Hanna and her sisters are Kerry bound - The Kingdom

Posted on 09/07/2007

Thursday 8th March 2007

By Mary Murphy

KERRY fans of the Armagh based Hanna Sisters can this week begin gearing up for their visit to the county in May, as the sisters officially kicked off their Irish tour on Wednesday.
They play St John’s Theatre and Arts Centre in Listowel on May 22 as part of a major nationwide tour to promote their new album, About Time, which was also released on Wednesday.
The launch was followed by a concert at the girls’ home theatre in Armagh and it follows on from a massively successful Scandinavian tour.
“We’ve been delighted with the reaction to the new songs here and can’t wait to get on the road in Ireland and get the reaction there,” said Mary Hanna. 
“Ironically we’re probably better known in Scandinavia as we’ve been touring for 6/7 years and we were a little apprehensive as this album probably marks a departure in terms of our sound,” she added. 
The Maghery based sisters have been encouraged by album sales in Denmark in particular with trade described as brisk since its launch there on February 17. 
The album itself has also received critical acclaim in Ireland with Hot Press magazine selecting Princes Port as their pick of the week in November and Jackie Hayden printing a very favourable review in the same publication. 
The album combines all that is best of the Hanna Sisters with outstanding vocal harmonies and excellent use of instrumentation. Produced with the help of Rod McVey, the sleeve notes include details of backing musicians who read like a who’s who of Irish recorded music with Liam Bradley on drums, Nicky Scott on bass and Johnny Scott on guitars.
The album has a distinctively Celtic feel which is a natural consequence of the girls traditional upbringing and the instrumentation which includes fiddle and whistles. 
The eldest of the siblings, Mary learnt to play piano and guitar at an early age and became obsessed with all things musical. She plays piano on the new album and provides lead vocals on most of the tracks as she has a powerful and distinctive voice. 
Nuala is the middle child in the family as well as the band. While she is an accomplished piano and tin whistle player, the violin is the instrument which she really fell in love with and excelled at. She has also been known to provide percussion in the shape of the bodhr·n and bongos in live performances. 
The second youngest in the family but the baby of the band, Breige plays tin whistle and violin on most of their recordings. An extraordinarily talented whistle player, she is considered to be among the best of her generation. In their live show Breige often bewilders the audience by moving seamlessly from one instrument to the other. 
For further information on the Hanna Sisters, the upcoming Kerry date or their new album log on to www.thehannasisters.net.