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Archives for: July 2006

Fox Point Rag - Video

Since posting the TAB of Jon's Fox Point Rag I've spent a couple days trying to work through it. I don't know much about Rags in general but I have had some fun working it out. I decided to mess around with the video cam this evening (it was much easier to setup than my audio recording gear since I don't have a dedicated studio setup) to see if I was even in the ballpark. I messed the ending up not playing it as I intended to but I am pleased with the overall result. This is an example of using the TAB as a "guideline" but then playing it in a way that is comfortable for me, which by the way you should all do.

Another thing I discovered in this process is that Jon's style is very similar to that of our friend from Michigan, Gerald Ross. Parts of the groove remind me of Gerald's version of Easter Parade. I'd like to hear these two guys together.


New Site Design

Well Zathras has been working his tail off and the new site is up and running. We've been testing and think we've found all of the broken links etc. and everything should be working. If you find a broken link please let me know.

I hope you enjoy the new layout. One thing that I have already found very useful is the search feature. It works very well. No longer will we have to try to remember what month that particular story or picture was in. Just plug a key word in and hit go.

3 New Transcriptions

Tonight I'm posting an update to the site with 3 new transcriptions. Two of these tabs are songs composed by a couple of the contributors to the various forums and Internet bulletin boards. We have UkeJon's latest composition titled Fox Point Rag and Craig Robertson's Houdini Never Hung Around in Bars. These two tabs have Performance Notes attached to them of which, in the case of Houdini, includes the lyric sheet for those that want to learn to sing and play the arrangement.

Houdini is based on the voicings Craig plays in the video from Midnight Ukulele Disco. I have provided links to the video and to UkeJon's mp3 so you can have a reference to the original songs.

The last song is an arrangement of Sophisticated Hula that I have had a few requests for.

I hope to hear back from Brudda Bryan Tolentino soon so I can post the much-anticipated Little Rock Getaway.

Enjoy the tunes.

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.