Thomas Hanke
Thomas Hanke

Thomas Hanke, born in Leipzig - Germany, started playing mouth harp when he was 14. In
only a 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.

Nowadays Thomas 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.