Devil On The Wall

by Manitoba Hal

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    This is how you order the physical CD of Devil On The Wall lovingly presented in a 100% post consumer recycled digipak.

    Includes immediate download of 9-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
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  • Immediate download of 9-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

    All orders will receive a documentary video recorded in October 2012 featuring early performances of some of the music from this CD along with short interview segments with Manitoba Hal.

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about

"Devil on the Wall is a very bluesy album. A couple of fine covers of blues standards appear amongst the rollicking original tunes. Manitoba Hal may have set his ukelele aside for much of the album, but there is no denying that the man knows his way around a blues guitar. With a sweetly vulnerable cry in his naturally authoritative voice, the prairie boy turned blue-noser leaves no doubt that he has mastered the feel-good heartbreak that defines a really good blues tune.
Devil on the Wall is a fairly short album, only nine tracks, but it proves the adage that good things come in small packages. Do yourself a favour and check this one out." - No Depression Review


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.

credits

released 01 April 2013

Produced by Hal Brolund & David Findlay
Recorded at
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

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about

Manitoba Hal Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Manitoba Hal proves that the uke can be small but mighty as he pulls out powerful blues riffs and melodies.

Hal uses live looping to produce a one-man-band experience, adding subtle important background beats to his extraordinary ukulele strumming and riffing. Many wouldn't associate the ukulele as a blues instrument, but Hal takes out all the hula, leaving only room for deep blues to prevail.
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Track Name: .44
.44 © Hal Brolund (SOCAN) 2012

There's a body in the walls of this old hotel
Nobody would notice the smell
There's a hobo dancing in the old grave yard
Nobody'd be gone that long.
Two times, two times four
When I left I slammed that door
And all I could think of was
Be careful what you wish for

(chorus)
You don't let a black cat cross your path
If you love your momma don't step on a crack
Pride goes before that fall
Don't paint the devil upon that wall

I closed that wall, I slammed that door
I shot him with my .44,
In the hallway past that bullet hole
Nobody'd be gone that long
Two times, two times four
I ran until I couldn't run anymore
My heart was pounding
Be careful what you wish for

(chorus)
You don't let a black cat cross your path
If you love your momma don't step on a crack
Pride goes before that fall
Don't paint the devil upon that wall

After all was said and done
I never should have bought that gun

They caught up with me as I was leaving town
The black and whites they threw me down
There's a hobo dancing in the old graveyard
Nobody'd be gone that long
Two times, two times four
I'm in this jail for forty four
The judge he said
Be careful what you wish for

(chorus)
You don't let a black cat cross your path
If you love your momma don't step on a crack
Pride goes before that fall
Don't paint the devil upon that wall

You don't let a black cat cross your path
If you love your momma don't step on a crack
Pride goes before that fall
Don't paint the devil
Don't paint the devil
Don't paint the devil
Upon that wall
Track Name: Love Sign
Love Sign © Hal Brolund (SOCAN) 2012

I've got an old piece of wood, I'll make you a sign
I've got an old piece of wood, I'll make you a sign
Let you know I love you, let you know you're mine

The sign will say I love you, it's gonna have my name
The sign will say I love you, it's gonna have my name
So if you forget me now, you only have yourself to blame

I will take that sign and place it by your door
I'll take that sign and I'll place it by your door
So your neighbors will know you're not single anymore

I'll take that sign and stake it in the ground
I'll take that sign and I'm gonna stake it in the ground
So you'll always know I love you when you finally come around

I've got an old piece of wood, I'll make you a sign
I've got an old piece of wood, I'll make you a sign
Let you know I love you, let you know you're mine
Track Name: Titanic Blues
Titanic Blues by Hi Henry Brown

Early one morning, it was about four o'clock
Early one morning, it was about four o'clock
That old Titanic began to reel and rock

Captain Smith took his glass and he walked right up to the front
Captain Smith took his glass and he walked right up to the front
Saw that iceberg, oh lord we're gonna bump

Some folks were crying and some folks were playing cards
Some folks were drinking and some folks were playing cards
Some were in the corner, praying to their god

Children were crying mama mama what shall we do?
Children were crying mama mama what shall we do?
Captain Smith said child I'll take care of you

The Titanic went down, went down in that deep blue sea
The Titanic went down, went down in that deep blue sea
The band was playing nearer my God to thee

Early one morning, it was about four o'clock
Early one morning, it was about four o'clock
That old Titanic began to reel and rock
Track Name: Smile
Smile © Hal Brolund (SOCAN) 2012

You can tell I love you honey by the way I smile
You can tell I love you honey by the way I smile
And if that don't prove it just take a good look in my eyes

You can tell I love you honey by the way I walk
You can tell I love you honey by the way I walk
You can tell what I'm saying by all this little baby talk

You know I love you honey, that's a natural fact
You know I love you honey, that's a natural fact
A love like this you just cannot take it back
(it's got a no refund policy)

Everyday, everyday I pray you will be mine
Everyday, everyday I pray you will be mine
And I will love you until the very end of time

You can tell I love you honey by the way I smile
You can tell I love you honey by the way I smile
And if that don't prove it just take a good look in my eyes
Track Name: Daylight
Daylight © Hal Brolund (SOCAN) 2012

This is a song for those who've lost their way
A simple lyric for those lost in the fray
Daylights coming, it's gonna be a brand new day

You've got to hold onto to hope, hold onto joy
Grab that feeling like a child grabs a brand new toy
Daylights coming, it's gonna be a brand new day

They say the nights always darkest just before the dawn
And that pale moonlight will soon be gone
But you can make it through the night
It's just a little while before daylight

So this is for those who need a little bit of light
And for those who need help in the middle of the night
Daylights coming, it's gonna be alright
Daylights coming, it's gonna be alright
Daylights coming, it's gonna be alright
Track Name: Love Carries On
Love Carries On © Hal Brolund (2005)

I said to the wind I heard blowing
It's time that I was moving on
I hear the whistle blow, I see the train coming
Woman I'll be gone before the dawn
I know all about your other lovers
I've seen you wait to call until after I've gone
You can save all those tired stories
This time I'm moving

It's no surprise that you got lonely
After all the time I've been gone
I chose this life and I guess I should be grateful
But it's a hard life for two to travel on
When you wake up in that morning glory
And you find the note I left there by your door
You should know that I hold you blameless
And I'll go but my love carries on
I'll go but my love carries on
I'll go by my love carries on
Track Name: Bonnie & Clyde
Bonnie & Clyde © Hal Brolund (SOCAN) 2012

I like it when we're driving with the top let down
The wind in our hair, blowing all around
We're living on the edge, reckless and wild
We'll run rom the law like Bonnie & Clyde
We'll take it to a hundred on the quarter mile
Run like the devil for the county line
Outlaws of love is the game we'll play
And they're not gonna catch us today
We're Bonnie & Clyde

Now those old folks say it just ain't right
That boy's a little reckless and the girls a little wild
They don't understand Bonnie & Clyde
Those outlaws of love are the luckiest kind
I know what you're thinking about that night
Those two met their end in a hell of fight
Living fast and free has got it's price
But let me tell you baby it's a hell of ride
When you're Bonnie & Clyde

If I had to steal one kiss
I would want it just like this
Soft and wet, reckless and wild
Like Bonnie & Clyde

I like it when we're driving with the top let down
The wind in our hair, blowing all around
We're living on the edge, reckless and free
We'll blow them all away....
You and me