Over the past fifteen years “Manitoba Hal” Brolund has forged an international reputation for engaging performance, storytelling and masterful ukulele playing, and he’ll be showcasing his talents at the Rimbey Beatty Heritage House on Wednesday October 18th at 7:30pm.
Hal developed the blues sound beginning in Winnipeg Manitoba, where he was given his stage name on the concert circuit. Given a ukelele by his grandfather after he promised to learn to play it, Hal switched to the ukulele after mastering guitar, impressed by the instrument’s “friendliness” to his baritone voice, its expressive range, and its capacity to evoke emotional connections with the audience. Once you have listened to his body of work, 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 yet budded on the Prairies. He now lives in Shelburne Nova Scotia.
Over the years Hal’s combination fingerpicking-strumming style has matured along with his respect and knowledge of the genre. Hal has a strong foundation in American roots / blues music, and his confident expressive vocals and distinctive original music have been showcased at music festivals, concerts and many uke workshops across North America, Europe and South Pacific. Internationally recognized as a master of the ukulele, Hal’s instruments include a custom made double necked ukulele and a steel strung baritone slide ukulele that are both driven to the edge as he bangs, plucks and squeezes every ounce of emotion and groove from the four strings. Thousands have appreciated and learned from his online library of video tutorials.
Manitoba Hal’s performances are all about engaging and connecting with his audience and he makes music that takes his audience from the deep south to the Pacific islands, with songs that are mournful, hopeful, silly, romantic and introspective. He proves that the uke can be small but mighty as he pulls out powerful blues riffs and melodies adding background beats with looping technology, showcasing the blues in all its passion and groove. He’s written many original songs, tunes that breathe with hints of cajun, rock, gospel, and folk. Over the years he’s been strongly influenced by artists like Robert Johnson, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Colin Linden, and especially Big Dave Mclean.
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.”
For more information call Teri at 403-843-6497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.