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Sheldon Jaaskelainen gives worst performance of his life

As he asked whether we were "scrubbed on the washboard of the Lord" with his signature Stradovarious washboard strapped to his chest, his crash symbol hardhat fastened to his head and his Gravestone Lickers on either side, Canadian hillbilly eccentri
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As he asked whether we were "scrubbed on the washboard of the Lord" with his signature Stradovarious washboard strapped to his chest, his crash symbol hardhat fastened to his head and his Gravestone Lickers on either side, Canadian hillbilly eccentric Washboard Hank made people cry at Loplops Gallery-Lounge this week.

He made Sheldon Jaaskelainen cry.

By forcing the young Wild Turkey to play his fiddle left-handed.

As the crowd teared with laughter.

Okay - Sheldon didn't really cry.

But he was pretty reluctant.

"That's the worst I've ever played in my life," Jaaskelainen said after the laughter died down.

With one children's album and three "children's albums for drunk adults" under his belt, Washboard Hank makes serious business out of making people laugh.

But it didn't start out that way.

He told SooToday.com last night that he never became interested in music until a friend of his began putting his poems to music.

That was more than 30 years ago.

Hank has since embarked on endless travels across North America, enjoyed a four-year stint as one of Fred Eaglesmith's Flying Squirrels, and made Stompin' Tom Connors proclaim, "If I had to watch a night of Washboard Hank, I'd sh*t my pants."

Oh, and Hank has also perfected the fallopian tuba, making him quite possibly the only musician on the planet who plays everything including the kitchen sink.

Hank will tell you he doesn't play anything very well.

But what he feels he may lack in musicianship, Washboard Hank more than makes up for in humour, charm and hillbilly finesse.