Josh Hanna’s Basic Truth


Josh Hanna was born in Surrey, England. His lineage includes Romanian Gypsy, south Georgian (Russia), and Ukranian. At the age of fifteen he joined the Navy and travelled the world for six years as a seaman. When his Navy tour ended, Hanna returned home to England and began his career as a performer, specializing in vocals and guitar. Hanna worked extensively as a solo act, as well as with various orchestras and bands. In December 1966, he had hit the British charts at number nine with a tune called, "Sweet to My Soul," recorded on the Decca label. Hanna worked the British club circuits with such people as Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, and Jerry Dawsey (Engelbert Humperdink). Hanna became the leader of a band that toured England extensively in the '60's, called "Basic Truth." In 1973-74 he once again set sail as a ship's musician with the Pacific Orient Lines.

In 1975, Hanna came to the United States. He toured from New York to Florida, and to New Orleans as a short stint, before settling into Hollywood California. There, he hit the studio session scene, and also taught Vocals and Guitar, while still writing and performing his own Music in numerous clubs. During this time also, he met Alphonso Johnson, who had been playing Bass, and Stick with Weather Report, and had then left to form his own Band. Josh was his first choice, for the position of Guitarist, and Vocalist, in the Band! The fact that Alphonso was a Stick player, was how Josh became introduced to the Chapman Stick, and subsequently met Emmett Chapman, It's inventor, who eventually invited Josh to perform Vocals, and Vocal effects on his first album, "Parallel Galaxy", released on (Back Yard Records) in 1985. Preceding this however, in 1983, Josh had composed the theme "Olympiad" for the 1984 Olympic Games, which was used on the air repeatedly for approximately eight weeks, advertising the coming of the Games.

In 1986, Hanna took to the open road, where he lived for the next three years in a trailer and motor home, respectively, traveling extensively throughout the US, opening for acts such as Ray Charles, Tower of Power, Tania Maria, Freddie Hubbard and Leon Redbone. At that time, he made a transition from electric to acoustic instruments.

In 1989 Josh moved to Nambe, a little town 20 miles North of Santa Fe, in the Hight Desert of New Mexico, where he set up, "Redman Dream Tree Studios", the naming of which was inspired by a Dream of his dearest friend Les Redman, who had a desire to plant groves of trees over a five acre plot, to create a wind break, and bird sanctuary combined, so turning arid desert scrub, into a fresh wooded Bosque.

Josh accomplished This task, while at the same time, Running the Studio, recording; composing, and remaining active on the National and International Jazz Festival circuits as well as occasionally appearing locally in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Taos Each activity inspiring the other.

Josh, for those preceding seven years, had also been; as well as. To quote Josh,"One of the most wonderful and inspiring times of my Life." In the seven year period, up to when he closed down the Studios in 1996, Josh had planted over 1,300 trees, so his friend Les, had his Dream, and Josh had the "Redman Dream Tree “ name for his Studio. A Great trade dontcha think?!

After closing the Studios, he was on the move once again, this time with a Motor Home, and car (in tow), both filled with recording equipment, and instruments, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he spent almost 2 years. Then, he decided to hit the open road yet again, this time heading back out West, to Hollywood California, taking a House in Pasadena, amongst all those not so mythical, Little Old Ladies!

Towards the end of the next 4 years, Josh had almost totally lost the use of his hands due to a genetically inherited malady, called Dupuytrens Contracture of the Ligaments, which rendered him incapable of playing his instrument........ a shocking blow, which prompted Josh to utter, "all my Beauty is locked away inside", However undaunted, and not to be beaten, and with a single minded desire to get back on his instrument again, he started researching, on how to handle the problem, at the same time as heading South towards the Mexican Border, through Tucson, and Amado in Arizona, and so into the Santa Rita Mountains........ to embark on gold prospecting! After a short stint at this, mainly to experience the solitude that this excursion afforded; so that he could come to terms with what he was dealing with, he headed back to LA, where he spent the next year living in a BlueBird Bus, while searching out the correct treatment for his Hands. 

Then it came, and in 2002, he was off to Paris France, to get the Surgery needed to fix the problem. The operations were a total success, so much so, that Josh was inspired to write a Poem for Dr Jean Luc Lermusiaux, who turned out to be,"The Angel That Gave Me Back My Life".  And now, since regaining the use of his hands, Josh has been getting better and better, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, and here finally in 2010, if you choose to browse the pages of His Web Site, you will be able to hear for yourself, that  all of his adventures and experiences which have brought us up to present Time, have culminated into a Wonderful Musical Springboard, to take all who would like to join him, into another Lifetime, and another Beginning.


Incidentally, Josh re-connected with yet another Angel, this one from way back in the past, 20 plus years, Roy Snell, a Wonderful Artist , and who is putting this site together for Josh. Roy is primarily a visual Artist, his medium being Photography, however, he has a couple of Poems on this site, that if they don't touch your Heart, well; you must not have one!  

               Stay Tuned......... there's much more to come, Always.       Enjoy!


Take Five performed by Josh Hanna  at The Outpost Albuquerque New Mexico  2008