Joe is from Dublin, Ireland, and has been playing the guitar since he was about 15. After a number of years playing electric guitar with rock bands, he switched to playing folk and traditional music on acoustic guitar. From 1997 to 2004 he played with the highly regarded Belgium-based Irish/Scottish band Shantalla, which released two internationally acclaimed CD's – 'Shantalla' and 'Seven Evenings, Seven Mornings'. While there are many great folk bands around, Joe's distinctive, driving guitar style and sound helped Shantalla to stand out from the pack. This did not go unnoticed by a certain Dutch/English trio and it was while playing in the Netherlands that Joe and Omnia first crossed paths. They liked each other and Joe agreed to play guitar on two tracks on Omnia's 'Crone of War' CD and also made a few live appearances with them.
In 2004, Shantalla disbanded and Joe joined Omnia on a permanent basis. Their first full length studio adventure together resulted in the genre-defining album 'Pagan Folk'. This was followed by another classic album 'Alive!', as well as the iconic DVD 'Pagan Folklore'.
For a variety of reasons, Joe dropped out of the Omnia live-band around 2011 and recorded a third album 'Turas' with a re-formed Shantalla. Over the following years he toured with Shantalla, although making a couple of festival appearances here and there as a guest with Omnia. He also played on some tracks on Omnia's 'Wolf Love' and 'Earth Warrior' albums.
Although continuing to play and record with Shantalla – a fourth album is on the way – Joe has re-joined Omnia for 2018 and will be playing all of their concerts this year.
Follow Joe on Twitter: @joehennon
Info for Guitar Nerds:
Joe usually plays a Takamine 'The Storm' Limited Edition guitar with a CoolTube preamp. On stage he plays through a Boss AD5 acoustic instrument processor to achieve that massive guitar sound. From time to time he will shake things up by playing a Lowden guitar because life is too short to just play one guitar isn't it?