Sunday, February 19, 2017

Antebellum Instruments: 1952 Regal "Tara Guitar" Baritone Ukulele

While we're chatting about Wendell Hall, here is a rare instrument that was mentioned by The Red Headed Music Maker in one of his method books. There's some speculation that Hall coined the name Tara Guitar and was associated with Regal's manufacture of them. (Regal did make WH signature ukes.) Despite its name, it's a baritone uke, but Wendell recommended tuning it E-A-C#-F#. Lots of fine pics at the link, along with some historical commentary in the comments section. Link

It Looks Like Rain: Frank Ferera, Ukulele

Apropos of this weekend's stormy weather. From the UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive, here is Frank Ferera on ukulele backing up Ernest Hare singing Wendell Hall's comic song, It Looks Like Rain. (Which I'm guessing is an attempt by Wendell to follow up on the success of his It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'Link

Would you like the original sheet music? Ok. Here.

How about It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'? Oh, alright.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Jake Shimabukuro On Pedals

At an earlier time in his career, Jake Shimabukuro eschewed effects, going for a purer sound. He's now returned to the world of pedal effects, albeit with a more mature approach and considered curation.

This interview is worthwhile watching if only because it's to hear Jake speak about something other than the old tropes that every interviewer drags out.

Video at the Link

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lil Rev GoFundMe for New CD

Got a nice note from Marc Revenson, aka Lil Rev, who is launching a GoFundMe fundraiser for his next recording.
Sing Song Daddy is a collection of 15-20 original tunes composed for ukulele and voice, with accompaniment. The songs speak of love, loss, redemption, renewal, blues, friendship, polarization, compromise, contemplation, labor history, ukulele madness, humor, miracles, the vaudeville era, civil war, and so much more. Some are songs i have danced around with out on the road and others are fresh from pen to paper. None of them have ever been recorded before. This record will pick up where Happiest Way To Be Sad left off but with a whole lot more true grit, back road, no holds barred, take no prisoners kind urgency that has been our life the last couple years. 

Here's the GoFundMe Link.

If you're a fan of Lil Rev, please consider supporting him. If you've never heard of Lil Rev, where have you been? Here's a YouTube video to whet your appetite.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Aloha Uncle Eddie Kamae

With great sadness, we note the death of legendary Hawaiian musician and ukulele great Eddie Kamae yesterday at age 89.

Uncle Eddie was a co-founder of the Sons of Hawaii and an inductee of the Ukulele Hall of Fame. He inspired generations of ukulele players and Hawaiian musicians. You have probably played his lovely "E Ku'u Morning Dew". Here is a virtuoso ukulele version by Troy Fernandez.

Here is a link to Uncle Eddie's album "Heart of the Ukulele", which showcases his amazing tremolo style of solo playing.

Early obituary at Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Image credit: Ukulele Hall of Fame

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Kiss My Pineapple

Al Wood found the covers of two 'zines from the dawn of the Third Wave of ukulele popularity. Way back in the late 20th Century!

A call on the cocoanut wireless to Bill "Rock That Uke" Robertson revealed that these are the only two issues of Kiss My Pineapple

Kiss My Pineapple was published in the early 90's by the punk band Pineapple Princess from San Francisco--a duo comprised of Beth Allen and Pamela Schulting. Pineapple Princess is featured in the documentary Rock That Uke. Which Bill sez is still for sale and available in the equally arcane Dee-Vee-Dee format. Contact Bill via the RTU website.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fatty Arbuckle on Taropatch

Ladies and gentlemen, for your holiday enjoyment, Roscoe Arbuckle on Taropatch.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kamaka Centennial

Nice article on Kamaka Ukulele's 100th anniversary this year. Link

Aloha, Mr. Trentlage, Composer and Banjo Uke Player

Sorry to learn of the passing of Richard D. Trentlage, erstwhile banjo-ukulele player and composer of the beloved Oscar Mayer Wiener jingle.

Read about Mr. Trentlage's storied career and see one of the original TV spots at he The New York Times.

Here's an article from the 50th anniversary of the song in 2012.

And finally, a link to the final resting place of Mr. Trentlage's Werco banjo-ukulele (pictured above), upon which he composed The Oscar Mayer Wiener song, at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

(photo: Wisconsin Historical Society)

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Penultimate Tribute to Bob Dylan

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain member Peter Brooke Turner''s alter ego Tony Penultimate in a little Dylan tribute, shot in an airplane lavatory. Congrats on The Nobel, Bob. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Todd is (Ukulele) Godd

Ukulele demi-god and erstwhile rock star Todd Rundgren was recently artist-in-residence at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Before he left, he gifted the children at the local homeless shelter with ukuleles of their very own.

The gift was made through Todd's Spirit of Harmony Foundation.

Here is a link to a story in the South Bend Tribune.

Well done, sir. Hats off!

The above video is Todd performing his version of an ancient Hawaiian war chant. Which you may recognize.

Friday, September 02, 2016

UkeFest Virginia 2016

Ukulelia's Smeck Scholar in Residence, Rachel Manke, sez, don't miss UkeFest Virginia, Saturday, November 5, in Richmond. Early bird prices are in effect until October 1st!

Complete details at this link

Thursday, August 25, 2016

James Hill Workshop: Lafayette, CA

East Bay ukers take note: James Hill will be conducting a workshop at Lamorinda Music in Lafayette, CA on Sunday, September 18, 2016.

Details to come. Advance registration will be required. We'll post a link shortly.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ukulele Chord Poster by Aaron Taylor-Waldman

Adam Varga dropped us a note to point us to this swell chord-chart-cum-art-poster his friend Aaron Taylor-Waldman created.

Baby not included.

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