Thursday, February 25, 2010

12 Uke Chicks

This one has it all. Girls in glasses and references to I'm Yours, Buttercup and Hey Soul Sister. Bad, right? BUT - it also includes our own AdelletheGreat. And that makes it awesome.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Alan drives a swagger wagon

and this explains how he affords all those ukes!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ben Doverlele

here are some pics of my latest Grizzly kit mutilation. i got the idea from the foldable Voyage-Air guitars. we usually backpack when we travel so we try to carry as little as possible. i thought maybe a foldable ukulele would be something easy to stuff in the backpack.

after the build was complete, it turns out the uke really isn't any more compact than it was to start with. so perhaps it was all a waste of time, just another conversation piece. the good news is it doesn't sound like shit. the strings actually hold the tuning fairly well after unfolding and folding. only minor tuning adjustments need to be made. i had to remove the fretboard at the 11th fret, but the hinge serves well as a 12th fret. intonation still good.

  • kit and hardware = $30.

  • hours of my life i'll never get back = a few

sound sample here:

some related links:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

UWC won’t be the same…

For me, one of the highlights of the Ukulele World Congress ’09 was getting to know the local folks and having them share their music. The first person I saw when I arrived in the field was a slight woman in white cotton sun dress with beautiful gray hair playing the sweetest fiddle tune I’d ever heard. Accompanied by a couple of ukes and a tenor guitar, that image and that moment set the tone for what would turn out to be a fantastic weekend. I knew when I heard and saw that group that Brown County was a special place and that this wasn’t your average uke-fest.

As the Congress went on, Allison Cochran’s quiet smile, sunny disposition, and damn fine fiddle playing made the show for me. With Chris Little on banjo and tenor guitar, their song “Goddess of Brown County” was so haunting and memorable I’ve been playing it ever since. Having her join in with me for harmonies on an impromptu version of the disco tune “I Will Survive” still cracks me up. It was one of those moments you just can’t plan for – too much fun. She brightened every jam she was a part of, and eventually became in my mind a sort of representation of all of the kindness, openness, and talent I met there in Brown County.

Mike wrote me today and let me know that Allison passed away. I don’t have any details – just that she’s gone. I didn’t know her other than those few hours in that field, but I sure will miss her…

So raise a glass, bow a head, play a song – whichever suits you – for the woman I began to think of as the real “Goddess of Brown County”. Adios Allison – You’ll be missed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why Yamaha, why?

So here I sit still coveting a guitelele... Specifically the Yamaha GL-1.

It seems to me that I should be able to go to any mall music store and grab one for about $150... And that would be true, if I didn't live in the US.

For some unknown reason Yamaha only sells these things in the EU - and in limited supply in Canukistan (Canada Alan, Canada).

I've tried twice to get one via phone to no avail. It's like they are a prohibited substance.

Meanwhile you can go play all the crappy Yamaha nylon student guitars you want... everything in the line - except the GL-1.


Anyway - here is a lovely girl from the UK (I think) who absolutely shows us all what a GL-1 can do.

She's pretty damn good - and nice too. Give her a sub and tell her to play more uke.

French Ukulele Weirdness

I don't know what drugs they take, but I'm subscribing to their newsletter.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Big in Japan

Here's a simple slide-show of pics taken in a music shop in Japan. It shows some Kiwaya ukes, including the last shot of a wall of ukes. And is that a Kiwaya sopranino? Awesome!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Call him "Mr. Entertainment"

Dolph Lundgren shows you how to entertain. No, really. I actually thought he would pull out an ukulele at one point.

I sat on an ukulele last night

I sat on an ukulele last night. Cracked it on the side behind the neck, on the top from the soundhole to the neck and somewhere else. I couldn't bear to look at it closely.

Lesson: Don't put your uke down on a chair EVEN FOR A SECOND. You might forget it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tenor Guitar Hankering...

Yes yes, I know. I have instrument ADD. I admit that. Currently I've been thinking about a tenor guitar. Why? Well, I can tune it in fourths like a baritone uke, or in fifths like an octave mando. Both of which I play.

Of all the cooky instrument ideas I've had lately - this one actually has the best collection of rationalization.

I've been thinking of the Gold Tone resonator version above -some of you have Gold Tone banjo-ukes and banjos - any thoughts on quality for Gold Tone?

Tabs, plz

Not really, no. I don't want the tab to this Japanese commercial from the 1970's. I just thought I should post it to show that it wasn't just the French who could do weird stuff with Star Wars.