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Playing Since: 1985
Experience Level: Just Startin'
Tom Hanway has made 60 recent additions to Banjo Hangout
[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]
Occupation: Composer, Author, Studio Musician, Recording Artist.
(1) Stelling SwallowTail Deluxe and (2) Standard. I co-designed the SwallowTail banjo with Geoff Stelling, (3) Nechville Meteor (acoustic/electric) with the "Galaxy" inlay. (4) I also have a 1918 Van Eps tenor which belonged to my grandfather, John Hanway, who bought it his freshman year, playing it in the Yale Mandolin and Banjo Club and Orchestra. It has been restored by Tom Cussen (Clareen Banjos) of Clarinbridge, Co. Galway, Ireland. I fool around and play a bit of "trad" on it - both jazz and Irish traditional music.
Earl Scruggs, Don Reno (father and son), Ralph Stanley, J.D. Crowe, Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Pete Wernick, Sonny Osborne, Bill Emerson, Raymond Fairchild, Eddie Adcock, Allen Shelton, Butch Robins, Béla Fleck, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements, Herb Pedersen, David Bromberg, Tim O'Brien, Sammy Shelor, Jim Mills, Scott Vestal, The Beatles, The Stones, the Grateful Dead, Jorma Kaukonen, New Grass Revival, Sam Bush, Stringbean, Joni Mitchell, Roy Huskey, Jr., The Bothy Band, Altan, Michael Coleman, Cream, Hendrix, Carole King, James Taylor, Johnson Mountain Boys, Andy McGann, Tommy Peoples, Tony DeMarco, Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Jesse Fuller, all the great bluesmen, all the early R&B and jazz cats. I love jugbands, jam bands, and rockabilly bands.
My dad, "Wild Jack", who showed the whole family what great fun it is to jam with old jazz recordings. I was tapping my foot to traditional jazz and Big Band music at a very impressionable age. I learned a lot of jazz standards that way, melodies for which I have no title.
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Last Visit 3/12/2017
Since the publication of Complete Book of Irish & Celtic 5-String Banjo (1988), Hanway has pioneered “Celtic fingerstyle banjo.” Bluegrass Unlimited wrote in January 1999: “What Earl Scruggs’ book did for bluegrass banjo, Tom Hanway’s book may well do for the 5-string in Irish and Celtic music, and will certainly become regarded as ‘the bible’ for any 5-string player with an interest in this joyous music.” This is a Mel Bay best-seller and has won Tom many converts on both sides of the Atlantic.
In 1997 Hanway teamed up with banjo manufacturer Geoff Stelling to co-design the Stelling SwallowTail Deluxe and Standard banjo, a production model instrument. The SwallowTail has become a popular model for Stelling, used for bluegrass, Celtic and other styles of music, with actor Steve Martin purchasing one true to Tom's original model.
Tom Hanway is a musical shape-shifter, a veteran of many styles of music who feels blessed to be working in life with other like-minded artists at something that he loves. Tom loves to teach, collect tunes from all over, and he regularly travels back and forth between Ireland and the United States playing and collecting tunes.
Bucket of Bees (Joyous Gard Records, 1991)
Tom Hanway & Blue Horizon (Joyous Gard Records, 1992)
Burnt Toast (Joyous Gard Records, 1996)
Mel Bay's Complete Book of Irish & Celtic 5-String Banjo (1998)
Grillbillies Album, Volumes 1 and 2 (Yee Haw Records, 1999)
The Badbelly Project: Hesitation Blues (Joyous Gard Records, 2005)
Mel Bay's Easy Irish and Celtic Session Tunes for 5-String Banjo: Best-Loved Jigs and Reels (2012)
Mel Bay's Easy Irish and Celtic Melodies for 5-String Banjo: Best-Loved Airs and Session Tunes (2013)
Mel Bay's 20 O'Carolan Irish Classics for 5-String Banjo and All Instruments (2015)