Washboard Hank’s exploits as singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and comedic backwoods philosopher, have delighted and entertained people for over 35 years. He started as a street musician playing all over North America where he learned how to present a truly entertaining show. Late at night he would have total strangers laughing and dancing in the grimmest of urban settings. This ability to spread joy has been Hank’s constant goal.
The Stradovarious Washboard, from which he gets his name, is a musical phenomenon of the first order that he plays with breathtaking virtuosity. With wild flailing motions he carves out melodies in the most unlikely yet spectacular fashion. Hank also plays guitar, 4 & 5 string banjos and the kitchen sink tuba.
Instruments: In addition to the 4 & 5 string Banjos, Martin Guitar, Kazoo, Dobro, and Mandolin, he plays his legendary Stradovarious Washboard, a truly amazing conglomeration of bells, license plates, horns, duck calls, pots and pans. Hank kicks, dances and flails arms in a display of musical wizardry, carving out complicated melodies which leaves them rolling in the aisles.
One day driving down the highway, he saw what he thought was a tuba, an instrument he wanted to play. Instead it was a stainless steel kitchen sink; so of course he took it home and attached it to 5 metres of spiralling pvc pipe and a tuba mouth piece; put his legs, arms and guitar in the middle, blew out a beautiful melody of how the Dinosaurs Came Back; and The Kitchen Sink Tuba became a hit with all his fans. Since its creation, Hank’s Tuba has been played on TV shows such The Elephant Show, YTV The Zone, Eric’s World, and Mr. Dressup. To avoid extra baggage he has built tubas in Belfast, Ireland, Victoria, BC, Ohio, Alberta, and now Mexico.
Hank has designed his own One Man Band with drum and cymbals which he plays simultaneously with Banjo and Kazoo (as seen on the Shining Time Station TV children’s show). This becomes a great feature leading a Parade with the kids playing homemade and improvised instruments through festival grounds.
Hank created and leads a Parade, every year at the Blue Skies Music Festival and for the Fred Eaglesmith Picnic.
Song writing is the heart of who Hank is as an artist; and strong song writing is the foundation of a highly entertaining show. In many instances Hank has fashioned songs for specific occasions, on request.
Recently: Hank played for the opening of the Stompin Tom Centre in Skinner’s Pond, PEI, on Canada Day 2017. He’s been The Mayor at the South Country Fair in Alberta; The Paganini of the Washboard at The Washboard Festival in Ohio; and the Host/MC at Peterborough Folk Festival, all for 3 years running.
Over the years, he has performed at virtually every type of venue imaginable, from country fairs and large exhibitions, all types of festivals, university and college events and night clubs, to national museums and galleries, schools, libraries and at corporate events. Hank is often asked back by popular demand, year after year.