|Produced by Hal Brolund & David Findlay
Hal's Kitchen - Shelburne Nova Scotia
Otitis Media - Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Manitoba Hal - guitar, ukulele, vocals
David Findlay - Keyboard, piano, vocals
T. B. Player - upright bass
Jonathon Barbagallo - drums
All Songs © Hal Brolund (SOCAN) 2013 except
Sweet Home Chicago (PD) by Robert Johnson
Titanic Blues (PD) by Hi Henry Brown
Nine bullets of pure blues triggered by Manitoba Hal’s reunion with his resonator guitar fly with precision on his twelfth recording, “Devil On The Wall”. Every note is right on target as this ‘Ukulele Bluesman’ demonstrates his marksmanship on both four and six strings, as well as his artistry as a vocalist and songwriter.
Omens of warning and signs of hope appear as Hal reveals the radiance hidden in the darkest of hours while reminding his fated fugitives, restless hearts, and lost travelers that even their brightest intentions can cast foreboding shadows. “Devil On The Wall” opens with it’s title track “.44”; an ominous tale of murder, escape and capture inspired by an urban myth about a dead body encased in the walls of an old hotel. The album’s drive follows the solid groove of Australian drummer Jonathon Barbagallo with, “Love Sign” a bold profession of love as yet unrequited. Penned by elusive bluesman Hi-Henry Brown, Hal includes “Titanic Blues”, a voice and resonator blues offering Captain Smith’s assurances for his unsinkable ship’s doomed passengers. Also included is the classic “Sweet Home Chicago” with Hal’s enthusiastic invitation to join him on a journey to the heart of the blues. “Smile” returns to the full electric blues sound with keys provided by the album’s producer, David Findlay and upright bass by T. B. Player. Hal creates a warm trio of voice, ukulele and resonator guitar on “Daylight” as the sun rises on a new day dawning the second half of the record. “Love Carries On” shares a daybreak departure taking to the unending road alone, leaving love behind. Manitoba Hal concludes "Devil On The Wall" with two songs about outlaws and outcasts; as lovers compare themselves with the heated passion of partners in crime in "Bonnie & Clyde", driving full throttle into reckless love. "Tom & Huck" is Hal's rambling resonator instrumental sailing the listener off to further mischievous adventures.
Tom Sawyer’s adventures accompanied Manitoba Hal on his writing retreat at an isolated solar powered cottage near Fort Coulange Quebec in October of 2012, where he crafted all nine songs on “Devil On The Wall”. His first guitar-based album since 2006’s “Come The Ruination”, Hal plays a one of a kind hand-built Arvey resonator built by Thunder Bay luthier Richard Harvey. Spending most of the last seven years performing mainly on ukulele, Hal’s love for the guitar never faded as he returned to it at home in Shelburne, Nova Scotia between his relentless tours across Canada, the U.K. and Australia. “Devil On The Wall” was recorded at Hal’s home studio and at David Findlay’s studio in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
Imagine the blues meeting the Acadian shore in a seaside carnival of snake oil salesmen, tattooed women and mermaids! Carney's stealing the gate reciepts share space with fast food vendors and various hucksters. There are all types here. The bluesmen, the lovers and the hungry.
Before you ask, yes this record was recorded with the ukulele in the main performance roles of every song save two. Every solo that you might think is an electric guitar is a ukulele, most of the organ sounds on this record are a ukulele. Heck even some of the percussion is performed on a ukulele. My goal was to create a record that was fun to listen to, that told a story and didn't require you to be a fan of ukulele to enjoy.
|Featured performances by|
Old Man Luedecke
Naming the Twins
Produced by Hal Brolund & Nicole Colbeck
Pecorded at Harbourtone Productions,
Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
Creatively Engineered by Alex Buchanan
Mastered by J Lapointe,Archive Mastering
Flirting With Mermaids paintings by Léanne Colbeck
Manitoba Hal is also featured on the following recordings:
Other Artists covering Manitoba Hal's songs: