Shane Hennessy - Marrakech live in the National Concert Hall
Shane Hennessy is a twenty-three year old guitarist and composer from Ireland, whose unique guitar playing style has amazed audiences all over the world. His guitar playing style and compositions have caught the attention of big names such as Tommy Emmanuel and Nile Rodgers (CHIC).
His style of music is difficult to explain in words - he calls it simply “fingerstyle” guitar. Shane’s style encompasses virtually every genre of music, tied together with unique energetic fingerpicking and flatpicking styles. In his repertoire, Shane touches on everything from jazz and classical pieces to blues and bluegrass, with Irish traditional, jazz manouche, progres-sive, and world influences thrown in the mix, as well as periodic bursts of energetic improvisation, and arrangements of well-known songs.
At the young age of twenty-three, Shane has already featured in some of the most well-known venues in Ireland, and has been a featured performer in some of Ireland’s biggest music and arts festivals, including Electric Picnic (2012, 2013, and 2014), Longitude (2014), and The Guitar Festival of Ireland (Headline Act, 2016).
Having started out at age four as a concertina player, solely playing Irish traditional music, Shane discovered the guitar at age thirteen. Inspired to play by hearing the music of James Taylor, he developed an interest in solo acoustic guitar after being pointed in the direction of Tommy Emmanuel, and rapidly became an avid fan and player of acoustic music.
“Seeing and hearing Tommy Emmanuel play the guitar was definitely a moment of epiphany for me. His energy and music are both amazing, and I was blown away by the possibilities that could be unlocked by learning to play fingerstyle guitar. It was like I had only seen the guitar in black-and-white, and all of a sudden it was in colour.”
He cites musicians such as Clive Carroll, James Taylor, Chris Thile, and Mark Knopfler - as well as Tommy Emmanuel and Nile Rodgers - as his biggest influences. His musical style has in recent time progressed to a more modern groove-based sound with progressive jazz and world influences, citing CHIC, Snarky Puppy, Punch Brothers, Steely Dan, and Ethnic musics as big influences on his style of playing and composing.
”My main aim as a guitarist is to bring the acoustic guitar to places it has never traditionally been, to really show that it is the most versatile instrument in the world.”
Shane’s debut album ‘Zephyrus’ was released in June 2015 to rave reviews, and an accompanying European tour saw Shane touring extensively. Toward the end of 2015 Shane began a residency in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin as a featured performer. 2016 saw back-to-back performances in The National Concert Hall with both Tommy Emmanuel and The Willis Clan, and a multitude of tours and concerts around mainland Europe, including a prime slot at the Acoustic Night at Musik-messe Frankfurt.
Shane’s sophomore album ‘Marrakech’ will be released worldwide in the summer of 2017, accompanied by a tour of Eu-rope, North America, Australia, and the UK/Ireland.
Shane is also an official Maton Guitars Artist, and promotes their guitars worldwide.
Keep up to date with Shane’s music and activity at the links below:
Published on 20 June 2017