Wednesday, December 26 | 6PM-10PM
Ray Charles once said, “Soul is a way of life, but it is always the hard way.” Pianist, entertainer, and vocalist Winston Hall knows more than most about “the hard way.” Often performing more than 200 times a year, Hall has succeeded in making a name for himself, and in the process formed an unconventional and unique music career.
A native of Gatesville, Texas, Hall began his musical journey by starting piano lessons at the age of five. While in college at Angelo State University, he toured the United States and Mexico as a percussionist playing the marimba and vibraphone with the Angelo State Jazz Percussion Group.
After graduating in 2004 with a journalism degree, Hall eventually relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a song-writing career. While in Nashville, Hall performed with Bigger Picture Group recording artist Craig Campbell (“Family Man” and “Fish”), Heather Morgan, Tim Baumgartner, and a host of other up-and-coming Nashville artists. During his stint in Nashville, he performed at such venues as The Rutledge on Fourth Avenue, The Wild Horse Saloon, The Bluebird Café, and the Listening Room in Franklin, Tennessee.
In 2007, Hall took a detour into the film industry, where he worked as a piano coach for Bernie Mac on the motion picture “Soul Men”. In 2010, Hall partnered with executive producer Donna Chance to produce and direct “Unbroken: the Pearl Bluegrass Circle.” This award-winning film documented the bluegrass culture that developed in Pearl, Texas, a small town near Hall’s childhood home. (www.unbrokendocumentary.com)
Throughout Hall’s colorful music career, he has performed for church services, casinos, funerals, restaurants, beauty pageants, politicians, chimpanzees, guest ranches, steakhouses, nursing homes, Wal-Mart patrons, Bill Clinton’s limo driver, and even a retirement home bar called “Grumpy’s.” While performing, he has had a piano catch fire, watched a woman dance on the piano, received a bloody lip, and once relinquished his seat to Dennis Quaid who blew through his rendition of “Great Balls of Fire.”
These varied and unique life experiences influence his eclectic musical style and have made him a musical chameleon. Hall’s original music and interpretations of standards create a style that combines the raucous sounds of rock and roll with the improvisation of jazz, the rolling bass lines of New Orleans boogie-woogie, the melodic smoothness of classic country songs, and the grittiness of the blues.
Hall has independently released four recording projects: a solo song-writing demo in 2005, followed by his self-titled EP in 2008, “Sun Studio Recordings” in 2009, and the single “Goodbye NOLA” in 2011. Hall performs regularly throughout Louisiana and Texas and is currently being featured at 2Johns Steak and Seafood’s “Jazz and Blues Night” in Bossier City, Louisiana, every Thursday (along with stand-up bass player Chris Allen). Hall also performs regularly at Boomtown Casino in Bossier City and annually at Shreveport’s Cork Festival and Red River Revel.
Winston Hall’s music is available for download on iTunes and cdbaby.com.