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Donnie Bubbles

Great cover of an under appreciated Philly band....

YouTube Channel: AdelleTheGreat

Tagged by the naked ukulele virus....

YouTube Channel: haileisela

No matter what you thought of the man, you have to admit Michael did write some great songs. This beautiful instrumental cover by Seeso is a fitting tribute to a lost artist....

Michael Jackson: Michael Jackson
YouTube Channel: seeso

From Jim D'Ville, who made the video:
James Hill presented a three-day workshop at this year's Portland Ukulele Festival entitled "Ukulele Big Band". James wrote a big band arrangement of Alexander's Ragtime Band and then taught the different "horn" parts to the class. On day three, the Portland Ukulele Big Band made its debut performance in the Student Union at Reed College. You had to be there! The sound was incredible. I can't wait until next year to hear The Portland Ukulele Bigger Band! I wasn't in the class, I was on the faculty of the festival teaching Play Ukulele by Ear, a new approach to rid the world of excessive paper with chord symbols written on it.
YouTube Channel: jimdville
Portland Uke Fest: www.portlandukefest.org
Jim's Band, Caravan Gogh: www.caravangogh.com

Cargo Video, and the similar La Blogotheque, are the best places to hear your favorite bands, and new bands that will soon be favorites. Their videos of acoustic performances, usually filmed in public places, strip songs to their bare essentials and let them shine. This performance, by the excellent Hugh Coltman, is no exception.

Hugh Coltman: Hugh Coltman
YouTube Channel: hughcoltman
YouTube Channel: cargovideo
YouTube Channel: La Blogotheque

One of the excellent videos you will find on the Toronto based Corktown Ukulele Jam channel....

Soundgarden: Soundgarden
YouTube Channel: torontoukes
Web Site: torontoukes.com

According to africatwin07, the chords are simple enough G - Bm7 - C - Am - D, just rolls along like that with some pinky finger flicking around on the A string mostly.

Fine Young Cannibals:
YouTube Channel: africatwin07

Ben's sepia-tone version makes for a perfect cover of Hoagy Carmichael's Nearness of You....

Hoagy Carmichael: Hoagy Carmichael
YouTube Channel: benmealer
Chords and Lyrics: Hoagy Carmichael Nearness of You - Ukulele

Ukulele World Record

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

Looks like everyone had a great time setting the new world record in London this last weekend....

YouTube Channel: Benjaminspeed123

Now this is the true essence of punk rock: eight years old, four strings, one fuzzed up amp, and your brother hiding behind the chair with his trumpet....

The Clash: The Clash
The Bobby Fuller Four: The Bobby Fuller Four
YouTube Channel: littleponykate

Side Note: My new eleuke showed up this week and man is it fun! I wouldn't recommend it for a first uke, or even for your primary uke, but it does serve two special purposes well:

1 - Without amplification, it's much less annoying for my family when I practice too much.
2 - With amplification, it rocks!

I bought mine from "My Music Life" on Amazon (see links below.) The fact that the bulk of their business is in music jewelry made me a little nervous, but the prices were too good to pass up - at least 25% less then I could find anywhere else for new, and only $15 to ship in US.

As promised, the Mahogany Tenor ($224 + $15 shipping) arrived in perfect condition seven days after I placed the order. The action is considerably higher than my fluke, so it's taking time to get chords like D not to buzz, but it sounds, looks and feels great.

When I heard Jake would be playing at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, Pa, which is right down the road from me, I jumped at the chance to see him live. If you haven't seen him yet, do not miss the opportunity - on video and record he is amazing - live you will not believe your eyes or your ears.

Once good tickets were secured, I decided to take the express train out of my comfort zone and try to set up a video interview with him. Much to my delight, his media manager, Michael Bloom, and tour manager, Mark Darlen, were amazingly helpful in arranging time for the interview, and the rumors about Jake are true: he is the most friendly, gracious and humble person I have ever met.

First Excuse: While acoustically good, the Colonial is 100 years old, and those were hard worn years. My plan was two cameras and a sound recorder covering Jake and I sitting in the front row, but we had no control over the house lights so we had to set up on stage. There was only one seat, which I thought I should graciously let Jake have, especially since it was his seat. This left me rocking around on the squeaky floorboards of the stage. With all that rocking and squeaking, I decided to just go with the one best camera and sound source.

The final footage was cut into two nine minute videos. My questions with time stamps are listed below in case you want to jump to a specific question/answer.

Part 1

0:00 - There are a few people in a lifetime that are truly extraordinary in their field: people like Tiger in golf, Bruce in Martial Arts, and Michael in basketball. More than just successful, they make the impossible look effortless, and accomplish amazing feats with a grace and economy of motion that is beautiful to behold.

If you wanted to add a musician to that list, it would be Jake Shimabukuro. Listen to him play and you will assume you are listening to several musicians. See him play, and you will be amazed.

0:35 - Sometimes, when musicians reach a high level of skill they get trapped in that skill and lose sight of the music. While complex, your arrangements serve the music well and don’t come across as excessive. Is this a balance you work to maintain when you are composing and arranging songs?

2:45 - In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Outliers, he asserts that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be world class at anything: hockey, playing classical music, you name it – 10,000 hours. At 40 hours a week, that’s about 5 years. When would you estimate that you crossed the 10,000 hour mark, and does that time period correlate with any milestones in your career?

6:08 - Rumor has it that you are finally releasing the fabled "Book of Jake Tabs" next year. Is this true, and do you have a song list and release date yet?

Part 2

0:00 - In addition to your solo work, you have toured and recorded with musicians as diverse as Bela Fleck, Jimmy Buffet and Yo Yo Ma. In which of these situations do you feel most comfortable, and in which do you feel the most challenged creatively?

5:00 - Your brother, Bruce, is a talented ukulele player too. Do you have plans to work together on any projects?

6:10 - James Hill is the other ukulele player in your range. Do you know each other, and will there ever be a Jake/James duet?

7:35 - At the other end of the ukulele experience range, there is me. If I was a baseball fan and met Babe Ruth, I would have to ask him to play a game of catch. I would like to try and play something together with you, if that's okay? (Last Excuse: This is my first performance on video, and I'm sure you can guess who was hitting the flat notes ;-)

Jake Shimabukuro: Jake Shimabukuro
Web Site: www.JakeShimabukuro.com
Photo Credit: Hisashi Uchida

All to appropriate these days, "Brother can you spare a dime" is one of UkesterBrown favorites, and as he says, the ukulele gives it the 4 part lonelies...

YouTube Channel: UkesterBrown

misterd699 - When I dream...

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

Nice baritone number by Mark Di Marzio...

YouTube Channel: misterd699

shanifawni - Pregnant

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

If you don't know the Cold War Kids, check out their videos on La Blogotheque. They are great on the albums, but the songs really shine when they are stripped down to the bones, as they did on La Blog, and Shanifawni does here....

Cold War Kids: Cold War Kids
YouTube Channel: shanifawni

russbuss415 - The Sky is Blue

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

Russ says this is his "lame attempt at animation done with with Sony Vegas and many hours of my life I'll never get back."

YouTube Channel: russbuss415

sharonswt - Love Game

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

Really fun cover of Lady Gaga's Love Game....

YouTube Channel: sharonswt

Spiderman, spiderman, does strange things in the background, spiderman....

YouTube Channel: adellethegreat
Chords and Lyrics: Bob Harris Spiderman Theme - Ukulele

GUGUG - Miserlou

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

It is so much fun to watch GUGUG doing this song....

YouTube Channel: GUGUG

Another excellent example from Ken's new book: 12 Tunes for Bluegrass Ukulele.

A uketopian picnic - four uke friends jamming Journey in the park...summer is officially here!

Journey: Journey
YouTube Channel: thingsBIGthe

Uniquelele fingerstyle solo version of this Burt Bacharach and Hal David song, arranged and played on Ukulele by Colin R Tribe.

Burt Bacharach: Burt Bacharach
YouTube Channel: colinrtribe
Tabs: Email colinrtribe@btinternet.com and he will gladly send you a copy of his excellent tab, and wish you well to boot!

gadaya - The Aloha Rag

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

A little and simple instrumental gadaya likes to play on the ukulele...

YouTube Channel: gadaya

Seeso - War Pigs

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

Seeso's back and with a vengeance! His War Pigs was my official personal favorite for the Baron's Golden Era Metal Ukulele Contest, even if he didn't win, and his tab of the song is at the top of my "must learn to play" list.

Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath
YouTube Channel: seeso

Couldn't wait for Halloween to put this one up....

YouTube Channel: BarleyC

Minneapolis native, Tina Schlieske, is bringing back her band, Tina and the B-Sides, for a limited tour.

Tina Schlieske: Tina Schlieske
Tina and the B-Sides: Tina and the B-Sides
YouTube Channel: tinabsides90

Ken has published his first eBook - 12 Tunes for Bluegrass Ukulele - and it's really good. His ukulele arrangements of 11 classic bluegrass songs, and this original bluegrass/calypso hybrid, are made all the richer by his clear and insightful performing notes for each of the songs.

YouTube Channel: KenMiddletonUkulele
UkeToob Interview: Ken Middleton

Fine job, especially for a first time poster....

Harry Connick Jr: Harry Connick, Jr.
YouTube Channel: griemers

KowKowKooks - Candy

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

Her voice gets me every time....

Paolo Nutini: Paolo Nutini
YouTube Channel: KowKowKooks
Chords and Lyrics: Paolo Nutini - Candy

Woodshed was (almost) too modest to mention this quick little rambler with the other fine videos on the UkeleleHunt Saturday UkeTube....

YouTube Channel: Woodshed1

AlexGeh - Beautiful Girl

Posted by Donnie Bubbles | 7:00 AM

One of several charming original songs on Alexander's channel....

YouTube Channel: AlexGeh
Chords and Lyrics: Alexander Gehlsdorf Beautiful Girl (In Notes)