Monday, November 29, 2010

Mighty Uke Holiday Special

I saw three ukes come sailing in,
On Christmas Day,
On Christmas Day...

From Mighty Uke's Facebook page:
"The holiday season is once again upon us, the perfect time to share some ukulele cheer. And what better way to get your friends and family to pick up a uke and join the global strum-along than to give them the uplifting and inspiring story of the MIGHTY UKE.
From now until Christmas Eve, if you buy any two items from you will receive a MIGHTY UKE DVD free. But wait! That’s not all! Every purchaser of any DVD, Blu-ray, t-shirt or poster from our website will be automatically entered in a raffle to win one of three MIGHTY UKE Kala Concert Ukuleles to be given away on Christmas Day."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Utterly Butterly Ukulele Project - Home

The Utterly Butterly Ukulele project (TUBUP) runs around Great Britain helping people make their own ukulele from recyclable materials--in this case, margarine tubs. TUBUP puts on workshops in which the ukes are constructed and attendees learn how to play it and take part in a live performance.

The ukuleles are constructed from an Utterly Butterly spread tub, fishing line strings, a piece of wood with screw eyes for tuning pegs.

Here's a great photo gallery from a recent fundraising event in Cardiff, Wales in support of the BBC Children in Need program.

The folks behind the Utterly Butterly brand seem to be pretty cool. For several years, they even had their own formation wing-walking team!

Here's TUBUP's site.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

LoPrinzi Ukuleles on the Air

Donna LoPrinzi has taken the helm of the family business. Here's a nice video from News 13 in Florida profiling LoPrinzi Ukuleles. Link

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kate Micucci on Raising Hope Tonight

Kate Micucci will be on Raising Hope tonight, November 23, 2010. Shown here with Kate (uke, l) is Shannon Woodward (uke, r). Link

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kathy Sparling CD Party Tonight

Kathy Sparling has a new CD out called As You Believed. She was kind enough to send us a copy to review and it's truly wonderful.

Tonight at Mike DaSilva's in Berkeley, CA, there will be a release party. Sez Kathy:

I'm extra excited to be playing with a full band, including John Hanes on drums and Patrick Main on piano, along with the always wonderful Steven Strauss and Kurt Stevenson.

Saturday, November 20th, 8:00pm-10:00pm
DaSilva Ukulele Co.
2547 8th Street, Suite 28
Berkeley, CA 94710
510 649-1548

$20 at the door includes music, drinks and other festive refreshments

Steven Strauss and Kurt Stevenson will kick things off with selections from their songbook of diverse popular melodies of bygone days.

I hope to see you there!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tomás Kubínek

The superb clown Tomás Kubínek balances a glass of wine on his forehead, plays the ukulele, performs a backwards somersault and then drinks the wine without using his hands. See it here.

But can he do a split stroke? Link

Bill Tapia: Stars and Stripes/Sweehearts on Parade

Hadn't seen this video of Bill Tapia before. Here he's playing (after a brief bit of I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby) his classic arrangement of Stars and Stripes Forever / Sweethearts on Parade. You can hear a wire recording of Tappy ripping this up in 1936 (!) on his debut CD Tropical Swing. Link

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bruar Falls Songwriter Showcase

Dig it...If you're in New York (or Brooklyn) tomorrow evening, come out for a lovely evening of new music.

8pm: Craig Robertson
9pm: Marni Rice
10pm: Al Duvall
11pm: Evanescent with Bliss Blood & Al Street

Location:245 Grand Avenue between Driggs & Roebling, Williamsburg
Time:8:00PM Sunday, November 14th

Monday, November 08, 2010

Ukulele Crumb

Nice little piece on Robert Crumb on Ukulele Boudoir. Perhaps someone will explain the gag to me. I do not pigez le truc. But I do get super chanson! Link

Dobro Ukulele Replica

Mike Lewis of Fine Resophonics in Paris is building replicas of the elusive Dobro ukulele. Pics here. Link


Ukulele Boudoir

French ukers have had a great local blog to follow for some time:, formerly King David Ukulele Station. Here's a new one (for us at least). It's called Ukulele Boudoir.

I particularly like their idea of publishing a monthly ukulele "pin up" computer desktop calendar. This month it's Craig Robertson's dream girl, the Le Domino.

Tons of great stuff. Poke around. Link

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Flower of Gower Gulch

My friend Paula Wirth recently did the cover art for Megan Lynch's debut album, Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me, a collection of tunes featured in vintage Warner Brothers cartoons. Today, Paula alerted me to Megan's ukulele rendition of the song Porky Pig plunks out at the beginning of the Daffy Duck classic "Drip-Along Daffy." Which finally gives me an excuse to give a plug for Megan's CD, which features Cheap Suit Serenaders Robert Armstrong and Tony Marcus. You can buy it here, and on several other sites listed here. And don't miss Paula's cover art.


Friday, November 05, 2010

Our Kind of Town

What's happening in the Windy City? Ukewise, The A.V. Club has a nice overview of ukulele culture in Chicago these days. Link

Vampires and Ukuleles

Uke Jackson returns from the dead.

Not really, but it has been a while since we've heard from the Ukulele Bard of Delaware. Uke has a new book out, and is taking it on the road to see if he can get any bites from the public.
"Broadway Vampire tells the story of a vampire named Gus who produces Broadway musicals. Jackson drew on his own experience seeing his work produced for the stage in Manhattan and beyond. Sex! Drugs! and Ukuleles! — a musical for which he wrote both book and lyrics — was produced in 2008. His other plays include Monster Time, The Secret Warhol Rituals and Avenue Z Afternoon, which was produced for network TV, starring Anne Meara and Lou Diamond Phillips."
At his readings, Jackson will perform songs from the novel--on the uke, natch.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

UOGB in the Grey Lady

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain got a very nice review in The New York Times yesterday. Link

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Hula Dreams Triennial

Hula Dreams is a triennial exhibition of hand painted ukuleles at Gallery East, 21 Burnie Street, Clovelly, Sydney, Australia. The exhibition features hand painted ukuleles by over fifty artists who are invited by curator, 
Carol Ruff (aka Coral Reef), to paint or make a ukulele in any way that moves their creative spirit.
"Curator and Gallery East owner Carol Ruff said inventiveness and humour were key features of the Hula Dreams exhibition.

“There is a clock uke where time goes backwards, desert scenes, birds, The Beatles and a Leonard Cohen uke,” Ruff said."
The current show runs November 5th to the 21st. Link to images from earlier shows here. Interview with Ruff here.
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