Tony McManus - The Maker’s Mark (5 stars)

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Tony McManus - The Maker’s Mark

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On the face of it the Edinburgh-born guitarist’s latest outing has more than a touch of the guitar anorak’s dream project about it, but the music is simply glorious. Tony, now based in Canada, got together with guitar dealer Paul Heumiller to put together a selection of tunes, each played on a different instrument supplied by a top contemporary guitar maker (full details are supplied in the insert notes). The results are stunning, and substantiate their claim that right now is the golden age of acoustic guitar making.

It also confirms the guitarist’s ranking in the top echelon of contemporary fingerstyle players. He draws his material from a variety of musical traditions, taking in various shades of Celtic music, Quebec, Eastern Europe, Italy, and a fabulous version of the South African anthem ‘N’Kosi Sikele Afrika’. The variety of both instruments and musical idioms keeps the music multi-dimensional and constantly changing.

(Greentrax)

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