simple in-the-studio recording where Tony discusses and introduces each song prior to playing it solo. The song intros are more about the history behind the song and the story it tells than what chords he uses and why. This is not an instructional video in any sense. High quality multi-camera video and audio and of course exceptional playing. If you want a high quality video recording of this master guitarist and enjoy acoustic Celtic music, you'll be very happy with this DVD. - B. Nicodemus/Amazon Customer Review