Jeff Hanna

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Jeffrey "Jeff" R. Hanna (July 11, 1947) is an American singer-songwriter and performance musician, best known for his association with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. His professional music career has spanned six decades.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band American band

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, an American country rock band, has existed in various forms since its founding in Long Beach, California, in 1966. The group's membership has had at least a dozen changes over the years, including a period from 1976 to 1981 when the band performed and recorded as the Dirt Band. Constant members since the early times are singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna and drummer Jimmie Fadden. Multi-instrumentalist John McEuen was with the band from 1966 to 1986 and returned during 2001, staying 16 years, then departing again in November 2017. Keyboardist Bob Carpenter joined the band in 1977. The band is often cited as instrumental to the progression of contemporary country and roots music.

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Early life

Hanna was born in Detroit, Michigan. [1] In 1962 at age 15 he moved with his family to Long Beach, California. As a high school student there, he and some friends started a jug band that ultimately evolved into the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. [2]

Jug band

A jug band is a band employing a jug player and a mix of conventional and homemade instruments. These homemade instruments are ordinary objects adapted to or modified for making sound, like the washtub bass, washboard, spoons, bones, stovepipe, and comb and tissue paper (kazoo). The term jug band is loosely used in referring to ensembles that also incorporate homemade instruments but that are more accurately called skiffle bands, spasm bands, or juke bands because they do not include a jug player.

Musical career

He was one of the founders and is the longest-serving member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, where he has been a singer, songwriter, lead guitarist, drummer and washboard player. Through the years, he has been a major force in keeping the band together and maintaining its blend of folk, country and rock music. [1] [2]

Washboard (musical instrument) musical instrument

The washboard and frottoir are used as a percussion instrument, employing the ribbed metal surface of the cleaning device as a rhythm instrument. As traditionally used in jazz, zydeco, skiffle, jug band, and old-time music, the washboard remained in its wooden frame and is played primarily by tapping, but also scraping the washboard with thimbles. Often the washboard has additional traps, such as a wood block, a cowbell, and even small cymbals. Conversely, the frottoir dispenses with the frame and consists simply of the metal ribbing hung around the neck. It is played primarily with spoon handles or bottle openers in a combination of strumming, scratching, tapping and rolling. The frottoir or vest frottoir is played as a stroked percussion instrument, often in a band with a drummer, while the washboard generally is a replacement for drums. In Zydeco bands, the frottoir is usually played with bottle openers, to make a louder sound. It tends to play counter-rhythms to the drummer. In a jug band, the washboard can also be stroked with a single whisk broom and functions as the drums for the band, playing only on the back-beat for most songs, a substitute for a snare drum. In a four-beat measure, the washboard will stroke on the 2-beat and the 4-beat. Its best sound is achieved using a single steel-wire snare-brush or whisk broom. However, in a jazz setting, the washboard can also be played with thimbles on all fingers, tapping out much more complex rhythms, as in The Washboard Rhythm Kings, a full-sized band, and Newman Taylor Baker.

Hanna has over 380 recording credits, primarily as a composer, but also as a vocalist, guitarist (acoustic, electric, steel, slide, twelve-string, and baritone), arranger, and producer. [3]

Acoustic guitar type of guitar

An acoustic guitar is a guitar that produces sound acoustically by transmitting the vibration of the strings to the air—as opposed to relying on electronic amplification (see electric guitar). The sound waves from the strings of an acoustic guitar resonate through the guitar's body, creating sound. This typically involves the use of a sound board and a sound box to strengthen the vibrations of the strings. In standard tuning the guitar's six strings are tuned (low to high) E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4.

Electric guitar electrified guitar; fretted stringed instrument with a neck and body that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals

An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings. The pickup generally uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being relatively weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.

Steel guitar type of guitar or the method of playing the instrument

Steel guitar is a type of guitar or the method of playing the instrument. Developed in Hawaii by Joseph Kekuku in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a steel guitar is usually positioned horizontally; strings are plucked with one hand, while the other hand changes the pitch of one or more strings with the use of a bar or slide called a steel. The earliest use of an electrified steel guitar was first made in the early 1930s by Bob Dunn of Milton Brown and His Brownies, a western swing band from Fort Worth, Texas; the instrument was perfected in the mid to late 1930s by Fort Worth's Leon McAuliffe, who played for western swing band Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Nashville later picked up the use of the steel guitar in the early days of the late 1940s and early 1950s "Honky Tonk" country & western music with a number of fine steel guitarists backing names like Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Webb Pierce. The term steel guitar is often mistakenly used to describe any metal body resophonic guitar.

In addition to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, his credits include work with artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Suzy Bogguss, The Texas Tenors, Patty Loveless, Rascal Flatts, Matraca Berg, Hannah Montana, Emmylou Harris, The Chieftains, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Earl Scruggs, Michael Martin Murphey, Dickey Betts, and Steve Martin. [3]

Linda Ronstadt US-American singer

Linda Maria Ronstadt is a retired American popular music singer known for singing in a wide range of genres including rock, country, light opera, and Latin. She has earned 10 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award, and many of her albums have been certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum in the United States and internationally. She has also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award. She was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Latin Recording Academy in 2011 and also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy in 2016. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014. On July 28, 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities. In 2019, she will receive a joint star with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their work as the group Trio.

Suzy Bogguss American musician

Susan Kay "Suzy" Bogguss is an American country music singer and songwriter. She began her career in the 1980s as a solo singer. In the 1990s, six of her songs were top-ten hits, three albums achieved gold status, and one album achieved platinum status. She won Top New Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music and the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association.

The Texas Tenors

The Texas Tenors are a 3-time Emmy Award winning classical crossover, trio vocal group formed in 2009 by country singer JC Fisher, Broadway singer Marcus Collins and opera singer John Hagen. They were a top four finalist in the fourth season of America's Got Talent, making them the highest ranking vocal group in the show's history.

In 2006, his composition "Bless the Broken Road", co-written with Marcus Hummon and Bobby Boyd in 1994, won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. [4] It has been recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Marcus Hummon, and, in the Grammy year, Rascal Flatts. [5]

"Bless the Broken Road" is a song that has been recorded by several American country music artists. Co-written by Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd, and Jeff Hanna in 1994, it tells how the journey through relationship heartbreak and disappointment was an important series of lessons along the broken road to finding one’s true love. It was first recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1994, followed by Hummon on his 1995 album All in Good Time.

Marcus Spencer Hummon is an American country music artist.

The Grammy Award for Best Country Song has been awarded since 1965. The award is given to the writer(s) of the song, not to the artist, except if the artist is also the songwriter.

Personal life

Hanna's son is Jamie Hanna of the Hanna-McEuen country music duo. [6]

He has been married to Matraca Berg since December 5, 1993. The couple met while touring with Clint Black in the late 1980s. Shortly after their marriage, Hanna wrote his Grammy-winning song. [5]

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Alive is the 1969 album from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Liberty Records released this album after the original version of the band broke up and before the next version of the band re-signed with them. John McEuen would later recall that "we did [the album] at the Troubador and there were mountains of equipment on stage because Poco were on the same bill with us." Given McEuen's comment, it appears that the documented performance occurred on either December 6 or 7, 1968. The band would break up within weeks of this show.

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Not Fade Away is the 1992 album from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is notable for having many charting albums and singles. Two singles from this album charted. "I Fought the Law" reached 66 on the US Country charts. "One Good Love" reached 74 on the US Country charts.

William E. McEuen is a film producer and record producer famous for working with Steve Martin and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. His younger brother is John McEuen, banjo player and founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

References

  1. 1 2 "Jeff Hanna Discography". discogs.com. Discogs . Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  2. 1 2 Stambler, Irwin; Landon, Grelun, eds. (2000-07-14). "Dirt Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band". Country Music: The Encyclopedia. Macmillan. pp. 135–137. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  3. 1 2 "Jeff Hanna - Credits". allmusic.com. AllMusic . Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  4. "Jeff Hanna - Awards". allmusic.com. AllMusic . Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  5. 1 2 "Jeff Hanna + Matraca Berg — Country's Greatest Love Stories". theboot.com. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  6. "Hanna-McEuen Biography". artistdirect.com. ARTISTdirect. Retrieved 2016-04-12.