Winston Hall
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Winston Hall

Shreveport, Louisiana, United States

Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Band Americana Blues

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http://gosanangelo.com/news/2009/may/31/piano-man-hoping-uso-tour/
- San Angelo Standard Times/ Go San Angelo Online Edition


http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200906170600/SEVOICES/906160351

- Shreveport Times


Winston Hall: Shreveport’s Own Piano Man

If you have ever stepped foot in Superior’s Steakhouse Piano Bar on a Saturday night, then you’ve already met Winston Hall - and he is quickly becoming known as one of Shreveport’s best entertainers.

Hall’s love of music began at the age of five when his mother introduced him to the piano. He says he owes his piano career to his persistent mother.

“She never let me stop practicing,” Hall said. “She would set the kitchen timer for thirty minutes and I had to sit at the piano no matter what, even when I was five years old and my feet didn’t reach the floor yet.”

While studying to become a journalist, he moonlighted as a piano bar entertainer. “I was eighteen when I got my first real piano gig,” Hall said. “It was at a Chinese restaurant in San Angelo, Texas, and a man came up to me and requested ‘Piano Man.’ When I told him I didn’t know it he gave me this look of complete disbelief that I’ll never forget. I went home and learned it that night.”

After earning a journalism degree in 2004, Hall moved to San Antonio and then Nashville, where he came close to abandoning his piano forever.

“I remember once in Nashville, I booked a gig downtown and when I showed up the night of the gig they had double booked and told me to go home. I remember standing on a lonely, dark, side street, just like in a movie scene. I was ready to quit right there. But when I came to Shreveport, I really felt like genuine entertainers and creativity were embraced here. It was refreshing.”

When Winston first arrived in Shreveport, local casting agent Brinkley Maginnis introduced him to the steakhouse and suggested he play the piano there.

“From the moment I met Winston, he made me smile,” she said. “Winston is one of those rare men that truly has heartfelt emotion, passion, and caring, and is not afraid to share it with you in life and in his songs. His spirit and charm always capture an audience and keep them coming back for more.”

In 2007, when Hall first relocated to Shreveport, he also began working in the film industry. His experiences, he says, will last a lifetime. While working on his first film, Mad Money, Hall had a unique experience with acting legend Ted Danson, an experience that inspired him to keep pursuing music.

“That was a really funny night,” Hall said. “Ted’s apartment flooded and I got sent over to help him move his stuff. While we were working, we chatted about life and music and he shared his wisdom with me. It was kind of surreal because when you grow up in Gatesville, Texas, you never think at any point in life that you’ll be having a heart to heart with Ted Danson.”

Nowadays, Hall focuses almost entirely on being an entertainer. Luckily, Nashville’s entertainment loss is Shreveport’s gain. After playing Superior’s Steakhouse Piano Bar over 100 times, not to mention hundreds of hours playing the piano at venues all the way from New Orleans to Nashville, Hall has created an entertaining style all his own -
and that style comes with avid fans.

“Winston Hall is such a talented musician,” said Bishop Porter, a Shreveport local who first heard Winston perform at Superior’s Steakhouse. “He’s a natural entertainer and really lights up the stage and draws in the audience. You can tell he loves what he does and it comes across when he’s performing. That’s what makes it so fun to see him play and hear his music.”

Hall recently released a self-titled EP, which is garnering attention and has received radio play in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Hall combines the influences of great artists who inspired him like Billy Joel and Ray Charles with his own soul and creates a style uniquely his own. His lyrics examine his own struggles in show business, his nights in smoke-filled blues bars, and the revelations he has had sitting behind a piano almost his whole life.

“I’m always looking for a bigger stage,” Hall said. “Being successful in music is like trying to surf a wave. The biggest challenge is catching the wave in the first place. But lucky for me, I really feel like I’ve caught the wave here in Shreveport.”

Because of internet play and because he has performed live in front of thousands of people, Hall has fans all over the United States. When he’s not doing solo performances, Hall performs routinely with his band. The band includes the legendary Shanks brothers, Tim and Jimmy, who have backed Hall since he was in college.

“Winston Hall has a smooth, soulful voice that is complimented by his expertise in ‘tickling the ivories,’ said Vicki Lybrand, who lives in North Carolina. “Closing your eyes...it's easy to imagine that you are in the presence of a young Billy Joel or the bluesy John Legend. You owe it to yourself to seek out where Winston is playing...cozy up to the stage and get lost in his performance.”

Hall is not only an amazing pianist, songwriter and singer --- he is truly an entertainer in every sense of the wo - Southern Hospitality Magazine


"Kinfolk" including local musician Winston Hall of Shreveport entertained crowds at the Centennial Celebration in Adamsville, Texas. - Lampasas Dispatch Record


Discography

Winston Hall, Self Titled E.P. (2008)
Syringa and What Do You Say are receiving radio play.
Winston Hall Sun Studio Recording (2009) New Orleans Girl is receiving radio play

Photos

Bio

The famed poet E.K. Wallace once said, “An artist’s journey is his song.” If this is true, than the song of Winston Hall is one of perseverance.

Since leaving home a decade ago, Winston’s style has constantly evolved. From the classic outlaw country of his childhood in rural Texas, to the jazz influence of his years as a marimba player in a jazz band, to the countless nights he spent entertaining in piano bars, to a foray into Hollywood, Hall has a musical maturity that only comes from slogging through the endless trenches of live entertainment.

Hall’s first venture in the music business started in San Antonio followed by a disappointing stint in Nashville. Time and again, Hall faced the challenges of establishing a name, only to be faced with the brutal realities of all aspiring entertainers.

Soon, Winston turned his eyes to the film industry and the tide of fortune turned his way. After moving to Shreveport, Louisiana, he took a lower level job in the film industry. One night, in a chance encounter with acting legend Ted Danson, Danson encouraged Winston to do the thing which “makes you feel alive.” Inspired and encouraged by the chance meeting, Winston recorded his self-titled EP in 2008 followed by a session at the famed Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2009. (His Hollywood adventure inspired his jazz/rock instrumental entitled Martini’s Up.) For all his troubles, Hall learned one thing from his time in “Hollywood”: dreams are achieved by those who go and get them.

Abandoning Hollywood, Hall focused full time on music, performing five and six nights a week. Hall’s stylings mimic the great artists that inspired him like Billy Joel and Ray Charles, but Hall combines their influence with his own soul and creates a style uniquely his own. His music examines his own struggles in show business, his nights in smoke-filled blues bars, and the revelations and life-truths he has learned sitting behind a piano almost his whole life.

Hall brings to the stage a powerful versatility. He has performed at The Wild Horse Saloon in downtown Nashville, the Hard Rock Café in New Orleans, Louisiana, and everywhere in between. This variety and determined veracity is the trademark that has helped Winston Hall develop a commanding stage presence and a following throughout the southern United States.

Backed by the Shanks Brothers, Hall’s show is an entertaining, energetic display of rock, soul, and even a few laughs. He has pleased audiences from San Angelo to San Antonio, Austin to New Orleans, and Gatesville to Nashville. Winston Hall just may well be the next great piano man of our generation.

Yahoo Video link of clips from live concert: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/4310658/11580655

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78IdOxmFqUg

www.winstonhallmusic.com