Utica native Joe Hannigan fulfilled his dream. He got to sing with his idol Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers. The magic happened after Hannigal wrote a letter to Gill about his struggles, which began in 2012 when he started losing his hearing. After several doctor visits Hannigan was diagnosed with Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome, leaving him deaf in one ear.

Hannigan says SCDS is "A tiny hole in your inner ear bones that causes a whole bunch of disruptions." Although surgery helps 95% of people, Hannigan was the unfortunate 5%.

So how can a musician, who's hearing impaired still play and sing? With the help of a cochlear implant that Hannibal says aren't approved for people with hearing in one ear. "The folks a Vanderbilt built a strong case for me and got it approved. It took some time to get use to, blending robotic sounds with natural sound."

Hannigan's story touched the Time Jumpers and Vince Gill who immediately agreed to have him join them on stage. "I had no idea these guys were so clever and funny. It was just an incredible moment," says Hannigan.

So who does Hannigan have on his bucket list to sing with next? "I live about a mile from Charlie Daniels. I'm thing about knocking on his door," he joked.

Joe Hannigan Interview

Shortly after being diagnosed with SCDS, Hannigan wrote a song to raise awareness about the disease called 'Hear Again.'

Hear Again

Stay Connected


More From Big Frog 104