Folk Roots Radio Episode 336: Manitoba Hal Interview & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 336: Manitoba Hal Interview & More New Releases

Ukulele bluesman Manitoba Hal released a great double live album “Live in Ghent” earlier this year – the perfect introduction to his music. Hal joined us in the Quantum Sound Productions studio in Kingsville Ontario to record an edition of the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions during which he chatted about the new project and played a few songs live. We’re pleased to bring that interview and a couple of songs from the session to Episode 336 of Folk Roots Radio. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.


Manitoba Hal has dedicated his musical career to proving that the ukulele is a mighty instrument despite only having four strings. Renowned as both a ukulele player and storyteller, his strong musical chops, and thorough grounding in the blues have allowed him to build a great reputation as both a performer and workshop leader. His latest release, the double live album “Live in Ghent” was recorded while on tour in Belgium, and features a selection of Manitoba Hal originals alongside some well chosen blues and roots standards. It’s a fabulous album that feels like you’re at a live show. It’s a great introduction to his music, and well worth checking out. For more information about Manitoba Hal, visit To learn more about the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, visit

Show Notes

Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 336 of Folk Roots Radio.

Toronto singer/songwriter Shawn William Clarke is getting ready to release his latest album “Topaz”, which according to Shawn, will have more of an electric 70s AM radio vibe than his very received 2015 acoustic album “William”. The album’s first single “Autumn In New Brunswick” has just been released – a road trip in pictures, it describes riding across country in a tour van with Olenka & the Autumn Lovers and fittingly features harmony vocals from Olenka herself. You may remember Autumn In New Brunswick as one of the new songs Shawn played for us during our interview at last year’s Folk Music Ontario conference. You can hear our interview and how that song sounds in its stripped down acoustic form HERE. For more information about Shawn William Clarke, visit

Fraser/Daley feature Alec Fraser on both brush bass – that’s an upright bass with a drum attachment, and cigar box bass, with Mike Daley on guitar and banjo. Alec and Mike met while playing in the late great Jeff Healey’s tour band – they’ve been doing their two-man trio thing every since. They’ve just released their third full-length release “Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room” which features a mix of original songs that blend together influences from the blues, bluegrass, Appalachian folk and classic country.

Mama’s Broke are a duo from Nova Scotia who feature fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin, and incorporate traditional dance and foot percussion on songs that push the boundaries of the genre on songs that have a reputation for going off into some very dark places. Drawing from many styles such as old-time, quebecois, blues, punk, celtic, balkan and doom metal, Mama’s Broke create a soundscape that is both familiar and new. They’ve just released their first long player “Count The Wicked” (2014, Self).

Chesterfield and the Sofa Kings from Guelph started out as a group of friends who just liked to hang out together and jam. They’ve since morphed into a fun live band with a great name and a burgeoning reputation. They’ve now gone one better, and just released their debut album – the whimsically titled “The Rise Of The Recliner” which features their signature Chesterfield sound – a blend of folk, classic country and bluegrass with, of course, a side order of humour.

And that’s all we have time for, this time around. Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We have a lot of great music and interviews to bring you on future shows. I hope you’ll join us!


You can listen to this episode again on Mixcloud by following the link below. You can also listen to episodes of Folk Roots Radio, on demand, via iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Tune-in Radio. (Click on the highlighted link to reach your chosen platform.)


Nicolas & The Iceni (Theme)
Lucy She Rises (Demo)
Roll Right (Pre-release, self)

Shawn William Clarke
Autumn In New Brunswick
(single) (2017, Self) CDN

Montgomery Delaney
In These Hands
Almost Anyone (2017, Nightstick Records)

Oh Susanna
My Old Vancouver
A Girl In Teen City (2017, Stella Records) CDN

Arley Hughes
Circles Around The Sun
Parts Of Me (2017, Self) CDN

Matthew Byrne
Wedding Waltz
Horizon Lines (2017, Self) CDN

Manitoba Hal
Evangeline Blues (Live)

Interview: Manitoba Hal live at the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions.

Manitoba Hal
Sweet Home Chicago (Live)

One Way Travelling
Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room (2016, Self) CDN

Mama’s Broke
Black Rock Beach
Count The Wicked (2014, Self) CDN

Chesterfield and the Sofa Kings
The Palest Shade Of The Blues
The Rise Of The Recliner (2017, Self) CDN

Merlin Snider
Fly Away Sail Away
One Light Many Windows (2016, Barking Dog Music)

About the author


Host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan Hall started in Radio in 1993 at WEFT 90.1fm in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Folk Roots Radio (formerly Royal City Rag) debuted on CFRU 93.3fm in August 2005 before developing into a syndicated radio show. As the host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan focuses on bringing new folk, roots and blues music and the voices of upcoming and independent artists to the airwaves. Jan is also a much sought after stage host and festival emcee. In 2019, Jan Hall received Folk Music Ontario's prestigious Estelle Klein Award for her contribution to Ontario's folk music community.

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