06 July 2011

RTÉ Radio 1 Podcast of top studio musician Tom Hanway and Karl Deeter on CountryWide

press release

Damien O’Reilly’s RTÉ Radio 1 current affairs programme has a 28 May CountryWide podcast featuring top studio musician Tom Hanway (5-string banjo) and Karl Deeter (guitar) playing ‘Salt Creek’/Bill Cheatham’, then singing a gospel duet ‘Where the soul never dies’, and finally, stretching out on ‘Caravan’, first popularised on banjo by maestro Bill Keith, one of Tom’s early mentors [below left: Tom and Bill].

Tom and Karl dedicated ‘Caravan’ to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their historic 2011 visit to Ireland, and honouring the African-American composer Duke Ellington.

Sought out by producers and engineers for his ability to play the right part in the studio and shape-shift between styles, Tom loves being a studio musician and within the last decade has recorded with Ireland’s top country and rock engineers, including Jonathan Owens, Paul Gurney and Kevin Sheerin. He also persuaded old friend, multi-Grammy engineer Bil VornDick to come to Ireland to work and record with the Sheerin family, who later signed with Bil to a publishing deal in Nashville.

Tom Hanway has added his unique 5-string banjo to many stellar recordings, including Robert Mizzell’s ‘Who’s gonna dance with Sally Ann’, Nathan Carter’s ‘One for the road’ and ‘Time of your life’, plus bluegrass projects including songwriters Niall Toner, and Ruth Dillon of the Molly Hicks, with whom Tom still plays and tours. Going back further, other top country and bluegrass artists Tom has worked with in Ireland include Big Tom, Jimmy Buckley, Patrick Feeney, Kieran McGilligan, Jason McGilligan, Carmel Sheerin & the Bluegrass Ravens, the Outlaws, and many more.

Tom began playing the 5-string banjo in 1985 and soon established himself as one of New York City’s most creative banjo players and composers. In addition to working with Geoff Stelling to design the unique Stelling Swallowtail banjo, he has helped many artists in bluegrass, country, folk, blues and rock circles on several dozen recordings on both sides of the Atlantic.

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