Feature

Manitoba Hal: ukulele, venison and zombies


Manitoba Hal

Manitoba Hal's foot stomp

Manitoba Hal puts the I in independent. He’s released eleven recordings over fourteen years, many of them homespun at his own studio. He’s carved a well worn groove in the Canadian touring landscape, hauling his gear from house concerts to concert houses.

It might even be argued that Hal Brolund puts the I in DIY, because his it is as about as unique as any other Canadian roots music artist’s schtick. He’s a big man, with a big sound, and a tiny ukulele. He plays the blues and gospel with a backup band comprised of loop-pedals and a Manitoba-license-plate-foot-stomp. He isn’t following a fad; he’s been a ukulele-bluesman since 1997, long before YouTube pushed the instrument to its current state of ubiquity.

Adding to Manitoba Hal’s DIY resume are his passion for home renovations (he recently relocated to an old house in Shelburne, Nova Scotia) and slow-food cooking. Roots Music Canada’s Brian Crosby caught Hal in the act of cooking Venison Hash while in Toronto recently, and the result: a delightful short film and a zombie named Jacques.

Watch The Woodshed Sessions, Episode 12, plus the short film, plus full performances of Manitoba Hal’s songs below.

Manitoba Hal – The Woodshed Sessions, no. 12 from Roots Music Canada on Vimeo.

Links to subjects to which Manitoba Hal referred in the conversation:
2010 Ukulele Video of the Year (from Ukulele Hunt)
Canadian blues guitar legend David Essig Woodshed Session Episode 5

Manitoba Hal – White Dog from Roots Music Canada on Vimeo.

Manitoba Hal – Poulet Shack from Roots Music Canada on Vimeo.

Bonus YouTube outtake from the session: Manitoba Hal – Sixteen Tons

Watch past episodes of The Woodshed Sessions here.

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6 comments

  1. avatar
    Ode'Lady 29 March, 2011 at 12:00

    Watching you play and cook from a very amateur ‘RootsTable’ in Shelb. Co, Hal…fun and inspiring, thanks! Not sure how long ya been here, but WELCOME! to our piece of paradise, man…(see ya at Subway maybe, ahaha!)

  2. avatar
    Megan Swaine 30 March, 2011 at 12:23

    Three of my favourite things: Zombie Waiters, Venison and Bluesman Hal’s Music!

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