|Bob Hallett's Bio|
|Bob is proud of his Newfoundland heritage, as are all the b'ys of Great Big Sea. His family's roots date back more than 300 years to Newfoundland. Bob has a very large extended family scattered all over North America and beyond.
He has the strongest accent of all the b'ys and the lowest speaking voice, gorgeous blue eyes and auburn hair. Born on May 23rd, he grew up in the city of St. John's and was encouraged by his family to learn as many instruments as he expressed an interest in. He played the bari sax in the high school band and his grandmother taught his to play accordion. Since she was left-handed, he learned to play the accordion left-handed, even though he is a "righty." He taught himself to play the tin whistle and guitar in high school and picked up his great-grandfather's fiddle at about age 20. Supposedly he was involved in the punk rock scene for a while. I guess the earring is a remnant of that.
|He started to sing with Sean McCann when they were students at Memorial University of Newfoundland. They formed several bands and performed in St. John's. Darrell joined them in the group Rankin Street. In 1993, Alan joined the group and they became Great Big Sea. At that point, Bob had long hair and no goatee.|
|At some point after that, he got married grew a moustache and goatee and cut his hair. Not sure if they are related to the marital status or not. Through the intervening years the hair color as well as the style has changed and facial hair has come and gone. In 2006, he'd been growing his hair again and the facial hair was gone, making him look much younger. But we're now back to short hair/goatee!|
|Bob has had many other jobs, among them a 2-year stint in the Candain Naval Reserve. His most recent before GBS was Managing Editor of the Newfoundland Herald in St. John's. His love of Newfoundland music caused him to give it all up but he put the editing skills to good use by writing all the band's early publicity material and many of the CD liner notes. Bob also has a hand in writing the GBS newsletters. He recently began to share the contents of his iPod and why certain songs are on it. This account can be found at the Official Great Big Sea Website as Bob's Soundtracks.|
| Bob is a rare visitor after the show to meet and greet, but has been known to be quite friendly when he does appear.
In addition to his work with Great Big Sea, Bob has also played on other bands albums as well as produced albums for some East Coast Canadian musicians. New Brunswick has two groups that have benefitted from Bob's expertise in producing, Banshee for their A Clearer Path CD and Janelle Dupuis for her Encore CD. Newfoundland also has the benefit of Bob's experience in the studio as he has produced VInce Collins's Lifting Out the Stove and helps run an entertinment company which manages Brothers in Stereo, The Fables, Snook and Shanneyganock. I'd imagine we'll be hearing from Bob for years to come, with or without GBS!
|Bob is also a songwriter, but it used to be a rare thing to hear his solo voice. Until the release of the Something Beautiful CD in 2004, he did sing one whole verse in the Scolding Wife and the beginning 20 seconds of Greenspond. Before Sean and Alan talked him into singing his own song, Helmethead, for the Something Beautiful* CD, his solo claims to fame were occasional covers of Blister in the Sun and I Wanna Be Sedated, which a select few have heard at a show. During the Something Beautiful tour, Bob sang Recruiting Sergeant as an encore at a few shows. After the release of The Hard and the Easy in 2005, it was standard to hear TWO Bob songs every night - Helmethead and Come and I WIll SIng You, in addition to his verse in Scolding Wife. He has come a long way in his vocal performing and I hope we see and hear more in the coming years.|
|In the band, Bob plays bouzouki, accordion, fiddle, tin whistles, low whistle, bagpipes, tenor banjo and shakers and now harmonica! He also is known to have played Irish flute, mandolin and a set of bagpipes recently made their appearance on the Something Beautiful* CD. Bob's singing voice ranges from baritone to bass depending on the song. On stage, Bob seems to be a bit reserved but has been known to waltz, two-step and moonwalk through songs as it moves him. He also plays straight man for many of Alan's antics. "Silent Bob" gestures, nods or shakes his head, taps his watch, raises his eyebrows and usually reacts to Alan's messing around.|
|There is nothing reserved though about him in this video from You Tube from the show at the Molson Amphitheatre in July 2008. He's come a long way baby!|