Tony McManus (musician)

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Tony McManus
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
GenresCeltic, folk, bluegrass, classical
LabelsGreentrax, Culburnie, Compass, Borealis

Tony McManus (born 1965) is a guitarist from Paisley, Scotland who plays finger-style acoustic guitar arrangements of tunes from Celtic music, classical music, and other genres.[1]

Music career[edit]

In 1988, McManus substituted for guitarist Soig Siberil in the supergroup Celtic Fiddle Festival, which consisted of fiddlers Johnny Cunningham, Kevin Burke, and Christian Lemaitre, he has worked as accompanist for Catriona MacDonald and for singer, guitarist, and fiddler Brian McNeill. McManus's album Return to Kintail was a duet with Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser.[2]

In addition to traditional Celtic music, McManus plays classical music and other genres, he performed Erik Satie for a movie by Neal Jordan. Mandolinist Mike Marshall prodded him to learn Bach's E Major Prelude.[3]He performed compositions by J.S. Bach at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with jazz fusion guitarist John McLaughlin.[1]

He released his first album, Tony McManus, in 1996 on Greentrax Recordings, he recorded his second album, Pourquoi Quebec?, in Quebec, Canada and released it on the same label in 1998. His third album, Ceol More, came in 2002, and achieved widespread critical acclaim, it includes a version of Charles Mingus's Goodbye Porkpie Hat. He recorded an album with bassist Alain Genty, titled Singing Sands.

In 2017, McManus was named one of "50 Transcendent Acoustic Guitarists" in Guitar Player magazine.[4]

Signature model[edit]

In 2011, PRS Guitars created a McManus signature model guitar, a distinction he shares with jazz guitarist Al Di Meola, folk guitarist Martin Simpson—and rock guitarists Carlos Santana, Ted Nugent, and Orianthi Panagaris; the custom model, designed by Paul Reed Smith, went into development after McManus visited bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs in Nashville, Tennessee while on tour in America.[1][5]


As sideman/guest[edit]

  • 1995 Stage by Stage, Iain MacKintosh/Brian McNeill
  • 1995 This Feeling Inside, Mairi MacInnes
  • 1996 Are You Willing?, Tabache
  • 1996 Inchcolm, William Jackson
  • 1996 No Gods, Brian McNeill
  • 1996 Rod Paterson Sings Burns, Rod Paterson
  • 1996 Scenes of Scotland, Isla St. Clair
  • 1997 Easter Snow: Irish Traditional Flute Music, Seamus Tansey
  • 1998 Burns: Songs Vol. 4
  • 1998 Celtic Experience, William Jackson
  • 1998 Heepirumbo, Eilidh Shaw
  • 1998 Hourglass, Kate Rusby
  • 1998 Robert Burns: The Compete Songs, Vol. 5
  • 1999 Celtic Moods Gardyne Chamber Ensemble
  • 1999 Last Orders, Liz Doherty
  • 1999 Spirit of Ireland, Gardyne Chamber Ensemble Guitar
  • 1999 Spirit of Scotland, Gardyne Chamber Ensemble Guitar
  • 2000 Alloway Tales, Ian Bruce
  • 2000 Auld Lang Syne: A Fine Selection of Popular Robert Burns Songs
  • 2000 Bold, Catriona MacDonald
  • 2000 Connected, Gibb Todd
  • 2000 Fine Flowers & Foolish Glances, Mick West
  • 2000 Green Yarrow, Aileen Carr
  • 2000 Northern Lights Live from the Lemon Tree
  • 2000 Robert Burns: The Complete Songs, Vol. 8
  • 2000 Shore Street, Billy Ross
  • 2000 Tryst, Iain MacInnes
  • 2001 Notes from a Hebridean Island, William Jackson
  • 2001 Orosay, Mairi MacInnes
  • 2001 The Islay Ball, Gary West
  • 2004 Live: The Art of the Steel String Guitar, Men of Steel
  • 2005 Live in Genova [DVD], Beppe Gambetta
  • 2006 Reunion, Daniel Lapp
  • 2007 Rosewood Castle, Robin Bullock
  • 2009 Hymns and Hers, Oliver Schroer
  • 2009 Robert Burns: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4
  • 2009 Without Words, Doug Cox
  • 2010 The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Loreena McKennitt
  • 2011 Live at the Teatro della Corte: The First 10 Years, Beppe Gambetta
  • 2013 Everything is Moving, Laura Smith[7]
  • 2017 Clyde's Water , Fiona Ross


  1. ^ a b c Adams, Rob (3 November 2015). "Paisley's Tony McManus is the guitarman's guitarist". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  2. ^ Harris, Craig. "Tony McManus | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  3. ^ Little, Guy (8 April 2014). "Tony McManus to play the London Acoustic Guitar Show 2014 | Acoustic Magazine". Acoustic Magazine. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Superheroes of Wood, Steel, and Nylon: 50 Transcendent Acoustic Guitarists". Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  5. ^ Leslie, Jimmy (1 September 2012). "Tony McManus". Guitar Player. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Tony McManus | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Tony McManus | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2016.

External links[edit]