- 02 Apr 01
He may indeed be from Limerick but if you think you’re going to get a subheadline that mentions bringing home the bacon, acting the ham or even being on the pig’s back, then you’re sadly mistaken. Instead we’re going to keep things simple. Mick Hanly has just released a new album entitled Happy Like This. What better occasion for Jackie Hayden to visit him in his Kilkenny home and look back over his career to date, and to remember the days when he hadn’t a sausage (would you cut the crap, please? – Ed)? Pix.: Brendan Fitzpatrick.
Hands on the buzzers, your starter for ten. Who wrote the song which was most played on American country music radio last year? Johnny Cash? Garth Brooks? Willie Nelson? Hank Williams? Dolly Parton? Randy Travis? Clint Black? Do you give up? The correct answer is Mick Hanly, composer of ‘Past The Point Of Rescue’, former resident of the Dublin suburb of Fairview but now happily ensconced in the rural environs of Thomastown with a new family, a lighter heart and, according to reports, a heavier wallet – a result of the royalties accruing from the afore-mentioned American achievement, Christy Moore’s and Mary Black’s versions of his songs and the comparatively modest successes of his own solo albums and live concert work.
This has been no instant journey to the end of the rainbow for the quiet, self-effacing Limerick-man whose recording career goes back to the early seventies when he recorded the Celtic Folkweave album with Michael O’Donnell, that was followed by two solo folksy efforts A Kiss In The Morning Early and As I Went Over Blackwater, the excellent Live Hearts with Moving Hearts, Still Not Cured (with Rusty Old Halo), and two solo country-folk-rock albums, All I Remember and Warts And All.
With the release of a fresh new album to be called, appropriately, Happy Like This, I visited the man himself in his new abode, idyllically set by the banks of the River Nore.