The Crooked Brothers and Manitoba Hal at St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage by Reg Coffey April 16, 2012


St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage

CFN – This was the second last program for the year and once again it was a terrific evening of entertainment. I have to apologize for not being at last month’s performance but I was getting the top of my feet burnt at Daytona Beach and my backup was unavoidably occupied the night of the show. However I have been told that last month’s performances meet the stages usually high standards.

I was present and accounted for last night when Manitoba Hal opened the show and The Crooked Brothers took the stage after the break. Manitoba Hal is an accomplished blues musician and singer/songwriter who is renowned for his ukulele playing. As you will see in the picture below he has a double neck guitar which he plays phenomenally.

Manitoba Hal

He does write and perform his own compositions but also covers some classic blues songs like The Thrill Is Gone which I recorded for your pleasure. I thought it highlighted his ukulele playing the best.

As seems to be the norm for the majority of musicians brought to the Stage, Manitoba Hal was an entertaining story teller describing his trials and tribulations as a musician. He skillfully carried on a personal conversation with the audience between songs and one of the most humorous tales was how he came to write the song in the next video.

The Crooked Brothers

The Crooked Brothers with upright bass player Zoe Guigueno took the stage after the break. I didn’t really know what to expect from them even after reading the program and I have to tell you I was a little anxious when the first number they performed was a classic country style song complete with the vocal twang. The style of songs they performed changed so quickly and expertly that I realized that the first song was just part of the theatre that is The Crooked Brothers.

To go back to quoting the truthful prose provided in the written program again; “The Diversity in instrumentation and vocal arrangements are the vanguard of The Crooked Brothers’ art. You will be grabbed first by the three part harmonies. Then they’ll hold your attention with a strutting funky beat, or maybe the lonesome caterwaul of a lap steel.”

I have included three videos of their performance that shows the range in style that they entertained us with.

If you haven’t been to the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, next month is the last show of the season and you really should make an effort to get yourself to Morrisburg on May 26th. The show is called “Three Singer Songwriters in the Round: Fraser Anderson, Ambre McLean, Tara Holloway.”

For more information on the Stage and the next performance you can follow the link.

1 Comment

  1. Wish I had known about this. Manitoba Hal (lives in Nova Scotia) is a phenomenal blues guy.

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