Worldwide Bluegrass Month tribute to Bill Monroe by Breffni Bluegrass
Tom Hanway for this news:
To celebrate IBMA Worldwide Bluegrass Month and in honour of Bill Monroe’s birthday exactly two weeks ago (13 September), the Breffni Bluegrass Band pays tribute to the legacy of Bill Monroe, featuring his original bluegrass and traditional bluegrass-gospel songs. The band offers a dedicated lineup of pickers and singers: Aidan Cunningham (dobro, vocals), Tom Hanway (5-string banjo, guitar, vocals), Kevin Logue (guitar, vocals), and Mick McCormick (bass, vocals). When she's not studying medicine in Galway, Aoife Cunningham adds her considerable talents to the group (fiddle/vocals).
This week, Tom Hanway will once again lead the band on Monroe classics including 'My little Georgia rose' and 'Crying holy unto the Lord' (a bluegrass gospel number), and play driving bluegrass instrumentals, including ‘Bluegrass breakdown’, ‘Wheel hoss’, and ‘Roanoke’.
John Herald Band, Hanway met and played on stage with Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass Boys (Zanesville, Ohio, 1989), taking his lead breaks through Monroe's microphone at Bill's insistence. (The boys enjoyed a steak dinner after the show.) Between 1991 and 2002, Tom worked, promoted, and recorded extensively with Blue Grass Boy alumnus Vassar Clements, who plays on all of Hanway’s recordings.
Bob Mitchell’s 'Best of Bluegrass' programme on Radio Bluegrass International gives regular rotation to Tom Hanway’s Nashville recordings of original and traditional bluegrass. Scheduled for broadcast on 12 October (Friday) and 14 October (Sunday) is Hanway’s rendition of ‘He turned the water into wine’, famously performed by Johnny Cash at San Quentin State Prison with 'Mother' Maybelle Carter and her daughters. Tom sings lead and plays guitar on his four-part-bluegrass-gospel version of the Cash classic.
'Best of Bluegrass' broadcast schedule on Radio Bluegrass International
(1) Friday 8.00-10.00 a.m. CST (2.00 p.m. GMT).
(2) Sunday 3.00-5.00 p.m. CST (9.00 p.m. GMT)
Bob Mitchell has featured several tracks from Tom’s Nashville recordings, Bucket of bees and Tom Hanway & Blue Horizon. Radio Bluegrass International is a free online radio station and an arm of the International Bluegrass Music Museum.
The Breffni Bluegrass Band play traditional bluegrass and early country every Thursday at JP’s Bar, 57 Main St., Cavan, 10.00 p.m. Guest players who love bluegrass picking and singing are welcome to sit in any time. Y’all come!
The photos above, both taken by George Quinn at the Secrest Auditorium, Zanesville, Ohio, 1989, show (top left) Tom Hanway and Bill Monroe backstage, and (above right) Tom Hanway and Bill Monroe on stage, with Tom playing into the mandolin mike as described above.