Friday, September 25, 2009

Mighty Uke Premiere and Concert

This might very well be the uke event of the year. On October 2, 2009, Tony Coleman's ukumentary Mighty Uke will receive its premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival. And to celebrate, there will be a Mighty Uke Concert, featuring John Braman and Jim & Liz Beloff. The concert is a benefit for the Killian Mansfield Foundation. Do not miss it! Link

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hale Kula Update

It's nice to see that the community is rallying behind the kids at Hale Kula Elementary. As we reported earlier, some creeps walked off with 25 Kamaka ukuleles over Labor Day. Still can't believe they haven't caught the crooks yet. Let's hope they're dumb enough to try and pawn one of the ukes. Link

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Ukuleers

Click here to view these pictures larger

Catching up on uke news, I ran across an article about Adam Mentzer, a player from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and tucked into the comments was this gem from former Ukuleer, Tana Reiff:

"I was a member of the folk group, the Ukuleers, in York County [PA] back in the '60s. We landed in time between Arthur Godfrey and Tiny Tim. This article hit in the same week Mary Travers died. She was my idol and the Ukuleers were Peter, Paul & Mary wannabes. You want to see geeky and hip? Here's a picture of us circa 1965.

"I never posted an image to a board, so I hope you can see this because it's a good chuckle. That's me at age 14 holding the tenor uke, with the bow in my hair. I was the youngest. On the left is Rick Bowen, now a music professor in Indiana. Joan Kling became a nightclub singer. Denny Updegraff, the bongo dude, and Dave Myers, on the right, did not pursue musical careers as far as I know. We eventually graduated to one guitar, three baritone ukes, and bongoes. In perfect 4-part harmony, we covered Dylan and PP&M, of course, as well as spirituals, Pete Seeger, and even "Ragdoll" by the Four Seasons. We lasted three years. A big payday was $5 apiece, but it kept us in instruments, felt picks, and outfits. It was the most fun ever and, ask anyone, we were really good. Glad to know ukuleles are back!"
Ukuleles are back. Now let's hope the Ukuleers are, too!

Happy Autumn, Uke Lovers

Art by MiKiMoNo


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Uke Are Marshall

Marshall University's new TV commercial features studen Juston Donadieu and his uke. I'm glad that's not a vintage Martin he's playing when he gets doused in Gatorade. Link

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Rope's the Dope

Peter Hurney, from Pohaku Ukuleles, has a this interesting ukulele on his's how it came to be:

"A customer provided me wood from a very old apple tree taken down on his family property. Along with the wood came a story of how a rope that was used in taking down the tree got tangled up and came dangerously close to strangling the customer and turning him into the unfortunate woodsman.
Fortunately he survived to have a section of the tree turned into this soprano ukulele. After considering his story I chose to whimsically tie the rope theme into the artistic composition of the ukulele.
Fruit woods have been traditionally used in instrument construction over the years however rarely commercially. I measured the dimensional stability of the wood before commencing construction and found it to be an amazingly stable choice of wood. The body and neck are made out of the Apple and I mated it with a Sitka Spruce soundboard which has a bear-claw figure to it."

more photos of the ukulele

Who was that customer, you may ask?

Robert Wheeler, of course...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Paper Moon Paper Toy

"Say it's only a (ukulele playing monkey sitting in a) paper moon..."

Or say it's a new paper toy designed by Matt Hawkins.
"3 color screen print on chipboard. Debuting tomorrow night at the Proper Assortment show at the Emerald Space in KC west bottoms. I'll put em' up in my Big Cartel sometime next week. 200 limited edition printed by the fantastic Vahalla Studios. Inspired by the song It's Only a Paper Moon."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Hawaiian Job

Over the weekend, crooks stole 25 Kamaka ukuleles from Hale Kula Elementary on Oahu. The twist? Hale Kula is located within Schofield Barracks, and in order to get in you have to show identification, vehicle registration and proof of insurance at the military checkpoint. Let's hope that checkpoint records plus the fact that all the Kamakas have "Hale Kula" written on the headstock and stamped on the sound hole sticker will mean that the culprits are completely lolo and trip themselves up quickly.

Video at the link. Link

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Meanwhile, back in Chicago later this month...

...and perhaps you will even hear them do a song together. This is a great venue, right on the river. If you're anywhere near Chicago, you should come on out.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Next Stop...Madrid, Spain.

Where Pia Tedesco has been tearing them up with her monthly presentation of "Cabaret Freaks"!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

April Shower "Sha la la la la"

Great vocals+ukulele+claps. How come this song sounds so much better with a French accent????

April Shower

Wine Country 'Ukulele Festival

Registration is now open for the Wine Country (Napa Valley) 'Ukulele Festival, October 9-11, 2009. There's an amazing line-up of performers, workshops and events. Link
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