"HAMBONE" Hanby has been playing the guitar since 1969. In
1981 he started devotion to mastering the fingerstyle method.
is known as "Hambone" to many local audiences, a nickname that goes
back to his elementary school days in Palatka, Florida. His music
career began in high school, playing blues and Motown favorites as the
lead guitarist for a crowd pleasing Miami soul band called the Boss
He then pursued music as a soloist, inspired by popular folk singing
fingerstylists of the 60’s and 70’s, such as Gordon Lightfoot,
James Taylor, Gamble Rogers, John Stewart, John Hartford, Tom Rush, Bob
Dylan, and Paul Simon. Don attended many inspiring performances at a coffee
house near the University of Miami called "The Flick". This intimate
live music scene drew some great talents prior to reaching their
pinnacles of fame, including Gamble Rogers, Jimmy Buffet, Melanie, and
Tom Paxton. Don began playing solo gigs at Florida International
University’s Rathskeller Pub, while attending college.
Later, the great patriarchs of American fingerstyle guitar, Merle
Travis, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins,
and Jerry Reed, attracted Hambone to the fingerstyle guitar method
known as "West Kentucky thumbstyle". One of his favorite artists was
the late Florida folk legend, Gamble Rogers, who called this
fingerstyle method "choke style boom-strum guitar".
Don at the
currently performs with the vision of increasing interest in this rich
Americana style of music, which includes elements of bluegrass, blues,
and a unique touch of soul from his Motown roots. While many people
associate the West Kentucky thumbstyle of guitar playing with country
music, this is not necessarily the case. Hambone has converted many
genres of music to thumbstyle. One of his most requested renditions is
"Hambone’s Acoustic Pipeline", in which he plays the bass and lead
lines simultaneously, unlike the original version by the Chantays,
which employs separate guitars.
extensive repertoire spans the genres of traditional, folk, blues,
bluegrass, and popular tunes of the 60’s and 70’s. Occasionally, he
will dust off his five string banjo, too.
Other audience favorites in his repertoire include Windy and Warm,
Smoke that Cigarette, Re-Enlistment Blues, Deep River Blues, Ghost
Riders, Never Goin’ Back Again, Hangin’ With the Girls I Know, Drive
In, Delta Dawn, Winter Walkin’, Old Kentucky Home, Copper Kettle,
Tennessee Waltz, Cannonball Rag, Nine Pound Hammer, Lay Lady Lay, Early
Mornin’ Rain and Second Cup of Coffee.
backstage with legend Thom Bresh
"Hambone" Hanby is a charter member of the Tampa Bay Fingerstyle Guitar
Guild (TBFGG), a member of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS),
and a member of the Tampa Bay Finger Style Players (TBFSP). He is an
original Back Porch Player at the Whistle Stop Grille, in Safety
Harbor. Hambone also attends Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Camp every year,
in Maryville, Tennessee, where he rubs elbows with distinguished
fingerstyle players such as Thom Bresh, Richard Smith, Steven Bennett,
Pat Kirtley, Eddie Pennington, John Hurst, and other fingerstyle