Mighty Uke Day


Sara Wagner took this shot in Lansing, MI at Mighty Uke Day 2012!

Mighty Uke Day was a real hoot this year! Hosted by Ben Hassenger and a great crew of volunteers. A fun filled day of workshops, open mic, jamming and a Saturday night concert featuring Gerald Ross, The Fabulous Heftones, and yours truely!

This years sponsors included: Mya-Moe, Elderly Instruments, Ohana Ukulele and many others! Now in its second year, i hope Ben will keep the momentum going and continue to host this cool little one day festival.

One thing, i thought was very memorable, the evening concert was held in an unfinished old building in Old Town, Lansing, just a few blocks from Elderly. It was funky and rough around the edges, but created a really cool ambiance to the old time music that was being played. I am told this same space used to play host to a rough and tumble saloon. My sources told me that it was a well known fact that someone was always getting their bean cracked open there on a fairly regular basis...now juxtapose that to the relative peace and love that one gets from the uke world and you can see the humor that I found in being there!

This year i taught Super Cool Right Hand Techniques and Hot Licks For Ukulele, both held at Elderly Instruments. Both classes were well attended and my students were especially interested in learning new strums to lift them out of the doldrums.

Gerald Ross gave us a fine debut of his new arrangement to the Beatles Penny Lane, which was nothing less than spectacular. I imagined that if Chet Atkins and Les Paul where Uke Players, this is what they would sound like!     

     Gerald is not only a Mentsch, but a rock solid ukulele and Lap-Steel Player.

 Brian & Lynn of The Fabulous Heftones stole the show when Brian rolled into a soprano arrangement of The Clarinet Polka, which is a real knuckle buster on the uke. As many of you know i recently wrote an article on my blog about Brian and not only is he my friend, but I find him to be one of the most interesting roots based ukulele players around! He is stepped in Ragtime, Blues, The Sentimental Song Era, Old Time & Bluegrass....and to say he is a true master of his instrument is an understatement, he is a genius! . As i stated during The Mighty Uke-Day concert stage, he most certainly is a State Treasure in Michigan and beyond!

(C)  Fountain of Uke Blog- Lil Rev 5-10-12

Comments

  1. Brian is the reason I play Ukulele. I would go to Elderly's with a friend who collected Taylors for his recording studio and while I waited for hours Brian would be in the violin room playing rag time and being Brian so I bought one and here I am. It is a real treat to hear a full concert from you. It also enhances the workshop experience because we get to see what we learned in action right after we were taught and it really bring it home. Example: the triple stroke used as a phrase ending in a strait four strummed song, I would never have gotten it if I didn’t see you do it at the concert. So memo to promoters when you book Rev. for the workshop, book the heading concert too for us students and then a few months later we come strolling in for the nicer Ukulele!

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