This artist spotlight comes courtesy of Acoustic Tuesday fan and guitar geek, Dan M. Dan says this of today’s artist, “(He) is the master of Celtic fingerstyle, but can really play any genre thrown at him. Truly a mind-blowing musician!”
Watching this guitarist pick is a tour de force of tensionless playing, comfort, and confidence. The way he addresses the strings is void of any physical tension and the tone created is downright dreamy. Regardless of a songs difficulty his picking accuracy remains extremely high.
Tony McManus is an acoustic guitar player that may very well not be on your radar, but he is someone who absolutely needs to be. Tony is regarded as a Celtic guitar master and after listening to him play you will know why.
His compositions are filled with references to fiddles, whistles, and pipes; the cool thing is that he manages to get the feel from each of those instruments out of his guitar. He captures every bit of flourish that a big pipe has and every detailed melody note that the fiddle presents with his uncanny picking style.
Tony McManus is a treasure of the acoustic music realm especially when it comes to Celtic and traditional tunes. His playing style is something every guitar geek can aspire to. As difficult as Tony’s playing style sounds and appears to be he has a plethora of instructional materials available to encourage guitar geeks along their Celtic fingerstyle guitar journey.
Tony’s discography is loaded with hours of acoustic goodness that could easily fill an entire afternoon. If you want to dive into his work I would strongly recommend starting with an album called “The Maker’s Mark.” This album contains solo instrumentals all performed on guitars made by the worlds top luthiers. Each song gets a dedicated guitar and the synergy of these beautiful instruments in conjunction with Tony’s playing is pure acoustic guitar geek magic.
Tony McManus Links
- Tony McManus’ Website
- Tony McManus’ Tour Dates
- Tony McManus’ Guitars
- Buy Mysterious Boundaries (Album)
- Buy Round Trip (Album)
- Buy The Maker’s Mark (Album)
- Buy Return To Kintail (Album)
- Buy Celtic Fingerstyle According to Tony McManus Vol. 1 (DVD)
- Buy Celtic Fingerstyle According to Tony McManus Vol. 2 (DVD)
If you’re inspired by Tony McManus, then check out these picking exercises to get up to speed yourself!
Being a Scot myself, I have heard the music of Tony McManus before. I am pleased that you are highlighting this talented player and sharing this with Acoustic Life followers. You won’t be disappointed if you look through some of his back catalogue.