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Flirting with Mermaids

My friend Barb, who among other things blogs as Bad Tempered Zombie, introduced me to the recording Flirting with Mermaids by Manitoba Hal. She did this in the best possible way – she mailed me the CD! Barb knows I like all kinds of roots music, or what I like to call that folky-dolky music. That includes the blues, and regular readers of 27th Street know it also includes the ukulele.

Manitoba Hal is a really good uke player. He also happens to be a really good songwriter and performer too. Flirting with Mermaids is a well-balanced mix of original tunes and covers, recorded with clean, sparse arrangements that let the uke and vocals play off one another nicely.

I’ve only had a chance to listen through a couple times, but I’ll be giving Hal’s music some time. So far my favourite is a very bluesy arrangement of the Merle Travis tune, Sixteen Tons.  As I type this, I’m listening to Down in Pubnico – it’s got some accordion and fiddle happening along with the uke. I’m enjoying the way this one builds with additional vocals.

I like that Manitoba Hal has strayed a little off the beaten path and worked at finding a unique and personal style. I think there is plenty of room for some alternative instrumentation in a recording scene that loves guitars/bass/drums.

I did a search for Manitoba Hal on YouTube and sure enough there he is….

Thanks Barb for sending Flirting with the Mermaids my way. I’m really enjoying this!


  1. I am so pleased that you are enjoying the CD! I knew immediately upon hearing it that I needed to introduce you to Manitoba Hal’s music, because it is so unique. And really, is there anything finer than being able to make musical introductions?

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