Born in Limerick, singer-songwriter Hanly was inspired by mid-50s rock ‘n’ roll and the Liverpool beat group scene of the Sixties. He soon turned his attention to American folksingers such as, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and emerging singer songwriters, Paul Simon, James Taylor and Canadian songstress, Joni Mitchell. However on first hearing Planxty he immediately fell in love with this fresh take on Irish traditional music. Together with Michael O’Domhnaill (ex Skara Brae) he formed Monroe, and supported Planxty on several tours during 72/73, subsequently releasing Celtic Folkweave, before O’Domhnaill left to form the Bothy Band in 1975. Hanly went to France for two years, and, on his return to Ireland, recorded two acclaimed solo albums for the Mulligan label with Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Declan Sinnott. He then toured Ireland and Europe with Irvine, who had recently left Planxty. In 1983, Hanly joined Moving Hearts as a vocalist, and contributed his own songs to the album Live Hearts. He left the band after 14 months, again to pursue his solo career songwriting, and recorded three more contemporary albums with Ringsend Road Records. His album All I Remember spawned the song Past the Point of Rescue, which was a huge hit in the US for country singer Hal Ketchum. The song recently received the BMI award for Two Million Radio plays in the US.
His songs have been covered by Christy Moore, Mary Black, Dolores Keane, Delbert McClinton, etc and he continues to write with a freshness and vitality that few can match.
His latest album Homeland, released in April 2016, features 10 new songs, and reunites him with some of Ireland’s most respected musicians, such as The Voice Squad, Donal Lunny, Keith Donald, Eoghan O’Neill, Dave Keary, Ray Fean, etc….it was released in April of last year and followed by two successful tours with the renowned Lunny.