Sunday, June 29, 2008

Martin Sustainable 3C

Nothing new in the uke world? Guess again. Martin's making a Style 3 built from cherry and other sustainable woods. Sweet! Anyone know how it sounds?


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project

Congratulations to David Seubert and everyone involved with the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at UC Santa Barbara for being named one of the 50 Best Websites of 2008 by TIME. It's definitely one of my most-frequented sites. When I find something I particularly like, I download the mp3 file and import it to iTunes. I've played around with the iTunes equalizer and have developed a custom setting for cylinders.

Today, I'm listening to Helen Louise and Palakiko Ferreira's 1916 recording of "Hilo March."

Again, congrats, and a big mahalo for making this historic archive accessible. Link

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

From across the Big Puddle

next week on BBC4 there's a half hour documentary about:
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Tuesday 24 June 2008 13:30-14:00 (Radio 4 FM)
Phill Jupitus follows the celebrated ensemble of all-singing, all-strumming ukulele players who command a good following. Their unique blend of comedy and music fills venues worldwide and boasts many celebrity fans. Musicologists explain the finer nuances of their subversive and high-quality ukulele playing and arrangements.
direct link.

You can listen to it live by going to this link. and starting up the player
or you can listen to it again by going to the same url and clicking on 'listen again'
and then look up the program.

(thanks for the tip, Shelley!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Bloomsday!

Happy Bloomsday, one and all. A great day to have a glass of burgundy, some mity cheese, and give everyone a few choruses of Love's Old Sweet Song. Yes I will. Yes!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mann on the move

Boston singer/songwriter Tim Mann has been playing around the New England area for quite some time now...either as a solo, or with Greg Hawkes. His new album is called "Distant Srangers" and is out now.

Dig it.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Gina Gershon Does...

Well she says she didn't. But she does.

Herb Ohta, Jr. in Santa Cruz

Andy sez:
Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz presents...
An evening with
Herb Ohta, Jr.
Solo Ukulele ~ An Intimate Performance

Friday, June 6
Potluck party with Herb at 6:00 Show at 7:30 Kanakapila after??
Galli Cabinets, 575 Seventh Avenue, Santa Cruz
(I guess cabinets are provided--ed.)

Tickets: $10-20 (sliding scale) and CDs will be available

If you would like to sign up for a private 'ukulele lesson with Herb in the afternoon
before the show please contact
or call Andy at (408) 687-5250

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bo Diddley RIP

In honor of a remarkably rhythmic life, here's a little tribute to Bo Diddley.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ukulele Yes! -- The Classroom Ukulele eZine

Go here. Now.

Ukulele Yes! -- The Classroom Ukulele eZine

Gerry Long, James Hill, and Ukulele Yes!

I first met Gerry Long about four years ago at the NoCal Uke Festival in Hayward. At the time, his book, 50 Easy Uke Chord Solos, was still on the press. At first, the uke snob (can there really be such a thing?) in me dismissed his approach, since he advocates using Low-G tuning. I kind of like that re-entrant tuning poses certain restrictions on the uke, and was even heartened to learn that Jake Shimabukuro uses re-entrant tuning on his Tenor in order to preserve the unique sound of the ukulele. I even have a distant relationship with my Harmony Baritone because part of me feels that it's just a small guitar with two fewer strings.

Nonetheless, I still remember Gerry's argument from our initial meeting. Learning that I am also a tuba player, he excitedly noted that I should find Low-G tuning more natural because tuning the G-string down an octave allows you to play chords with a solid root--and that's what the tuba is usually assigned. (On a side note, I figure that being a bass player is also part of what makes Lyle Ritz such an innovative jazz ukulele player. Rather than searching around for the root on the fretboard, I presume that Lyle naturally hears it in his head as he plays.)

Gerry's book has been out for a couple of years now. It comes complete with a CD recording of James Hill playing all 50 of the solos in the book. The book also includes an extra Low-G string so you can restring your uke. Brilliant. Check everything out over on Gerry's site. You can also sign up for his weekly e-mail newsletter, which is filled with lots of helpful stuff and news.

Speaking of which, Gerry's Uke Tip's #8 announced the on-line return of the legendary ukulele publication Ukulele Yes! From the introduction by the new editor (ta da!), James Hill:
"Established in 1976 as an "an Association to promote the teaching and enjoyment of music," Ukulele Yes! became an international network of ukulele teachers with the common goal of fostering musicianship through ukulele instruction. In 1976, a Ukulele Yes! membership—just $10 a year—got you a membership card, a very fetching Ukulele Yes! button, and a subscription to Ukulele Yes! magazine."
It's online now, it's free, it's Canadian, ukuleles are involved...what more could you ask for? Link

Tappy Returns to the Pink Lady

Bill Tapia played for the opening of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Now he just played for the (temporary) closing.
"In 1927, Hawai'i-born Bill Tapia already had a lifetime's worth of musical experiences under his belt. He was 19 years old and criss-crossing the Pacific Ocean playing jazz guitar for steamship passengers.

During a trip home to see his parents, though, band leader Johnny Noble offered him a few extra dollars to stay here for a special job: Playing on opening night of a new hotel in Waikiki: The Royal Hawaiian.

Last night, 81 years later, as The Royal Hawaiian prepared to shut down for six months and an $85 million renovation project, Tapia was back home, playing his first love, the 'ukulele, for hundreds of adoring fans in one of Honolulu's most storied musical venues, the Monarch Room."

Top 50 Ukulele Sites