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On the Compass Records’ CD, The Maker’s Mark, Scottish guitarist, Tony McManus, melds two of his great passions; Celtic music and a series of some of the finest acoustic guitars being crafted today. It is an unparalleled mix as McManus’ playing meets it match in the form of fifteen expertly paired instruments, courtesy of North Carolina’s Dream Guitars shop.

Paul Heumiller, who brought his expertise to The Maker’s Mark, started Dream Guitars (along with finger style guitarist extraordinaire, Martin Simpson) with a vision of gathering the finest guitars made by the top builders worldwide and offering them all in one place. Dream Guitars has grown into one of the most respected dealerships in the world.

The concept for The Maker’s Mark first unveiled itself during one of McManus’ classes at the Swannanoa Guitar Week.

Heumiller was playing the role of student that week and he was turning up each day with, “a big smile and a different, brand new, high end guitar”, says McManus. “It emerged that he was not a fabulously wealthy collector but a dealer in the very finest acoustic guitars currently being made - and one who can’t help sharing his enthusiasm.”

On The Maker’s Mark, McManus takes his and Heumiller’s shared excitement for the current state of guitar building one step farther by matching these hand-made instruments with tracks ranging from much-loved and well-known Irish tunes (such as The Maids of Michelstown, made famous by the Bothy Band), to Scottish airs and reels, to the Spanish influenced piece, Chalaneru).

Tracks from The Makers Mark will be featured, along with specially recorded work by McManus, on the soundtrack of Oscar-winning director Neil Jordan’s upcoming feature film Ondine, starring Colin Farrell and Alicja Bachleda.

Permalink - Posted: February 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm