Ukulele spectacular set for Osprey

Published on September 10, 2012
Manitoba Hal

It’s a ukulele spectacular called Leaning on a Lamp (and Other Delights) as “King of the Ukulele” Ralph Shaw will be joined by Manitoba Hal, Rev Hank and Nigel D'Eon to entertain with a variety of ukuleles and other instruments on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. in the Osprey Theatre.

These diverse and talented musicians and singers will perform music by George Formby, the surf sounds of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, along with everything from the Blues to the Beatles. They’ll introduce a ukulele handcrafted by Shelburne County’s Russel Crosby. They’ll feature the banjo uke, double-neck uke and a resonator uke.

Ralph Shaw is a born entertainer. Sparkling with wit, charm and an infectious comic energy, the cheerful Shaw entertains with his musical genius and infectious laugh-out-loud comedy. He might croon a 1940s Inkspots classic or channel Elvis, Bowie or Tom Jones.

Manitoba Hal is an accomplished guitarist and songwriter, but he is best known for his ukulele chops. After his grandfather gave him a uke in 1995, Hal found that it transferred easily to his blues guitar style, complimenting his combination of finger picking and strumming, as well as his gospel vocals.

Some don’t think of the ukulele as a blues instrument, but Hal takes out all the hula, leaving only deep blues in its place. Hal uses a looping technology to produce a one-man band experience, adding background beats to his extraordinary ukulele strumming and riffing.

Rev Hank (Mike Diabo) claims the title “Ukulele Surf King.” His trio Urban Surf Kings have released five CDs of surf rock, 1960’s style. The group’s 15-song CD “Get Instro-Mental” features titles such as “Big Surf at Black Point” and “Chicken Pot Pie.”

Mike Diabo is also a successful solo artist, a composer for movies and TV, as well as a producer. He’s toured the world with the combo “Rev Hank Meets Wadadli Riders.” Rev founded the 30-member Halifax Uke Gang in 2008 so all ukers, regardless of ability, could get together once a month to play the ukulele.

Pubnico native Nigel D'Eon is a well-known local ukulele musician who now calls Shelburne his home. Nigel is a member of Bocephus Blue & The Tragic Love Song Band. He has exceptional ukulele skill and the style to match.

The "Leaning on a Lamp (and Other Delights)" ukulele show takes its name from a 1937 song written by Noel Gay and performed by George Formby Jr. Tickets are $15 and $5 for students available at the Whirligig Book Shop, 875-1117 Tuesdays - Saturdays, and at the door on the evening of the show.