Jonathan McEuen
Gig Seeker Pro

Jonathan McEuen

Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Six Strings is the Guitar - Seven is the Spirit"

Jonathan McEuen doesn’t play the guitar - he is the guitar.

It’s one of the first heated nights of the summer, the patio of Soho ( is open, and the crowd is sunset-bathing like happy lizards smiling at life. And there were reasons to smile when Jonathan McEuen took the stage and franticly drifted into melodies evoking pains and joys, life and death, sunrise and sunset. On his side was Jesse Siebenberg (, and the ying and yang of perfect guitar alchemy rocked the night away, and our souls with it. To encapsulate the wholeness of Jonathan’s skills and methods to healthy madness is vain, for the mystery above can only be heard and felt - never totally unveiled. But from a “Say a Prayer” to “One Day,” we know that indeed, and as he wrote it, this was the night, “The night I made the devil cry.” For indeed, for an instant, in this temple of love, we could forget the sound of thunder, the speeches of hate, the separation and the destruction sinking us all. For a second, we rose above all of life’s misery and we took back what belongs to us: the right to live, the right to smile, the right to love.

My eyes are still glued to that guitar - that perfect other half that composes the singer, Jonathan McEuen - and I can only agree that even if the instrument has only six strings, it needs one more to make it come alive. The seventh string is the spirit deeply embodied by the genius of the humble musician playing with the gods of music. And humbled we are at listening to perfection unfolding in front of our ears, our souls. “There are pieces of the sky all around you,” wrote Jonathan in “Say a Prayer.” Well, together, let’s all say a prayer for Jonathan, for us. For the divine is what makes us be and do. For we the people will always rise from the ashes of despair and keep reaching for a piece of paradise. John Lennon was right, “We’re dreamers,” but for sure we’re not the only ones! So come on and join us. Together, let’s celebrate life.

An interview with Jonathan McEuen:

Emmanuel Itier: What is the meaning of touring?

Jonathan McEuen: It is critical to tour. You have to get out there and play for the people to create a solid fan-base. The most important part of playing in the smaller towns like Santa Barbara is the building of community - in this case, building community with your songs and music, showing others what sort of community you come from too. Playing for the local community and then taking it out from there seems to work well for us…acting locally, acting globally.

EI: What’s your credo? What do you want people to get from your music?

JM: I want people to be able to connect with the music on many levels. If this is done successfully, then you can only begin to imagine the messages one can send to another in this amazing medium of music - a higher consciousness, perhaps, involving so many different levels of experience. You can take it anywhere. We want our songs we write to be printed in the songbook that generations to come can enjoy.

EI: How is the business today? How tough is it to make it?

JM: Musicians have more opportunities to make it today than ever. The distribution and recording means is in each own’s hands now. The question is: How many people are doing what you do the same way you are doing it? Probably a lot. So what you do is you offer the world something unique…strange…smurfy…blue…something. If you are willing to give it everything you’ve got and leave a little room for a touch of the unknown, then this is the best time to be a part of the music business.

EI: What is the next frontier for you - the next challenge?

JM: To create the sound that I have been refining for a couple of decades that involves a little finger lickin’ pickin’, some good ol’ singing’, and some honkey tonk songwritin’ that’ll blow your socks off. We bring you “‘MMmmerican Music.” Let’s take it out to the world and give our thanks to all those who helped influence it . These respects are best given in a large concert situation, preferably outdoor, in every city around the world. We do weddings - preferably Hawaiian.

EI: What keeps you going? What keeps you inspired?

The songs keep me going. The stories. The songwriters. The situations of rare occasions that find you collaborating with someone you only dreamed of working with. Once the dream becomes the reality, you have a chance to hang there in that space. Then you realize why you do it in the first place…to hang in that space! For the occasional reality check, I simply get onto the 101 Freeway and drive into the city at night, listening to the latest and greatest mixes of tunes from Texas to record on a record. That’s why we do it.

- Buzzine Magazine

"Hanna McEuen"

Hanna McEuen Interview 8/23/05

An Interview With Hanna McEuen
By: Andrew Vaughan

It has been a long time since any act came close to really conveying the sadness, joy, and harmonic dexterity of the Everly Brothers. The Everlys, of course, crossed all musical boundaries, from country to folk, pop, and rock, but this brand new duo may just surpass anything Phil and Don achieved way back when.

If the names Hanna and McEuen are familiar, it’s because these two are offspring of two of the most influential musicians in 70s country music, Jeff Hanna and John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt band. It was the Dirt Band who came to Nashville with a bunch of folk rock pop hits from the 60s, recorded Will the Circle Be Unbroken with Nashville’s legendary artists of the time. That lineage is continued beautifully by Hanna McEuen.

“Something Like a Broken Heart,” their debut single, has caused all kinds of commotion in Nashville. It’s fresh-sounding and contemporary, but also filled with a legacy that these two players clearly understand and appreciate. Elsewhere on the album there’s a delightful mix of loud and soft, superficial and deep, old and new, all lashed together around two voices which blend so perfectly that duo singing has just reached a new level.

Jaime Hanna and Jonathan McEuen are first cousins and sons of identical twin sisters, Rae and Kae. By the time he was seven, Jonathan McEuen was performing at his father’s Rocky Mountain Opry show in Colorado. “I was always allowed to be the ‘electrical guy’ in bluegrass, and I always had an electric guitar with me, even when we opened for Bill Monroe. Bill would always ask, ‘Whose guitar is that back there?’ But that never discouraged me,” recalls McEuen. “It just made me want to learn more about playing acoustic, finger picking, and flat picking.”

The 30th anniversary of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s release of Will The Circle Be Unbroken was marked by a third album in the series, Circle III. Their idea was to bring Jaime and Jonathan in to record "Lowlands” for the album. “I don’t think anyone in the band thought it would be anything more than a special moment,” says Hanna, “kind of an ‘aw’ moment for the dads.” McEuen agrees, adding, “I guess they thought it would be cool to get the boys in and see what happened.” The collaboration was noticed and led directly to the MCA album.

Every now and then the formula sound that keeps Nashville alive is challenged by artists who refuse to be pigeonholed. Hanna and McEuen have delivered a daring and exceptional album, and I would happily call them pioneers if I thought anyone had a chance of following them.

Every once in a while a group is discovered for their natural talent. Duo Hanna-McEuen couldn't be described any better.

Jaime Hanna and Jonathan McEuen are first cousins and sons of identical twin sisters, Rae and Kae. Spending so much time together growing up and always living near each other lent itself to strengthening the bond between the two. In addition, their fathers are Jeff Hanna and John McEuen who have been playing music together for nearly 40 years as founding members of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Natural talent is a given here.

The real treat starts the first time you hear Hanna-McEuen. While their vocals are equally effective no matter who is singing lead, their voices transcend melody lines and harmonies with a blend that is unmistakably linked to acts like the Everly Brothers, whose overall sound can only be explained by shared bloodlines.

The unique nature of this duo is further proven by their musicianship. Both are accomplished guitarists whose work is featured throughout their debut album. Each brings to the table his own set of musical experiences and influences.

Jonathan McEuen first got his family's attention when they heard him singing along to a song on the radio at the age of two. By the time he was seven, he was performing onstage at his Dad's annual Rocky Mountain Opry show at the famous Colorado venue, Red Rocks. He was soon acting in plays which led to him landing the lead role in a high school production of The King and I, although he was still attending elementary school. By the age of twelve he was under contract with Disney to appear in The Mickey Mouse Club during the Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera era. "That fell through because I couldn't tap dance," McEuen says.

But he sure could play guitar, as evidenced by countless shows with his dad, which included bluegrass festivals and playing with the likes of Sam Bush and Vassar Clements. At the same time, McEuen was front man for a series of bands.

"I was always allowed to be the 'electrical guy' in bluegrass, and I always had an electric guitar with me, even when we opened for Bill Monroe. Bill would always ask, 'Whose guitar is that back there?' But that never discouraged me," recalls McEuen. "It just made me want to learn more about playing acoustic, finger picking and flat picking."

For Hanna, the path to guitar playing was a bit less direct. His earliest experiences were playing drums, but that all changed for him when he saw Steve Vai playing guitar in the movie Crossroads. "I was hooked. By the time I was fourteen I was obsessed with the guitar," Hanna says.

After high school Hanna relocated to Nashville. "I was with my dad listening to Dwight Yoakam records when I heard Pete Anderson's distinctive guitar sound. I was intrigued with his playing and before I knew it, Dwight's songs started sticking in my head."

This led to a real interest in songwriting. It was around this time that Hanna met Raul Malo, lead singer of The Mavericks, who were just about to break through in country music. "He played me the video for "What A Crying Shame," and I was completely blown away. Eventually I played Raul one of my songs and we wound up writing together." Among other things, this led to Hanna's first publishing deal. "One night Raul asked me to sit in with him for a couple of songs at the Bluebird Café, and a week later The Mavericks hired me as their harmony, rhythm guitar and percussion guy."

While Hanna and McEuen were both out pursuing their individual musical paths, they would get together as often as they could make those paths cross. "Every chance we had, we would play together," Hanna says. "We played Deadwood, did little summer tours, and recorded in Nashville. Even if we hadn't seen each other for a year, we'd pick right up like no time had passed."

Over the years McEuen started playing his cousin's songs and putting his own unique imprint on them. "I'd always ask Jaime if he had any songs I could cut," McEuen says. "He writes great stuff. He's my favorite writer."

Late in 2001, the cousins each received a call from their dads. The 30th anniversary of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's release of Will The Circle Be Unbroken was to be marked by a third album in the series, Circle III. Their idea was to bring Jaime and Jonathan in to record "Lowlands" for the album.

"I don't think anyone in the band thought it would be anything more than a special moment," says Hanna. "Kind of an 'aww' moment for the dads," McEuen agrees, adding, "I guess they thought it would be cool to get the boys in and see what happened."

Well, a lot happened. A video was shot for "Lowlands," which led to appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Grand Ole Opry. Hanna-McEuen's version of "Lowlands" had its own magic and wheels began to turn, both within Hanna-McEuen and from outside.

As record label interest grew, Hanna and McEuen realized they already had the core of an album. "The songs have been written over the past several years, so they've evolved," Hanna says. "Jonathan will phrase a line differently than I did, then we'll find a happy medium. It's the same with our guitar playing, we take the parts we each hear and find a way to lock them together."

By combining songs Hanna had written, and both had performed, with songs McEuen had written and played, they were well on their way. Their material covers a wide range of styles, but one common thread runs throughout them.

There's an undeniable, identifiable chemistry that the two cousins bring with them, somewhere between brothers and best friends. "I've been more in tune with Jaime over the last ten years than anybody, but until now we've never really gotten to work together professionally, so it's all new and fresh," McEuen reflects. "It's like a brand new experience, only you know exactly what it is right away."
- American Music Channel

"Hanna McEuen (Aug 16 2005)"

Americana radio will certainly eat this up, and hopefully country radio will also open its arms and welcome the fresh, new and vibrant sound of Hanna-McEuen. These two multi-talented guys have a fine pedigree as their fathers are Jeff Hanna and John McEuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame. They are also first cousins who share a close harmony, similar to the Everly Brothers, in all they sing. Musically the duo is in the cool category once reserved for such acts as Foster & Lloyd and the Mavericks. Their eponymously titled debut disc is a near-perfect showcase for these singer-songwriters with sharp, hook-filled songwriting (mostly from Hanna's pen), excellent instrumental work (both are accomplished guitarists) and sparkling production courtesy of James Stroud and the boys. Things kick-off with "Fool Around," a Buck Owens-styled toe-tapper before segueing into "Blue Sunrise," a dark ballad with ominous electric twang that would make Chris Isaak proud. The bittersweet uptempo tune "Something Like a Broken Heart" was co-written by the Mavericks' Robert Reynolds and seems a likely candidate for lead single. But the Mavs' influence seems even more evident on the percolating cumbia rhythm of "End Of Me." The pensive "Is It Only Me" has the rhythmic feel of Simon & Garfunkel's "El Candor Pasa" and features an exquisite nylon string guitar solo. These guys are wont to wear their influences on their sleeves. A ringing 12-string guitar sound can be found on the haunting Byrds-like minor key masterpiece "Someone Else." A retro-Sixties feel surfaces on "Tell Me" with its Beatles-ish "She's A Woman" arrangement. The introspective ballad "Ocean" closes the album on a hope-filled note with McEuen on lead vocals. The lushly orchestrated number is proving a concert fave and could well be the song to help this act cross over. Hands down, best debut album of the year. --Ron Young

- Music Row - Ron Young

"Hanna McEuen"

Plenty of rock influence informs this sparking debut by cousins Jaime Hanna and Jonathan McEuen. With the twang of dual guitars and the blood ties of tight harmonies, Hanna McEuen puts their artistic imprint on consistently solid material that evokes the bittersweet balladry of the Eagles ("Read Between the Lines"), the romantic ache of Bruce Springsteen ("Something Like a Broken Heart"), the sing-song purity of Buddy Holly ("End of Me"), and the bittersweet buoyancy of the Everly Brothers ("Rock and a Heartache"). Though the rootsier, banjo-driven "Wild Eyes of Love" sounds closer in spirit to their dads' band, Hanna-McEuen suggests that the gap between classic rock and contemporary country has never been narrower. - Amazon - Don McLeese

"Talk About History"

Talk about history. This duo is first cousins who grew up playing music together in their shared hometown of Evergreen, Colorado. So, what, you say? Well, their mothers are twins (Rae and Kae) who both married founding members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jeff Hanna and John McEuen. For the past 40 years, Jaime Hanna and Jonathan McEuen's fathers have been performing together.

Jonathan McEuen started performing at age 7 at his father's annual Rocky Mountain Opry show at Red Rocks. He continued performing with his father at bluegrass festivals, playing the lone electric guitar and singing, while fronting his own bands on the side. McEuen was drawn to learning acoustic guitar because of the influences of his years playing electric guitar with his father.

He nearly was chosen for the Britney and Kevin years of Mickey Mouse Club, but was denied because he couldn't tap dance. Hey, you still have your hair, right? And, you play damn well!

Jaime Hanna was originally a drummer. But, the movie Crossroads got him hooked on guitar, which he was obsessed with at age 14. After high school, he moved to Nashville. Dwight Yoakam's songs were a catalyst for Hanna's own burning desire to write songs. He then met Raul Malo, lead singer of The Mavericks, who became a songwriting partner. Eventually The Mavericks hired Hanna as their harmony, rhythm guitar, and percussionist.

In the meantime, Hanna and McEuen would get together as often as possible to play together, which at some points was as infrequent as an annual jam session. Then, in 2001, the elder Hanna and McEuen called upon Jaime and Jonathan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's release of Will The Circle Be Unbroken with the release of the third album in the series – Circle III. Jaime and Jonathan would record Lowlands for the album. The song took off, and the two were popping up all over late night talk show land, and they formed their own group together. They play well off of each other, and when you hear their music, you'll see what I mean.

There's something special about the younger Hanna and McEuen. While they look like they were plucked right out of the 1950s, their music resonates. Their singing seems to touch a chord in a very strong, positive way. It's strikingly good and solid and pleasant. They are accomplished guitarists, and it's not just talk. They produced it on their own with James Stroud. Excellent work. I'm no country bumpkin or fan, for that matter, but, you drew me in on this one, guys.

Well-written lyrics. They say a lot without spelling it all out for me. I like that. There's great chemistry and balance between the two cousins in their music.

My favorites are Fool Around, End Of Me, and Rock And A Heartache. Here's the lowdown on a select handful:

Food Around, [Jaime Hanna, Alan Miller] Nothing typical about this country song. They're good. You just need to listen to understand. And, that piano.

Read Between The Lies, [Jaime Hanna, Jonathan McEuen, Alan Miller] They slow it up a bit here, because she's probably cheating; maybe that's why the girl is so distant and changing the subject. I'm all for giving musicians credit for their contributions, and generally it's underwhelming or overkill on the callouts. Here, they tell you who's playing that harmonica, and even that is special.

End Of Me, [Jaime Hanna, Dennis Britt, Alan Miller] is catchy.

Rock And A Heartache, [Jaime Hanna, Dennis Britt, Alan Miller] Different, catchy. Upbeat. - Musicincider - by Ra-Ra

"Duo Are Country Legend Legacy"

Country duo Hanna McEuen has just released their self-titled debut album, released August 16, 2005 on Dreamworks Records. This week, these first cousins and sons of identical twin sisters (their fathers are the founding members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) will take a break from their summer tour to fly out to Los Angeles to film the video for their new single “Ocean” with the acclaimed Malloys. The family film making team has made award-winning surfing documentaries (including “Thicker Than Water” with musician Jack Johnson), feature films, and music videos for Metallica, The White Stripes and The Foo Fighters, among others.

Hanna McEuen’s new single “Ocean” is a stirring acoustic ballad that closes their upcoming album. Jonathan McEuen says, “The song is about a dream that can come true and will come true. The more we played the song on tour, the more people were touched by it.”

The twosome will celebrate the release of their debut album when they perform on The Tonight Show (NBC) on August 18th. The duo and their strong musical lineage will be complimented onstage by Jesse Siebenberg (offspring of Supertramp drummer Bob Siebenberg) on drums and Teddy Jack Russell (son of revered session man Leon Russell) on bass.

- BeansTalk Biz Newsletter - Aug 2005


Sampolin' 14
Hanna McEuen
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Vol 3 (Lowlands single)



Jonathan McEuen was born to play music and bring joy to those listening. His dad was a famous rock star banjo picker (John McEuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). Good genes help, but when people respond to Jonathan’s extraordinary voice and guitar playing, it’s obvious he’s not just another son of a star.

He spent his youth (and young adult life) on the road, doing what he loves most, playing guitar (acoustic & electric) and singing with the family, with more than a few world class artists (Dave Mason, Sam Bush, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Willy Nelson and more), and he’s fronted a few of his own bands. Most recently, he put in serious time as half the lead of Hanna McEuen, a major label country duo with his cousin Jaime Hanna. That experience confirmed he was ready to move forward and create music outside the confines of his eclectic musical influences and any specific genre.

With more shows behind him than he can count (Jay Leno, Grand Ol’ Opry, and Red Rocks among them), Jonathan’s well-prepared to take music and audiences in a new direction. Playing music without limitations is what he’s pursuing. Creating the need for new genres, he’s breaking some molds, transforming musical traditions and stealing shows - one stage at a time.

With a guitar in his hands, and a microphone in front of him, if people with a heartbeat are within earshot, you can almost hear the sound of jaws hitting the floor and frequent religious invocations. Audiences are left breathless by his unbridled passion, “edge of your seat” guitar playing, moved to tears by the depth and intense beauty of his voice, and scream with abandon when he breaks into a Prince, Dan Fogelberg, or Cream cover. Moving fluidly through folk, rock, bluegrass, blues and country influences, he makes it all his own, deftly fusing genres in a thrilling, eclectic way, with a generous helping of wit and charm.

Jonathan is setting exciting new standards on stages everywhere. Grab your friends and get ready for a THE show!