Much of what Ottawa-born Joe Hall says and sings is explicable only on the hypothesis that he was deported from some other galaxy. A related theory maintains that he is of obscure German origins, and was influenced by, on one hand, writers like Dylan, Cohen, and David Blue, and, on the other, genuine show-biz lunatics like Screaming Jay Hawkins, not to mention the vast unexplored field of German cowboy music.
Essentially self-taught on voice, guitar, harp, and piano, Hall has been writing and performing a long time, but it's really only since early 1977, and the now legendary house band gig at Toronto's Black Bull Tavern, that people and the press have noticed.
Hall has gone on to play bigger and better jobs: the El Mocambo, the Edge (Toronto), Barrymore's (Ottawa), Gary Taylors (Vancouver), Harpo's (Victoria), the Refinery (Calgary) and many points
between. Over his career he has served as an opening act for Joe Jackson, George Thorogood, Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs, John Martyn, Levon Helm, Carolyn Mas and the Little River Band.
His stage patter appears spontaneous: otherwise one might guess that it was co-scripted by Woody Allen and the Marquis de Sade. His band, the Continental Drift, consisted of Hall's long time accomplice, Juno nominated producer Tony Quarrington along with the late the Governor General Award-winning author of 'Whale Music' Paul Quarrington (bass) and Martin Worthy (drums).
Despite the performance quirkiness, Hall was at one time the most-played single artist on Radio
CKUA (Edmonton), and in 1979 the album 'On The Avenue' was voted album of the year by the listeners of WCUW (Worcester, MA). The song "Vampire Beavers" has received frequent airplay on the US syndicated 'Doctor Demento Show' over the years.
His songs have been recorded by Renee Claude, Judy Lander, Quarrington-Worthy, Humphrey and the
Dumptrucks, and by the German band Die Gebruder Blattschuss. Some of his lyrics have been anthologized in a English textbook.
with notes from Jeff Bateman and Michael Burke.
Full Moon And Welfare Cheques/Decadent West (Locomotive) 4695
Joe Hall & The Continental Drift (RCI) RCI-462
On The Avenue (Posterity) PTR-13009
Rah-n-cho Bah-nah-no (Posterity) PTR-13015
On The Outside
Direct to Delete (Locomotive) 001
Fresh Outta Rehab (Hovercraft)
Travelling Without Deodorant: Best of Joe Hall (1972-1988) (Cordova Bay/Oasis) CBR-0202
as JOE HALL/H.J. BOENKE
Impulse Volune 5, No. 2(Impulse) IMP-001
with JOE HALL AND THE EYEBALL WINE COMPANY
"Moveable Feast" on 'CKUA Presents: The Acme Sausage Company' (CKUA)
Official Joe Hall Website.
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