Saturday, February 28, 2009
..go get a tattoo at Star Crossed Tattoo. Julia Seizure, the artist there, says this:
"so here ya go, the huge hipped "ukulady". p.s i am now the proud owner of a pink flying V ukulele. it's so awesome! if ya dont believe me, swing by the studio, it's displayed proudly, and if ur unlucky enough, you might walk in on me attemting to practice playing! "
Go get it.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Steven Sproat, that wonderful British ukulele player, has just had published the second book of ukulele playing for beginners.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
This is a cover of an Arthur Hamilton song from 1953: "Cry Me A River".
It's a duet with Pia Tedesco from Madrid, (and me, Craig, here in Ukuleletown). We have never met, but that doesn't mean we can't sing together...
Welcome to the new world.
Cry Me A River
"Sazerac the Clown, Ukulelist Ordinaire and Exterminator of Gloom and Remorse, announces his first ever Sheet Music Design Competition! ... The winner for each song will receive 5 copies of the printed sheet music, a copy of the CD "Without No Pants On: The Genial Orleanians Delineate the Complete Works Of Sazerac the Clown" (scheduled for summer release) and, this being a tough economy, a double-sawbuck."Link
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
The Mississippi State University Libraries is home to the Templeton Digital Sheet Music Collection, part of the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum. It's a wonderful resource for vintage music, particularly ragtime tunes, and a variety of themed collections. What fun awaits? Well, here's Brian Heffernan playing Rubber Plant Rag (A Sketcherette), available via the Templeton Collection. Link
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It was a night cold enough to chill a penguin. Ukuleletown after dark always seems colder anyway. At Johnny Ds Nightclub is Davis Square in Somerville, MA, the newest edition of Ukulele Noir cranked up.
Bliss Blood, her sopranino ukulele and her red outfit, started the night. Her voice was, as usual, pure honey and she did a killer set. She ended her performance with the song Mae West made famous "Come Up and See Me Sometime". Not too many performers can pull that one off...but Bliss Made it shine.
Bedroom Community was up next with Steven Swartz, ex-Songs from a Random House. He used a lot of processed sounds, samples and looping...but still managed to sing thougtful and melodic songs.
After that was...uh...Craig Robertson, ably assisted by Alice Caldwell on upright Bass. I meandered through a forest of songs with subjects as diverse as zombie horse and small town pathos.
Ending the night was Greg Hawkes. This was the first time out for his new trio, all ukes, consisting of him, Tim Mann and Greg Allison. In a lovely understated performance they did some Cars tunes and reproduced some of the songs from Greg's CD "Beatles Uke".
Were you there? I don't remember seeing you there? Oh, well, next month...
(photo by Robert Wheeler, Fedora by Tony Brouner, ukulele by Pete Howlett)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
"I've just released a book for lefties. Yes, lefty uke players. What a market that will be.Small market, perhaps. But if you play your uke upside down, you're in jolly good company. Link
As you can see I didn't do it for the money. But I have been asked a few times for lefty versions of my books. So I finally did a lefty version of my A Guide to Ukulele Chords and naturally titled it A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties. It is available as a hard copy books and I have it available as an eBook-PDF file for download."
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
What a superb idea. Check it out. Link
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
If you're on Oahu for Valentine's Day, here's a local uke festival to check out. It's a Japanese Uke event, this year being held in Hawaii. Pretty much everyone is playing. Plus players from Japan.
"The Ukulele Picnic began in 2000 in Shonan, Japan. Since then, the founders have spread the mission to expand the love of Ukulele through concerts in Japan and throughout the world.
Kazuyuki Sekiguchi passionately introduced the Ukulele among the Japanese people, and Iwao--one of the best Ukulele player in Japan--serves as host for the event along with David Smith of Leiland and the group BEGIN. This event is free and open to the public. In recent years, turnout for this event has been over 10,000 people. Even though the event has grown in attendance, the peaceful nature of the event has been preserved."
Monday, February 09, 2009
Howlin' Hobbit's band Snake Suspenderz has just released a new CD "Serpentine".
Yass. Hobbit's voice is achingly unique...as is the band:
Thaddeus Spae: Vocals, trombone, guitar
Howlin' Hobbit: Vocals, ukulele
Andrew "Sketch" Hare: Drums, percussion
Why haven't you got this CD???
don't wait, it's robertson-essential-listening.
From Steven Sproat:
"Forthcoming album by Mark Moraghan (actor Holby City, Harry Enfield Show, etc) and Nicky Campbell.
Steven, I'm assuming, plays quite a bit on this CD. Check out the video, it's a lovely balance...the sweetness of Laurel and Hardy juxtaposed with the evil banjo ukulele...!
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Awhile back, Gary posted a photo of Blanche Barrow with a ukulele. Since she was married to Buck Barrow, Clyde Barrow's brother (of Bonnie and Clyde), I was naturally interested. Gary suggested, half kidding, that this sounded like a good idea for a CR song.
I wrote one called "The Ballad of Blanche Barrow". and posted a demo of it on this site.
Debbie Moss, who is the cousin of Blanche Barrow, runs a site dedicated to her cousin Blanche. She, while surfing the net, came across my song and wrote me, asking if she could use it on her site.
The ukulele connection makes a full circle. Blanche Barrow's website.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
The ever industrious Mickey Maguire has tracked down some fantastic ukulele players to interview and put in Issue No. 3 of Ukulele Player Magazine.
It's Free! Check it out.
Here's what's inside...
p2. Spotlight Bosko & Honey
p7. Special Feature...
Greg Hawkes Beatles Uke
p10. Pohaku Ukulele
p14. CD Review Victoria Vox
p15. CK-50G Ohana Ukulele
p17. Diminished Chords (where would I be without them?)
p20. Kala MA-MT Ukulele
p21. Kala Uke Give-A-Way
p22. Lone Star UkeFest
p23. club listings & events.
p28. Online Resources
"Roger and Dave are pleased to announce that renowned composer, singer, and philanthropist Peter Buffett (That's his smilin' mug at left, ed.) has contributed a new recording of You Never Give Me Your Money to the site "The Beatles Complete On Ukulele".Buffet's recording is actually song three of 185. The first two are that old ukulele chestnut While My Guitar Gently Weeps, performed by Dandelion Wine, and Oh Darling, sung by Kathena Bryant of The Hippynuts.
The Beatles Complete On Ukulele is a web based project by Roger Greenawalt and David Barratt where they will
A) Record & perform on ukulele all 185 original compositions by The Beatles with 185 guest singers/artists.
B) Write essays to coincide with each release.
C) Make available for download one new recording and essay every Tuesday for 185 weeks, beginning January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day) and climaxing July 24, 2012 (The eve of the London Olympics)."
What I like perhaps best about this concept is that Roger Greenawalt (the Roger of Roger and Dave) provides the ukulele component each recording. So rather than being a showcase of 185 ukulele players (which would nice, but interesting to only about 185 of us, give or take), this project will unite the ukulele with non-uke artists, those artists' fan bases, and Beatles fans. Which, I am absolutely certain, is something more than 185 people. Again, give or take.
So set your Official Ukulelia Club Alarm Clocks for every Tuesday for the next 3 years or so and rock out to Beatles Ukulele Bliss.
And do be sure to visit Peter Buffett's site. He's involved with all kinds of worthy philanthropic endeavors that are worth checking out and supporting.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Every so once in a while, a story comes around that is so mind-bogglingly complex, I get stymied on how to blog it. I'm still wrapping my head around this, but here evidently is the dope.
Performance artists Roger Geenawalt and David Barratt recorded and performed all 185 Beatles songs with 185 guest artists...on ukulele, natch.
The performance was then cast as a benefit for Warren Buffett. (Head about to explode. Must. Keep. Blogging.) And they've now just delivered the cash to him in person. (Following is the BEST interview with Warren Buffett evar.)
They've blogged about it. They've posted all the tunes. Today (head expanding--watch out!), they posted Emmy Award-winning composer Peter Buffett (son of, yup, him) playing You Never Give Me Your Money. (Ka-Blam!)
"On Sunday December 7, 2008, a day that will live in Infamy, Roger Greenawalt, 67 singers, 37 musicians, a Yoko impersonator & his ukulele performed the entire Beatles cataloge (184 songs) over a 14 hour periodPoke around, check out all the tunes and video. I'll post more links as I piece my head back together and sort this all out.
We chose to do this show as a benefit, but were unable to decide whom to give the money to.
Then it came to us.
Let's give it to Warren Buffett!
Frankly if we kept the money we'd just spend it on Viagra, records, and cat food.
Otherwise we would just waste it.
Warren will know what to do.
The films directed by David Barratt on this site will tell the story of how the show came about, the music and how Roger and Dave will deliver the money to Warren's home."
UPDATE: Mr. Buffett is giving the bag full o' money to Girls, Inc. of Omaha to buy ukuleles!