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Mick Hanly


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Mick Hanly is an Irish guitarist, singer, and songwriter, who specialises in interpretations of traditional Irish songs.

Hanly was born and brought up in Limerick. He began playing the guitar while at primary school, giving his first performance at a school concert in 1958. While at secondary school he formed a band - The Astronauts - influenced by rock and roll, and especially by The Beatles.

In 1970 he startedworking in Galway City for the E.S.B. (Electricity Supply Board) and performing Woody Guthrie and Paul Simon material in his spare time in the Golden Key, a well known folk music venue in that city. His new-found interest in traditional music had begun a few years earlier when, at a concert in the west Clare seaside town of Kilkee, Hanly had heard Seán Ó Riada’s group and also the playing of the legendary Clare uilleann piper Willie Clancy.

Though overwhelmed by Irish music, Hanly had a problem: how to adapt his guitar playing to the tradition? In 1972 he met Michael O’ Domhnaill at the Swamp Folk club in Rathmines in Dublin; O’ Domhnaill had solved just that problem for himself in his band Scara Brae. Hanly and O’ Domhnaill got together as Monroe, and managed to find a spot supporting Planxty on their 1973 tour of Ireland.

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