Thomas Hanke, born in
Leipzig - Germany, started playing mouth harp when he was 14. In
few years, he already built himself a considerable reputation in his hometown.
At first,his main focus lay at the traditional playing technique
of the blues harp. Later, he started concentrating on amplified
playing. Nowadays, he incorporates both styles in his work.
Hanke is one of the few who was allowed by the GDR regime to play mouth
harp as his profession (in 1988 he acquired the
official licence with the highest possible grade in the
category Jazz). Two years later, together with guitar player and
singer Jörg Schneider, he founded the blues duo 'Last
Fair Deal'. Until 2006 almost 1000 concerts followed in clubs, cafes
and at festivals.
In this epoch, both CDs of Last Fair Deal were created: „Number
One“ and „Another Lucid Moment“ (R.U.M.
Records/ Löwenzahn-Verlag). Furthermore, Hanke was frequently
booked by several bands and musicians for live concerts as a special
guest, or for productions as studio musician.
Despite the fact that both 'Last Fair Deal' protagonists spend
most of their effort into their own respective band projects nowadays,
Schneider and Hanke still perform together on occasional basis.
Hanke works as Highend Full-Customizer in cooperation with the Hohner
factory in Trossingen and works at his band project Plaintive Cry.
Furthermore he shares his experience with interested mouth harp players
in the form of workshops and private lessons.
Plaintive Cry was
founded together with singer and guitar player Rik Ullrich and double
bass player Manfred Helmuth. Basis for the quick development of the
trio and the realisation of original ideas has been the intensive
cooperation between the musicians, who already performed mutual
concerts since about 1997.
The debut CD "Out of Pain" was introduced in Leipzig, 30 October 2011, at the record release party in a common gig with
Joe Filisko, Eric Noden and Marc Breitfelder.