Not being a hockey fan and finding the need to avoid the masses allowed for the opportunity to attend the Tony McManus Classical CD Release for “Mysterious Boundaries” at Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas St. West), Wednesday, May 8, 2013. As it turns out, it was a CD Release without a CD, but that was a minor glitch and we can blame that on the production company.
Tony McManus, a self-taught guitarist from childhood with primary focus on Celtic/Folk, for which he gained global recognition, pushes his musical boundaries into the classical realm. Will this CD rebrand Tony away from Celtic? Of course it will not. Tony is first and foremost a guitarist, who left school in his twenties to pursue his love of music. If you look closely at his right hand, you will see the perfect tools that allow him to play his amazing style; fingernails perfect in length and shape.
His first Toronto show in 14 months was to launch his new CD release “Mysterious Boundaries”– just without any CDs due to a production delay. A collection of classical pieces one wouldn’t expect from someone who gained global recognition from his Celtic prowess. McManus certainly holds his own on stage while performing his 14-minute Bach’s Chaconne in D Minor as well as works by Erik Satie, Monteverdi, Granados, the aria of the first Goldberg Variation and the Francois Couperin “title track” Les Barricades Mysterieuses. As he explained between songs the title of the new album is about the mysterious boundaries that lay between the music genres. Throughout the show McManus joyously jumps back-and-forth over said boundaries to play a fantastic mix of Folk, Celtic and classical.
To sum up Tony McManus – a fantastic musician and a wonderful entertainer who plays music for the love of his instrument and to bring joy the ears of those around him. Whether you are a connoisseur of Celtic, Folk, classical or just like music because you like it (much like myself), you would do well to check out Tony at a live show and just watch him work magic on the strings.