Maton Guitars

Shane Hennessy is a twenty-two-year-old guitarist and composer from Ireland, whose unique guitar playing style has amazed audiences all over his homeland and further abroad - as far away as the Russian countryside. His playing and compositions have caught the attention of big names such as Nile Rodgers (CHIC) and Tommy Emmanuel.

Shane Hennessy: GEAR

Shane Hennessy plays the following Maton instruments

Having started out initially as a concertina player, playing strictly Irish traditional music from a young age, Shane discovered the guitar at age thirteen. Inspired by hearing the music of James Taylor, he developed an interest in solo acoustic guitar after being pointed in the direction of Tommy Emmanuel, and rapidly became an avid fan and player of acoustic music, citing players such as Clive Carroll, James Taylor, John Mayer, and Mark Knopfler - as well as Emmanuel and Rodgers - as his biggest guitar influences.


“Seeing Tommy Emmanuel play the guitar on a Woodsongs episode was definitely a moment of epiphany. for me His energy and music are both amazing, and I was blown away by the possibilities that could be unlocked by learning to play fingerstyle guitar. It was like I had only seen the guitar in black-and-white, and all of a sudden it was in colour!”


His musical style has since progressed to a more modern groove-based sound with jazz and world influences, citing CHIC, Snarky Puppy, Punch Brothers, Relish, Earth Wind and Fire, Thundercat, Steely Dan, Bill Laurance, MOXIE, and Hiatus Kaiyote as big influences on his style of playing and composing. 


"My main aim as a guitarist is to bring the acoustic guitar to places it has never traditionally been, to really show that it is the most versatile instrument in the world.”


His style of music is difficult to explain in words; he calls it simply "fingerstyle" guitar. It encompasses virtually every genre of music - in his repertoire of music Shane performs everything from funk-driven blues to classically-touched jazz standards, with Irish traditional, jazz manouche, bluegrass, progressive, and world influences thrown in the mix, as well as periodic bursts of energetic improvisation.


"Watch Shane perform for the first time and you'll feel like your brain is going to explode, you'll be like 'how does anyone do that? It's so complex but so musical and so emotional, and that's the beauty of what he does." says Shawn Jones, acclaimed American singer-songwriter (Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson).


At the young age of twenty-two, Shane has already featured on primetime national television in Ireland, has played in some of the most well-known venues in Ireland, and has been a featured performer in some of Ireland's biggest music festivals, including Electric Picnic (2012, 2013 and 2014), Longitude (2014), and the The Guitar Festival of Ireland (2016).


Shane's debut album Zephyrus was released in May 2015 to rave reviews, and an accompanying European tour saw Shane touring extensively - beginning in the UK in February; Austria, Switzerland, and Holland in May/April; Italy in July, and Germany over August and September. Toward the end of 2015 Shane began a residency in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin as a featured performer.


2016 has saw Shane feature on primetime Irish National Television (RTÉ), a featured guest appearance at the Acoustic Night at Musikmesse Frankfurt, back-to-back performances in The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland with Tommy Emmanuel, and a multitude of tours and concerts around mainland Europe. 


Shane is looking forward to releasing his sophomore album in 2017 accompanied by a tour of Europe, the USA and Canada, Australia, and the UK/Ireland, as well as focusing more on songwriting and producing. Shane will also begin to promote his next music project mid-2017, which will involve larger-scale original compositions and songs centered around a core band.