Manitoba Hal: ukulele, venison and zombies
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.
Bonus YouTube outtake from the session: Manitoba Hal – Sixteen Tons