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Visitors from Japan - California Worldfest 2006

Over the past several years I have communicated with many people through email as a result of my Website. During the past couple of years I have been corresponding with a wonderful person from Japan. She is one of Jake Shimabukuro's biggest fans. She has a couple close girl friends whom I've corresponded with briefly and in fact met one of them last October at one of Jake's performances in Napa, California.

Jake has been touring non-stop these days and played a couple of shows in Seattle this past week. The girls flew to Seattle and caught both shows and then flew into Sacramento the next day. They arrived at my home in Roseville and we had a wonderful visit. They were very much interested in hearing me play some of Jake's tunes. So of course I did and then we all played a bit and then had a group lesson after lunch. I gave them a tour of my workshop, as they were interested to see where I was making the ukuleles. The shop was a little messy as I have been busy making some molds and other jigs to add a little flexibility to the process.

The following day we met up at Grass Valley at the California Worldfest. There we caught Jake's early show and then got to hang out with him and have dinner together before he went back stage to prepare for his evening performance on the big stage. Jake's performance was outstanding as usual. He plays with so much passion that I find myself feeling mesmerized by the music.

I couldn't have imagined a better way to spend a couple of days and if it weren't for the Internet my wife and I would never have met these wonderful people from Japan. We were a little taken back by how emotional one of them became as we were leaving the festival. It was as if we were family and had known each other for years. It touched me in a special way. I hope we have an opportunity to meet again soon.

I posted some photos HERE.

America the Beautiful MP3

Jon recorded an excellent rendition of America The Beautiful to go along with his transcription that was posted a few days ago. I haven't confirmed this with him yet but I believe it is played on his Koa Works tenor with Gold strings.

Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July today and remember to be safe.

America The Beautiful

My partner Jon put together a great arrangement of "America the Beautiful" just in time for the holiday weekend. This along with the re-entrant and Low G versions of my arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner should give you all the opportunity to play some patriotic songs at your 4th of July BBQ. Enjoy!

Ukecast Beginner Special

Some of you may have seen from the bulletin boards that Chris Miller (Zathras) was profiled on the Apple Computer website previewing how he uses .MAC software to create and upload his Ukecast. This week's episode is up on the Ukeland website. It is a Beginner Special and Chris teamed up with Nipper, creator of the "His Master's Ukulele" installments that frequently appear on the Ukecast, to provide information to assist those folks just starting out or thinking about pursuing the ukulele.

I want to thank Chris for including my version of "Stars and Stripes Forever" in this weeks Ukecast and allowing me to share the bill with the likes of Kimo Watanabe, Howlin Hobbit and Craig Robertson. You can listen to a MP3 version or view the Enhanced version of the Ukecast at the link above.

Star Spangled Banner - Low G

Tonight I am posting the Low G version of the Star Spangled Banner. My partner went through and modified some of the chord voicings slightly to accommodate the use of the low G.

Star Spangled Banner - Transcription

Tonight I was able to finish up the transcription of my arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner". I recorded it using my tenor tuned GCEA with high G. I am going to send my transcription off to my partner and he will modify it to play with a low G. That way all the low G players can have some fun with it too. This should provide plenty of time to have this tune down pat for the July 4th festivities. Enjoy!

Stars & Stripes Forever

In keeping with the patriotic theme I recorded Stars & Stripes Forever this evening to submit to Richard over at EZ-Folk. I have been working on the arrangement for a couple of days and my thumb and index finger are paying the price. Gonna have to take a break from this one. It is a lot of fun to play though. I will try to get some tab put together for it as time permits.

I should have the tab posted for my arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner this weekend or early next week if all goes well.

God Bless America

Tonight I recorded a new version of God Bless America. The original mp3 was recorded in low G tuning while this current version was recorded with re-entrant tuning. Hopefully, I will be able to get at least a couple more tunes recorded before the weekend is over.

I have received a few requests for the tab to the Star Spangled Banner arrangement I posted the other night. My plate is pretty full right now so I have asked my partner in crime to get it started. Hopefully we will have it posted in the next week or so.

Beatles Medley - Yesterday/Let It Be

Since I still had the mics setup from recording the Star Spangled Banner I decided to lay down the Beatles Medley I have been working on. It's based off the medley Jake recorded on his solo Japan release "Peace Love & Ukulele" minus one tune.

I find this recording stuff very humbling. It never seems to sound as good as I think it does when I'm just playing and not worrying about recording. Probably why I don't record very often. I do plan to record a couple more tunes before taking the gear down for my next gig with the classic rock band next weekend. Hopefully, I can do that this weekend.

Star Spangled Banner - Mp3

The current co-op project over at EZ-Folk is to work up versions of patriotic songs that Richard will broadcast on his website on the 4th of July. I spent the last couple of days working up an arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner and decided to record it this evening. Hopefully, I will find some time to record some more mp3 while I have the gear setup.