Thursday, June 29, 2006

Folk Uke in a Hot Dirt Field

Ukulelia pals Folk Uke dropped us a note:
"Here's a last minute announcement for you:

We just found out about some shows we're playing next week. :)

July 3rd, 2006

Carl's Corner Picnic - Carl's Corner, TX 9pm-9:15pm

Enjoy the pre-4th picnic at Carl's Corner as Willie [Nelson!] and family take the stage with other greats including Ray Price, Asleep @ the Wheel, Del Castillo, Billy Joe Shaver and more....

For more info call 254-582-8433 ,

July 4th, 2006

The 33rd Annual Fourth of July Picnic 4:30pm-4:45pm

Fort Worth Stockyards - Fort Worth, TX

I know, it's last minute, and it's a hot dirt field in the middle of TX in July,
but it's gonna be fun!"

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Check out this PacMan uke created by Dave Means. Wokka wokka wokka wokka! Link

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Barbie Plays the Uke!

Otto slapped this on my desk this afternoon:
"Barbie® doll designer Anna Choi continues her tribute to this whimsical art form with Hula Honey™ Barbie® doll. This lovely wahine wears an alluring vintage-inspired bathing suit; a second, kitschy ensemble includes faux grass skirt and faux coconut shell bra. 'Ukulele' and faux flower leis complete the tropical dream ensemble. Aloha nui lao! (sic)"
Link (Thanks, Otto!)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ukulele Ultraman

Another reason to love YouTube!

Jack Johnson Autographed Ukulele

Well, if the Dairy Queen Ukulele was too rich for your blood, maybe you'll find the latest celebrity uke auction to be more within your budget.
"Jack Johnson and the Kokua Hawaii Foundation are offering this unique, personalized Jack Johnson ukulele, the “In Between Dreams” CD and songbook package. Once all bids are in, Jack Johnson will autograph the ukulele with recognition to the name of the highest bidder or name of their choice."
The uke, a KoAlana soprano made by KoAloha Ukulele , was donated by Jack Johnson and the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. The auction will benefit Slow Food USA:
" educational organization dedicated to stewardship of the land and ecologically sound food production; to the revival of the kitchen and the table as centers of pleasure, culture, and community; to the invigoration and proliferation of regional, seasonal culinary traditions; to the creation of a collaborative, ecologically-oriented, and virtuous globalization; and to living a slower and more harmonious rhythm of life."
Sounds like a match made in heaven!

Link (Thanks, Uncle Dave!)

Eddie Thomas and Carl Scott

This is one of the few vintage images I've run across of African-American ukulele performers, and it's a video, to boot. A great reference for early strumming technique as well.

"Eddie Thomas and Carl Scott, obscure Richmond, Virginia musicians, play jug band style music that includes one of the more clever musical uses of a coffee pot. Songs played are 'Tomorrow' and 'My Ohio Home'"

Columbia River Gorge Ukulele Festival

And now, this message from Jim D'Ville. UPDATE: Tickets and more info here!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Scientific Uke Lutherie

Dave Means makes gorgeous custom ukes under the Glyph name. He adds all kinds of flourishes that connect the instrument to the owner. Of note, he's made a custom concert for Ben Thompson, a teacher and founder of the George Fox Middle School Ukulele Ensemble. Thompson has used the uke with his students to build awareness of the Chesapeake Bay sub-aquatic ecosystem. The fretboard on Ben's uke shows (among other critters) a blue crab hiding among endangered submerged aquatic grasses (celery grass and redhead grass).

Or how about this spruce-topped Mahogany "Double-Helix" concert that Dave built for microbiologist Paul Goodrich. Presumably, you'd tune it in both D and A. (Sorry.)


Mid-Atlantic Ukulele Invitational

The 4th Annual Mid-Atlantic Ukulele Invitational (M.A.U.I.) is coming up on Friday, June 23 and Saturday June 24 in Annapolis, MD. Link

The Mysterious Bobby Henshaw

Bobby Henshaw, it seems, is a shadowy figure from the ukey past. He endorsed a line of ukes which, while not Martins, are collectible nonetheless. There have been several inquiries about Henshaw to Frets Fayne over on the Collector's Uke Yak over the years.

Bobby "Uke" Henshaw was a vaudevillian who later endorsed a line of ukes bearing his name. We've found a couple of useful genealogy links here and here. Until recently, the only photo we've seen was this one, which Frets said "looks like one of the 3 stooges or a very late picture of Zachery Taylors wife."

Now one of Fret's readers had turned up two promotional photos of Bobby from 1950. He was making a personal appearance at a Houston movie house in conjunction with an amateur ukulele contest. Evidently the $2,000 in prize money wasn't enough to draw publicity for the theatre (that'd be around $16,000 today). So Uke was reduced to pushing a peanut with his nose.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

UkeTalk - Interview with Gerald Ross,Ukulele Artist

Great interview with Ukulelia pal Gerald Ross over on the Uke Talk site.
"Regarding the uke, I feel that its size has a lot to do with the appeal. Coming from a guitar background, it’s very nice to be able to stretch five frets with your left hand. This opens up tons of possibilities in terms of chord and melody construction. Also with the current strict limitations on airline travel, the uke is a perfect travel instrument.

The re-entrant tuning with the high fourth string produces a very pleasant bell-like optimistic tone. Even minor chords sound positive on a uke. You can’t be in a bad mood while playing the uke. It’s very good therapy for these troubled times."


Bushman Uke Sale

How Bowers also tipped us off about a sale that the makers of the swell Bushman Jenny ukuleles are having. I think...

That is, it may have been a one-day only event, in which case I think it was yesterday. You might want to give Bushman a call anyway. Sez How:

"Call John directly at (800) 783-7996 to order, as the prices aren’t reflected on the website. Tell them you heard about it on Tiki Talk—maybe they’ll toss in a super discount for me…oh, in my wildest dreams perhaps."
(Thanks, How!)

Bang on the Drum--Tiki Style!

How Bowers wrote to let us know about that the New Cars are performing Todd Rundgren's "Bang on the Ukulele Daily" on their current tour. He directed us to this fansite with pix from a recent Ohio show. That's Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes playing Tiki Flukes (designed by His Fezziness, Tiki King). Link

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Cars' Greg Hawkes on Uke

"My Best Friend's Girlfriend" performed by ukefan Greg Hawkes, Craig Robertson and friends. (Greg's currently on tour with The New Cars. I wonder if they're going to do Todd Rundgren's "Bang on the Ukulele Daily"?) Link to Quicktime Movie

Ukulele Noir Tomorrow Night

If you're in the Boston area, drop in on Ukulele Noir 14 tomorrow night. Link

Uke Nets More Than 'Alien Head' X-Ray

The same folks that bought the DQ Uke just a duck's X-ray for $9,600. I'm glad it went for less than the ukulele... Link

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Na Hoku Awards Announced

The annual Na Hoku Hanohano awards ceremony was held last night. Here's a link to an article with a list of the winners. Shown here is frequent uker Jack Johnson who took top awards for Best Rock Album and Song of the Year. Link

Kamaka Anniversary T-Shirt

Back at the NoCal Uke Fest in Hayward in April, Chris Kamaka was offering these sweet Kamaka T-Shirts for sale. By the time I discovered them, Chris was down to XXL only, so I had to pass. If you'd like to buy a shirt, Chris sez give him a call in Honolulu at (808) 531-3165. (Chris, save a Large for me!)
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