Don Hanby                  


Don "HAMBONE" Hanby has been playing the guitar since 1969.  In 1981 he started devotion to mastering the fingerstyle method.

Don at Carnegie Hall

Don 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 Five. 

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 Whistlestop
Hambone 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.

Hambone’s 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.


Don backstage with legend Thom Bresh

Don "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 masters.