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Posted by Tom Hanway on Sunday, October 9, 2011

Since the publication of his seminal work in 1998, Complete Book of Irish & Celtic 5-String Banjo (MB 95759 BCD), 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.


RTÉ RADIO 1: DUBLIN, 2011: CountryWide: Presenter Damien O’Reilly interviews Tom Hanway and Ireland's financial wizard Karl Deeter about President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Ireland, also Ronan Tynan's New York debacle. Tom (banjo) and Karl (guitar) sing a brother-duet gospel tune, 'Where the Soul Never Dies', play fiddle tunes, and ‘Caravan’, popularised by African-American Duke Ellington. (Producer: Ana Leddy)

RTÉ RADIO 1: DUBLIN, 2010 PAT KENNY SHOW: Tom plays his original SwallowTail banjo and Martin D28 guitar with flatpicker Vinny Baker and singer Jane McNamee. (Producer: Aidan Butler)

TELEVISION: IRELAND AM: DUBLIN, 2009: Tom Hanway hits early morning TV with Jack Grace and plays the Stelling SwallowTail Deluxe banjo that he co-designed with the luthier-manufacturer.

RTÉ RADIO 1: DUBLIN, 2009: ROOTS FREEWAY: Presenter Niall Toner interviews Tom, who talks about Complete Book of Irish & Celtic 5-String Banjo (Mel Bay) and demonstrates Celtic and bluegrass styles on the SwallowTail. Tom also plays fingerpicked blues guitar. (Producer: Aidan Butler)

TV DOCUMENTARY: TG 4: BELFAST, 2006: History of the Mouth Organ in Ireland: Tom fingerpicks blues guitar and plays an original, ‘Badbelly Tickle’ with harmonica player Michael O’Connor.

TODAY FM: DUBLIN, 2003: RAY D'ARCY SHOW: Presenter Ray D'Arcy interviews Tom about being a widower, re-marrying, moving to Ireland and starting over. Tom plays ‘Dueling Banjos’ and ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ live.

WLR-FM: WATERFORD, 2011: Deise AM: Presenter Billy McCarthy interviews Tom about the Guinness International Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival. Tom sings and plays the SwallowTail banjo.

SHANNONSIDE FM: LONGFORD, 2006: Presenter Charlie McGettigan interviews Tom, who plays guitar and debuts his original composition, ‘Song for an Angel’ for his first wife Kathleen, whom he lost to cancer in 2002.

SHANNONSIDE FM: LONGFORD, 2005: Charlie McGettigan Show: Tom plays his SwallowTail with the Bluegrass Ravens.


EUROPEAN WORLD OF BLUEGRASS, Voorthuizen (2005), Holland: Tom coaches and performs with the Bluegrass Ravens, the only Irish bluegrass group ever to win the coveted EBMA “Best Bluegrass Band” Award at EWOB – voted the #1 European Bluegrass Band by the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA).

DUNMORE EAST INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS (many shows): Dunmore East, Ireland: Regular festival appearances, most recently as Hanway & Murray (2011), and with Burnt Toast (1996), Bluegrass Ravens (2005), Tennessee Hob (2006, 2007), Hazard Hollow (2007), Molly Hicks (2008, 2009, 2010), and Jack Grace Band (2008, 2009, 2010).

APPALACHIAN & BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL (many shows): Ulster-American Folk Park, Omagh, Northern Ireland: Tom makes appearances with singer Maura McCabe (1993), Woodbine (2003), and with the Bluegrass Ravens (2005).

NORTH WALES BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, Conwy, Wales (2006, 2007, 2008): Tom plays with Karl Deeter in Tennessee Hob; Tom brings the Molly Hicks' six-piece band to Wales (2010).

JERRY GARCIA ANNIVERSARY CONCERT (2011): Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY: Tom honours Jerry Garcia with the Jam Stampede, playing his SwallowTail banjo alongside fiddler Kenny Kosek (Jerry Garcia Band).

SHETLAND FOLK FESTIVAL, Lerwick, Scotland (2006): Tom appears with the Bluegrass Ravens, with fiddler and tunesmith Tim O’Brien.

VOLVO OCEAN RACE CONCERTS, Galway (2009): Tom plays a dozen shows with the Molly Hicks (quartet) at the Galway docks over the course of the yacht race around the world.

KILKENNY RHYTHM ‘N’ ROOTS: (2009): Tom brings singer Jack Grace over from New York City, plugs in his SwallowTail and rocks out on banjo.

BLUEGRASS ON THE WALLS, Derry, UK: Tom plays his SwallowTail with Scottish guitarist Robin McKidd (2004) and most recently with Hard Knocks & Bluegrass, featuring the new brother-duet Hanway & Murray (2011). GALWAY ARTS FESTIVAL: (2008, 2009, 2010): Tom sings and plays guitar in “Singers and Their Songs” at the prestigious Crane (2008), and gives hard-driving bluegrass banjo to the Molly Hicks.

ATHY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL: (2003, 2004, 2010): Ireland's oldest bluegrass festival: Tom Hanway performs with the Niall Toner Band, The Bluegrass Ravens, and his Bluegrass Pals.

HICKORY FEST, Grand Canyon, Pennsylvania (2011): Tom joins guitarist tunesmith Dan Shipe and mandolinist Billy Gilmore from the Hickory Project.

GALWAY AMERICANA FESTIVAL: (2009, 2010): Tom plays the original SwallowTail banjo at the prestigious Crane and gives hard-driving banjo to the Molly Hicks.

JOHNNY KEENAN BANJO FESTIVAL, Longford: Tom gives solo performances (2002), and performs with guitarist Robin McKidd (2003).

SHETLAND BLUES FESTIVAL, Lerwick, Shetland Island, Scotland (2005): Tom (‘Badbelly’) fingerpicks guitar and performs as a duo with harmonica player Michael O’Connor.

ORKNEY BLUES FESTIVAL (2006): Tom (‘Badbelly’) performs as a duo with Michael O’Connor.

CASTLEBAR BLUES FESTIVAL (2006): Tom (‘Badbelly’) performs as a duo with Michael O’Connor.

LIMAVADAY BLUES FESTIVAL (2004): Tom (‘Badbelly’) plays solo country blues guitar and banjo.

BLACKSTAIRS BLUES FESTIVAL (2003): Tom (‘Badbelly’) performs as a duo with Michael O’Connor.

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