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Raised on jigs and ballads in San Francisco's Irish community, Jerry Hannan grew up listening to the music of his Irish-born parents (The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers), as well as Cat Stevens (he learned and loved every Cat Stevens song). As a youngster he took accordion lessons, switching to guitar in high school and playing in rock 'n roll bands. He was a member of the popular Marin County rock band, The Kind, in the 80s.
In the mid-1990s, he booked some time in a Marin County recording studio just to record a couple of original songs that he had written, "so I'll have something to listen when I'm old," he said. "The owner of the studio called me up and said that they would record the whole album for free." Thus the Mad Hannans, Jerry's first independent recording project was born. Recorded with his brother Sean, the Mad Hannans became a band with the recording of "Madly in Love With You" a purely recreational project of Americana Rock, which would unexpectedly change his life.
In addition to his success on the Bay Area music scene, Hannan has made quite a name for himself touring in what he calls his homeland, Ireland. The band competed in and won the Guinness Fleadh Battle of the Bands contest which landed them on stage at Spartan Stadium (San Jose) in San Jose, California with Tracy Chapman and Sinéad O'Connor headlining the event.
In 2003, after time touring internationally, he recorded and released his second CD "Sounds Like a Story". His song "DaDaDa" from the CD was featured in the Sean Penn film The Pledge (film). Jerry also acted and performed in Sam Shepard's play, The Late Henry Moss, at San Francisco's Theatre on the Square (along with Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Cheech Marin and Woody Harrelson). He also appeared as a raucous singer who offsets a romantic conversation between Sarah Jessica Parker and Harry Connick Jr. in Sony Picture's "Life Without Dick".
Recently, Hannan recorded his own creation, "Society" with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, which is featured in Sean Penn’s film Into the Wild released in September 2007. "I Thought I Was You", written by Jerry and brother Sean Hannan also plays in Into the Wild. Hannan's "Society" made it onto the official 80th Academy Awards list of 59 songs that were in the running for "Best Original Song" . Hannan released his second solo studio album "Wild Card" on 8 August 2008. Hannan's song "Got it Goin' On", features in the 2009 movie Tell-Tale (film). A film based on the short story Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. In 2012, Hannan released his third solo studio album, The Light Gets Brighter.
- Life Without Dick (2001)
- Madly in Love With You
- The Pledge (film) soundtrack
- Sounds Like A Story
- Into the Wild (Soundtrack)
- Wild Card
- Cheers, Beers, Bucket of Fears - EP
- The Light Gets Brighter