Friday, December 04, 2009

Pohaku Ukuleles

Peter Hurney is the luthier behind Pohaku Ukulele in Berkeley, California. I have three of his instruments and they have a sound that is as unique as they are. His workshop is a separate building behind his house and it’s there he produces some of the most unusual and musical ukuleles on the scene today.

What I like first about Peter’s work is that it is superior craftsmanship. His woodworking skills are amazing…and they have been honed through many other projects other that just instrument production. On his website under “Other Stuff” you can see some of the beautiful and fanciful creations he has built.

So, what do Peter’s ukuleles sound like, and why would you want one? The sound of a Pohaku, to my ears, is very clear and precise. I have one in koa and one in mahogany, and, although they both have their own unique sound, they have an identifiable quality that they share: they aren’t muddy and have a good snap. For recording, especially, this is a marvelous quality.

Beyond the sound is the appearance of a Pohaku ukulele. Noted ukulele players like Bliss Blood, Ami Worthen, Tippy Canoe, Uni and her Ukulele, Kitten on the Keys, etc…all use Pohakus on stage. They look great and survive the rigors of performance. Peter has an entire section on his website of “art ukuleles”; ukuleles that are “themed” or have some special artistic merit.

Pohaku prices are very reasonable for a good performance instrument; i.e. an instrument that stays in tune, intonates properly and sounds great night after night. Peter Hurney, himself, is very easy to work with and has a great sense of humor.

Pohaku Ukulele Website

Here’s a video of me playing a custom koa Pohaku concert ukulele.


Jon said...

I own two of Peter's ukuleles and I love them both. Peter is also a cool guy. A visit to his shop is worth the price of a ukulele. Thanks for putting in a plug for him.

Ron Hale said...

Youtube videos where you can see & hear a couple of these ukes-

Ami's flame soprano - see/hear
Move You on kgnu

Tippy's concert - see/hear
Tippy Canoe - Mass Transmissions

On Tippy Canoe & the Paddlemen Mass
Transmissions Music Video you can
see, but not hear it.

Anonymous said...

I've been to his site and admired the ukuleles before, but missed his "other stuff". I love the sense of irony and humor involved in his stuff. Ukester Brown

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