Master Celtic guitarist to guest at folk club

Guitar maestro Tony McManus will make a welcome return to Montrose Folk Club on February 26.
Guitar maestro Tony McManus will make a welcome return to Montrose Folk Club on February 26.

The guest at Montrose Folk Club on Thursday, February 26 will be master guitarist Tony McManus, widely regarded as the best Celtic guitarist in the world.

Although born in Paisley, Tony now lives in Ontario, Canada.

In 2009 he received the Gold Award from Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the Celtic guitarist category.

The 2010 album by Tony entitled ‘The Maker’s Mark’, released on Greentrax Records, is a showcase for state-of-the-art guitar craftsmanship as well as Tony’s own artistry.

The CD contains the often luminous playing which is associated with Tony, ranging from up-tempo jigs and reels to more contemplative material such as the great Irish air, ‘Donal Og’, which is paired with the Robert Burns song, ‘The Lea Rig’.

The CD confirmed Tony’s ranking in the top echelon of contemporary finger style guitar players, drawing material from a vast variety of musical traditions, namely Celtic, Quebec, Eastern Europe and Italian music and a fabulous version of the South African national anthem.

In addition, Tony is a fine singer of both traditional and contemporary material. Just listen to his version of the Scottish traditional song, ‘Annan Water’, and you will hear Kate Rusby and/or Nic Jones. Listen with your eyes closed to Tony singing ‘Wonderful World’ and you will find visions of Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong drifting past your ears and eyes.

Tony was born in 1965 in Paisley and is self-taught. Like Martin Simpson from south of the border, the blinding technique of Tony is tempered by a deep love of traditional music.

Alan Neave, the top classical guitar player in Scotland, invited Tony to perform at the Dundee International Guitar Festival for three years in a row, the only non-classical player to do so. The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama organised a seminar to bring Tony’s music to the attention of classical guitar students, who were fascinated by his approach.

All lovers of quality music, not just guitar-enthusiasts, are invited to Montrose Folk Club on Thursday, February 26 for an evening of outstanding music and song performed by yet another Scottish music great who is much better known in the USA and Canada than he is in his native Paisley.

Tony will be on stage at 8 p.m., with doors at the Links Hotel opening at 7.30 p.m. Entry is £8.

His concert at the club will be followed on Thursday, March 12 with a visit by Colin Clyne, winner of the best Acoustic Act Award at the 2012 San Diego Music Awards, Colin will perform with his five-piece band, The Carrons, which features Montrose’s Gary Anderson.