Hugh Oliver is an 83-year-old up-and-comer in the Toronto music scene bent on making it to the big time! He writes prolifically and plays regular gigs at the Tranzac Club, The Horseshoe and elsewhere around town. He’s a YouTube sensation who has just released his first full-length CD.
The film centers around Hugh’s golden day of recording with some of Toronto’s top musicians (Christine Bougie, Chris Coole, Michael "Rosie" Rosenthal, Emilie Mover, Nichol Robertson, and Polaris prize winner Patrick Watson). Hugh’s music producer and friend Marco DiFelice decided to film the recording sessions and the idea for a documentary was born. In addition to the studio footage, Marco interviews Hugh about his life, his art and his aspirations, and adds quirky animations to illustrate some of Hugh’s songs and poems. Through his stories and lyrics, and with an incredible amount of candor and charm, Hugh teaches us that any age is a good age to dream, to play, to write, to learn. Tackling everything from death and aging to love, war, pop culture and the human condition, Hugh’s songs and poems are at once delightfully irreverent and excruciatingly honest. A tale of friendship and artistic endeavour, The Ballad of Hugh is a heart-warming, inspirational doc that sheds a hopeful lyrical light on the intricacies of aging.