Showing posts from 2013

Skype Lessons

Lil Rev is now taking students over the winter for private home (in Milwaukee, WI) Or Skype lessons.
My fee is $50 for a one hour lesson.
I can also be reached at:

Jam Etiquette

Recently, I had the great pleasure of attending a big ukulele festival in Canada.
While at this festival I witnessed a few things which encouraged me to write this Post. 
For many beginning and Intermediate  Jammers, lessons can be hard won, as no one has ever told them how to jam Or that there is an etiquette which lends itself to playing well with others.

As with most music festivals, be they folk, blues, bluegrass or dance camps, the opportunity to jam with others is a huge draw for most attendees.
 All jam sessions are not created equal.
The ones when everything goes right, can often live on in the memory books for years to come.
For every great jam that I have taken part in, I have witnessed 2 or 3 mediocre jams or failed jams.
Before I tell you what makes a jam successful let me first mention a couple of common pitfalls that can really sidetrack the best way-laid intentions.
1) one strong leader who doesn't know how to share the load. While many people appreciate his willingness to lea…

Touring PA & NC

Dear friends 
In mid November I will be touring PA & NC.
 My tour will take me from Altoona and Pittsburgh to Durham and Wilmington in NC. 
To that end, I will be presenting a Jewish program, my scraps of quilting music show and a number of ukulele workshops and concerts to boot.
For more info please visit: 
Hope to see you soon,
Lil Rev

Tour of Nebraska & Kansas

Hello Friends,

The month of August finds me back out on the Great Plains.

After a long absence to this part of the country I have been hired to do an artist in
residency for the City of Papillon's Recreation Department (Omaha, NE).

Over the course of a week i will present a number of concerts and workshops for kids,
seniors and local ukulele players. Following my stay in Papillon, i will swing over to
Kansas City on Sunday August 4th for a concert and workshop in conjunction with the
Kansas City Ukulele Community.

For more details on this tour, please visit my calendar at:

This trip is a welcome return, since I have spent many-a-year touring the KC, Lawrence,
Shawnee, Omaha area. I simply love the areas expansive plains and wide open vistas.  To
this humble Midwestern soul, it's where the West and all of its rich lore,
truly begins.

Something stirs in me when i am out here, and a poetic murmur beats gently in
my heart as a strong sense of American freedom al…

Ashoken Ukulele Retreat

Dear friends,

This year is shaping up to be stellar year for music camps, retreats and of course ukulele gatherings.

I am particularly excited about one such event: The Ashoken Ukulele Camp to be held July 4th thru the 7th in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York State.

This event will feature dance, music instruction, open mic, jamming, workshops, Q & A periods, and a unique opportunity to spend some quality time with some of the best ukulele instructors in the nation including: James Hill, Gerald Ross, Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, Lil Rev and Ruthy Ungar.

 Again, here is the link:

Hope to see you there!

Lil Rev
Artwork: Steven Einhorn (C) 2011

Fountain of Uke Interview W/ Dan Scanlan AKA: Cool Hand Uke

Lil Rev in Concert at the home of Dan & Joan Scanlan circa 2013 Dan's sitting in and tearing it up!

When I first met Dan Scanlan some years back out on the festival circuit, I didn't know
much about him. As the hands of time wore on, Dan and I began to find ourselves
picking and grinning at ukulele festivals all over North America.

Eventually my winter tours led me right up to Dan's doorstep, where he was gracious
enough to host a house concert for me and welcome in my wife, daughter and I for a
few days of much needed R & R.

What struck me about Dan first and foremost was Dan's lack of pretense,
and a well grounded sense of humility.

Here was a guy who had been playing the ukulele for over 50 years, had traveled
the world in search of its roots, had a deep and abiding respect (and knowledge)
and love for the ukuleles humble history.

To understand Dan, is to know a man of who has worn many hats.

He is, was or continues to be a mechanic, activist, folk sin…

Thoughts for the Future

Now that the Reno Ukulele Festival and our three month winter tour is behind us,
i am slowly gathering steam, recharging and getting ready for what is sure to be a
really great summer.

I have some really choice local gigs at pizza parlors,
farmers markets and festivals, which i am really looking forward to.

Nationally, i will be appearing at The MacComb Ukulele Festival,
Ashoken Ukulele Retreat,The Strathmore Ukulele Gathering, Fox Valley
Folk Festival and The Nova Scotia Ukulele Ceilidh to name a few.

Soon, my buddy John Nicholson and I will be recording the audio tracks
for our new book:Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele, which we hope will be released
before the NAMM Show in January of 2014.

Once these tracks are done, i am going to begin work on a new book called:
Essential Strums, Strokes and Tricks for Ukulele, which is to be released as
a book/DVD combination. Again, this will be released in 2014 i hope.

Many of you are aware that i have been touring very hard for about 10 years now.
I …

Selected 2013 Summer Performance Schedule

The Song is Ended But The Melody Lingers On

Irving Berlin once wrote those lyrics to The Song Is Ended, a classic love and longing song.

Such is the case for touring musicians like myself who spend months at a time on the road.

My wife, daughter and i just returned home from over 3 months of touring FL, TX, NM,
 AZ, CA, OR and WA.. I have been making that jaunt for the better part of 8 years now
and time sure does fly.

While its hard to say what i love most about being on the road, here are few
things that come to mind:

1) I love the people who take us in and care for us, cooking, showing
us around, and helping to lighten our way. They have become so dear
to us. I could not do it without them.

2) I love the fans who enthusiastically turn up once a year, as i pass thru
their town to teach and or perform.

3) I love the grandeur that is the American West. While we start our
tour in the south and southwest, i cannot tell a lie, there is something mythical,
magical and haunting to me about the wide open spaces of the "deep west…