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Jeffrey "Jeff" R. Hanna (July 11, 1947) is an American singer-songwriter and performance musician, best known for his association with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. His professional music career has spanned six decades.

Early lifeEdit

Hanna was born in Detroit, Michigan.[1] In 1962 at age 15 he moved with his family to Long Beach, California. As a high school student there, he and some friends started a jug band that ultimately evolved into the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.[2]

Musical careerEdit

He was one of the founders and is the longest-serving member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, where he has been a singer, songwriter, lead guitarist, drummer and washboard player. Through the years, he has been a major force in keeping the band together and maintaining its blend of folk, country and rock music.[1][2]

Hanna has over 380 recording credits, primarily as a composer, but also as a vocalist, guitarist (acoustic, electric, steel, slide, twelve-string, and baritone), arranger, and producer.[3]

In addition to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, his credits include work with artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Suzy Bogguss, The Texas Tenors, Patty Loveless, Rascal Flatts, Matraca Berg, Hannah Montana, Emmylou Harris, The Chieftains, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Earl Scruggs, Michael Martin Murphey, Dickey Betts, and Steve Martin.[3]

In 2006, his composition "Bless the Broken Road", co-written with Marcus Hummon and Bobby Boyd in 1994, won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song.[4] It has been recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Marcus Hummon, and, in the Grammy year, Rascal Flatts.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Hanna's children are visual artist Christopher Hanna, and Jaime Hanna of the Hanna-McEuen country music duo.[6]

He has been married to Matraca Berg since December 5, 1993. The couple met while touring with Clint Black in the late 1980s. Shortly after their marriage, Hanna wrote his Grammy-winning song.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Jeff Hanna Discography". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  2. ^ a b Stambler, Irwin; Landon, Grelun, eds. (2000-07-14). "Dirt Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band". Country Music: The Encyclopedia. Macmillan. pp. 135–137. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  3. ^ a b "Jeff Hanna - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  4. ^ "Jeff Hanna - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  5. ^ a b "Jeff Hanna + Matraca Berg — Country's Greatest Love Stories". Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  6. ^ "Hanna-McEuen Biography". ARTISTdirect. Retrieved 2016-04-12.