Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Masters of their art, each signature on my Little White Uke! Who's there so far?

My Little Blue Uke (sky-blue Mahalo, taken everywhere) has a Little White counterpart - the one I won (so proud!) in a songwriting competition hosted by one of the Seasonistas on the Ukulele Undergound Forum last Christmas. I generally keep it as my D uke and it comes out occasionally.

Just before I left home for GNUF (Grand Northern Ukulele Festival)on Friday, I had a brainwave... so many of my ukulele heroes would be there... why not ask them all to sign it? And I did!

Almost all of the signatures on here belong to players featured on this blog more than once.

What they all have in common is that I love their music and they are indeed masters of their art. And all are quite different.

I regret that I didn't catch Zoe Bestel to sign it. She just gets better and better. Her voice is ethereal and her delivery will break your heart. She is featured on this blog more than once, as a singer who plays ukulele and writes much of her own material.

The work of both Mike Hind and Ben Rouse is pretty new to me. But Mike Hind (AKA Uncle Elvis) just owned the stage during his set - he did indeed hold the audience in the palm of his hand ... and Ben Rouse supporting him on bass (as he supported others, as well as doing a great set in his own right on uke) was phenomenal, he tore the place up. Such nice fellas, too, both of them. So they are there, kindly gracing my Little White Uke with their signatures.

So who of my known favourites have you spotted? Well... there's Phil Doleman; (music from the 20's and 30's - a great musician and performer - and teacher!) Manitoba Hal, blues uker extraordinaire; Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee, jazz standards and original songs, (soon to be married.... wonderful...) Aaron Keim, (The Quiet American) - all-style fingerpickin and all-round super-duper musician; Peter Moss, long-time virtuoso player on wooden uke and banjo-uke, Mike Warren, exemplary Formby player who plays a mean wooden uke too... young Michael Adcock, who is fast making a name for himself on the uke scene, and last but not least, Mike Hind and Ben Rouse.

I have room for a few more.

I know who I want on that uke. Superb musicians and entertainers all. And there's a space on my wall where it will hang for a while and inspire me to...

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! That's the only way to go, folks... the only way to go.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Hawaii and a great uke festival (GNUF)... what more could a ukulele girl ask for?

Did I tell you I was going away for the holiday of a lifetime?

Across two ponds to finish up on a rock in Hawaii?

Sure I did! And we got back last Tuesday after five days on the loose in Honolulu and then a cruise round the islands, finishing up sailing across the North Pacific to Vancouver for a flight home to England and a few days jet-lag. And a ukulele festival. Ukafrolics galore, dear readers, ukafrolics galore! The festival was GNUF - the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, held in Huddersfield 23rd and 24th May. It was fantastic. I've just read Barry Maz's comprehensive account of it in Got A Ukulele blog... and if you want to read all about it I suggest you hot-foot it over there because as always, it's very thorough, and very detailed. I'll be saying a few things about it over the next few days. For now, here's David Morgan (DJ Morgan Ukuleles) with the beautiful uke he made that became MINE a few weeks ago (yes I did tell you all about it...) enjoying the buzz and the music in the pre-festival get-together in the Head of Steam pub on Friday!

What a lovely fella he is!

And here's one from Hawaii....

Where is this and who are the two lovely fellas here? That's Yours Truly in the middle, of course, proudly sporting my Ukulele Underground teeshirt... answers please in the comments! You'll have to sign in to Google... and sorry but there are no prizes! I just want to know you're there, and on the ball, ukulele-wise!