TGS PLAYER SPOTLIGHT - ANTON EMERY


Anton Emery Spotlight


"Child's Grove" from his LP Noone Lasses
TGS Spotlight Player from December 2, 2010

Playing celtic melodies on the guitar that are usually reserved for the flute, fiddle, and bagpipes is no easy feat. But Anton Emery has managed to do so with grace and authenticity on his debut solo guitar album, Noone Lasses. Recorded in California during the spring and fall of 2009, Noone Lasses captures the subtle lilt and rhythm of celtic music, while giving the tunes a fresh voice on solo guitar.


Produced by guitarist Steve Baughman and engineered by Acoustic Guitar Contributing Editor Doug Young, Noone Lasses includes arrangements of reels, jigs, and a welsh tune, among others. It’s just one musician in the studio with his guitar, recorded in pristine sound quality and minimal processing.


Growing up in South Florida, Anton started playing guitar at fifteen, when his uncle gave him his first guitar. He was initially inspired by the blues albums his dad would play around the house, diving into that style and learning some tunes from Eric Clapton’s Unplugged album. Then he heard some flamenco guitar one day and was inspired to study classical guitar. This continued pretty seriously throughout high school and part way into college at Florida State University.


“I was that guy that took all the music classes I could without being a music major. I had regular lessons with a classical guitar graduate student. I enjoyed it, but more and more was feeling that I didn’t have it in me to be guitar performance major. I had also just gotten a good steel string guitar and discovered players like Michael Hedges and Al Petteway. I was trying to compose my own fingerstyle pieces, as well as learning to arrange traditional celtic tunes on guitar. Then I discovered the Irish session scene in Tallahassee, and that was pretty much it for classical guitar.”


The next few years were spent being immersed in celtic music. Anton continued to arrange tunes for solo guitar, as well as spending plenty of time at sessions, playing either rhythmic backup or melody on wooden flute. Anton was also able to attend the Swannanoa Gathering Guitar Week for several years, where he was able to interact and learn personally from players like Al Petteway, Robin Bullock, Steve Baughman, and Tony Mcmanus.


“Going to the Swannanoa Gathering those years was a pivotal point in my music. For the first time I was interacting with professional level players who were playing the kind of music I was interested. Being able to take classes and learn from them really helped me grow.”


In 2006, Anton relocated to Portland, Oregon, a place with a thriving Irish music scene. He spends his free time at one of many sessions around town, teaching students, and gigging, both solo and with a band. He also writes a monthly celtic guitar column at www.guitarbench.com


Visit Anton Emery's website at celticfingerstyleguitar.com


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