Uke Club is still bouncing around trying out new locations and last night it happened to be close to The Blue Guitar so I left work a little early and paid them a visit. I’ve been a guitar player / gear enthusiast in San Diego for a long time but for some reason I had never been there before. Well guess what, it’s a great uke shop. The owner, DeForest Thornburgh, is a uke guy and the store is stocked with a decent quantity and wide selection of ukes. This is the first time I’ve seen a variety of high end ukes in one place including the big three Hawaiian Ks – Kamaka, KoAloha and Kanilea.
So of course, kid in a candy store, right. I’m looking at, hearing and playing all these cool brands that I’ve only read about online. For the most part the high end ones are all beautiful and sound great but then I get to this Kanilea K-1 Concert. It’s this beautiful stripey 3D Koa with some cross figuring in the upper bout… I mean it’s beautiful as beautiful as anything in the store but when I played it… it was like angels singing. I mean quality ukes are going to look and sound good, right? There were plenty of ukes in the store that were 9s or 10s on the sound rating scale but this Kanilea was off the chart. It was like it was speaking to me. Directly to my heart.
Welp… unfortunately spending 900 bucks on a uke is not really a reasonable thing for me to do. So I fell in love at first site and lost love the same night. But if I get signed to make an album or tour… or if this blog takes off and I “need one to review”… or if I hit the lottery… going to The Blue Guitar will be the first thing on my todo list.
My wife is from Columbus and has a lot of family there so Ohio always plays a big part in my life. Coincidentally, over the last couple weeks, a few things have come together to make Ohio much bigger than usual.
We just got back from a 2 week visit to Ohio which included a family camp out which included a big campfire ukulele sing-a-long. This trip and camp out reminds me how much I want a travel uke with a little less fragility and a little more weather resistance. It looks like Outdoor Ukulele is revving up to make a plastic Tenor which sounds like it will be perfect for me. At the moment I can’t think of anything cooler than a clear plastic uke that you can play in a lake.
Okay… so far on this blog I’ve posted tabs for: Folk/Classic Rock, Angelic Girl Uke, Kid/Camp, Boy Band, and Gospel songs. (I love to label)
Obviously, my musical tastes are wide and varied. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it one thousand times, playing the ukulele makes me love even more music in an even bigger variety of genres. It’s hard not to love a song on the uke.
(At some point I promise to make a long rambling post about all the reasons I love the uke and the way it makes me like more music more will be part of that.)
But if I had to pick, when it comes to uke, my favorite genre is probably this kind of indy neo folk rock. With their dreamy videos, way too many people in the band, their”hey”s and “ho”s, billowy white clothes and well constructed riffs… it just works well for the uke.
Ho Hey by The Lumineers is a good example of what I’m talking about.