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Showing posts from April, 2012

Fountain of Uke Interview W/Aaron Keim

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Old Time Heart, Modern Day Troubadour:

This blog post is dedicated to Aaron Keim, whom many regard as one of the premier old time ukulele players, builders and music historians. 
Aaron Keim is a Ukulele player who has taken the road less traveled. Players like Aaron Keim, often shy away from the bright lights an big city, content like some forlorn 49'er, to make their camp near the riverbank, panning for gold by day and humming ditties by night.


 Aaron Keim has become a master of many things, but for those of us on the mainland who often get to hear him, he's golden, when he's reinventing the lost art of playing old time string band music on the ukulele. His music is filtered thru a prism of roots rock, punk, folk, balladry, labor history, ragtime, jug-band, early jazz, fiddle tunes, bluegrass and and a strong shot of old red eye 200 proof.
 Aaron is a true renaissance man who lives and breathes tradition without ever getting too stuck there; rather, he has one foot firmly…

In Search of a Ragtime Uker

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In Search of Ragtime Uker:

Growing up in Milwaukee, i remember the magic of summers off, hanging out at the park, playing ball, riding my mini-bike, sitting on the front porch listening to the Brewer's game on the radio, staying out late, and lighting fireworks in July. Yet, of all of these memories, one in particular plays itself over and over like a broken record...

Here it is...

I'm out in the street playing whiffle ball with my buddies, when i hear off in the distance a piano rag blaring thru a speaker, enticing all the kids to come closer, in a manner that would make Pavlov proud.

 As it gets closer, all of the kids in the street scatter to the four corners of the world running into our respective houses, only to return with our coins-a-jangling, and an intense salivation for something sweet.  Yep! The ice cream truck only played two tunes in my hood...1) Turkey In The Straw and The Entertainer by Scott Joplin, the great African American Ragtime composer. 

I remember hu…

Ukuleles In Old Time Music

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Amidst the dustbins of time, our fascination with all things retro, often feeds itself into a frenzy. What often begins as a romantic notion soon bubbles to the surface and some 15 years in the making, the Ukulele Revival has now taken on a whole new shape.  It has become one that is very different than anything i could have ever imagined when i first started seeking out likeminded strummers at uke expos, flea markets, music clubs, nursing homes, old time music circles and record collector gatherings in the early 90's.

The most obvious example today is the steady stream of international videos being made, and re-posted by Uke Hunthttp://ukulelehunt.com/. Thus, the vibrant nature of our international ukulele community, represents a rainbow of styles, from Pop -n- Punk to Rockabilly-n-Cowboy; Hawaiian and Broadway, to Honky Tonk and Bluegrass.

Haunted though we may be, there is much yet to discover and not discounting the stellar array of singer-songwriters out there right now lik…

Blessings From The 2012 Winter Tour

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Blessings From The 2012 Winter Tour:
Hello folks, after three months of touring, my family and i are just settling back into our home in Milwaukee, WI. Our tour was nothing short of magical as far as i was concerned. We started out in Indiana, then went onto, FL, TX, NM, AZ, CA, OR, WA, and finally finished our tour in Reno, Nevada at The World Famous Nugget Casino, for the Reno Ukulele Festival. Looking back at a vast array of ukulele clubs, house concerts, schools, music stores and festivals where i taught and/or performed, one might be led to ask, "what was your favorite stop or what are some highlights."

Well, to be quite honest, that is a hard question...because, i loved every moment of being on tour, none more, none less, just simply being....that's right, just simple being out on tour does it for me no matter where we are.  i simply love being out on the road. It sets my spirit free. If i have to stay put in one place too long, it never feels quite ri…