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New Orleans’ classic songs that have shaped him as a musician. Hall played around town with various bands and musicians such as The Family Players before being invited to play with Irma Thomas. The year was 1989 and it was an invitation that would change his life. “My first tour with Irma was to the UK,” says Hall. Hall says Irma’s easy personality allows him to work in the capacity of bandleader and it is her strong, sultry voice that keeps him wanting to play behind her year after year. His respect for her as a musician led him and fellow writing team members to write a song specifically to showcase her talents titled “For the Rest of My Life.” “She still includes that song on her show today,” Hall adds. It is also included twice on the newly released Just Right Band CD; once as a duet between Michael “Ve’Al” Veal and Eunice Green and also by “Ve’al” as a solo effort. Keeping band members organized, on time and on task is something Hall excels at and he takes those skills with him to the Just Right Band. Though everyone contributes to the music, Hall is happy to take on the other tasks which are more than familiar to him as a bandleader, businessman, and father. Hall loves being a grandfather, too, and spending time with his loved ones. His infectious smile draws people to him and he says he is grateful to have found a “wonderful woman” to spend time with as well. “I didn’t really expect it to happen for me again,” he adds. Being ready and open for change has expanded his professional and personal life and Hall is thankful to have the ability to make both aspects of his life a success. Hall also knows the importance of sharing his knowledge and experience with others, especially young musicians so that they can enjoy success as well. “My advice to a young musician is to listen to your heart, maintain confidence and always practice,” he says. Confidence and believing in oneself is key, according to Hall, who says he needed to learn that lesson the hard way. “My biggest mistake was putting more trust and confidence in others rather than myself. Consequently, my greatest success was realizing my biggest mistake and rectifying it,” he adds. Hall shares his knowledge and experience through speaking engagements with high school bands and players across the city. He talks about the importance of practice, how to practice and how music is an art form that must be respected. Mentoring is something Hall says is so necessary and although he is glad older musicians are taking the task on, he also feels there could be much more. “It’s not just about music, but the business aspect too that young players need to know about,” Hall says. Knowing what pay rate is acceptable is a common theme many musicians are concerned with and Hall says young players, in particular, need to be aware of playing gigs for less pay and being taken advantage of. The music elder is confident there is room for more music and better pay. “There are so many forms of music available on any given night, a vast improvement from when I started out,” says Hall. He believes the more music, the better and says he hopes club owners and music supporters find a way to open the market even further. Hall can be found playing gigs on Bourbon Street at the Funky 544, frequently at Sweet Lorraine’s and always with Irma Thomas. For more information on Hall, find and follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook. com/emile.hall2. PHOTO BY: DARRYL HOWARD PHOTO BY: DARRYL HOWARD PHOTOS COURTESY OF EMILE HALL JR. S E P T E M B E R / O C TOB E R 2 0 1 7 breakthrumediamagazine.com | BREAKTHRU MEDIA | 25


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