Manitoba Hal




Recommended Listening:
Dancing In The Moonlight Buy
Down In The Kitchen Buy
Devil On The Wall Buy
Flirting With Mermaids Buy
HUCKSTER Buy
Little Box of Sadness Buy
Ukulele Bluesman Buy
Sample Track:  Man Was Born To Lie
(from "HUCKSTER")

Manitoba Hal is a guitarist, songwriter and ukulele player. Using a combination of looping technology and effects he creates a performance that is one-of-a-kind. His combination of finger picking and strumming creates an instantly accessible sound that compliments his fresh and inventive originals and arrangements of traditional blues.

Manitoba Hal is a consummate blues man, having toured Canada extensively with a ukulele. Picturing him in his 100 year old cottage in Nova Scotia, one can’t help wonder how someone can sound like he grew up in the Deep South of the States and play raw, swamp, delta, Cajun and zydeco style blues. Hal developed the blues sound when he lived in Winnipeg Manitoba (where he also got his name). “Winnipeg, often referred to as the Chicago of the north, is situated in a delta between the Red and Assiniboine rivers. I was born at the blues and when I found that music inside me, I came alive and my soul started expressing itself in songs that flowed with that music. The blues is where my soul came into this world. Where it will end up I don’t know but I’m ready for the journey”.

About why he made the switch from guitar to the ukulele, Hal replies, “I noticed that sonically it occupied this space that was in pitch above my voice. This gave my vocals a lot more room in the song without colliding with the notes of the accompaniment as they did when I played guitar also I noticed that people seemed amazed at the sounds I was producing with the ukulele. The last thing that clinched my decision to switch to uke full time was that for all the years and concerts I’ve given as a guitarist, people usually didn’t tell me stories of their life when I play guitar. [However], people seemed compelled to communicate about their life when the uke is played. I like that.”

Peter Hodgson of Mixdown Magazine writes “Manitoba Hal has created something wholly unique and idiosyncratic out of several elements that already existed. He’s not the first guitarist to switch over to ukulele. Nor is he the first musician to use looping pedals. And he’s certainly not the first guy to play the blues, but the way he approaches the combination of those elements, and mixes it with his own musical sensibilities, is just perfect. A tireless live performer, ambassador for the uke, and all-round great musician.”