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 singer, rocker, lover,
dad, community song leader, chicken coop guru, music historian, uke club leader,
husband and father.
While many of us are out on the road paying dues, This is a man who has long
since earned his stamps and i look for fellas like Dan, who continue to hold the lantern
up high, so that the rest of us might see the road ahead on those dimly lit nights.
Don't get me wrong, Dan is no old timer! His spirit is playful and alive, always at
the ready with poem, song, story or simply to lend a hand. If you still didn't get my point,
let me put it this way, Dan has seen a whole hell of alot more than most of us ukulele revival young'ins and in an era when the Bill Tapias, Travis Harrelson's and
Elder-statesmen and women of the uke are passing on, its' the Dan Scanlan's of
this world who will step up to hold the mantel high! You can trust that the ukulele is
in good hands with Dan.
Another words, Dan has alot to share if you are willing to forget about all the things
you have to do and spend a few moments. In doing so, you'll delight in a grab-bag of
ukulele stories, legend, lore and song. One moment Dan is singing one of his own
political songs like"Its a shame! Its a crime, they ought to be doing time." and the next
he's knocking down a killer Beatles tune like Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Dan has a vast repertoire that spans all the years of American Popular Music
from Broadway, Folk, Bluegrass and Country to Rock n Roll and his own
His strumming and playing style is strong, sturdy and rock solid, with slides,
glissando's, taps, triplets, tremolo and a two finger solo picking style that is
Should you ever get a chance to study with, hang out, listen to or trade licks with
Dan Scanlan, you'll discover what I found; that Dan is an important link in the chain
of life and today's ukulele revival.
Today Dan leads a group out of Grass Valley, CA called the Strum Bums, writes
instructional books, teaches lessons, tours and soaks up the joy of life along the
Dan has many fine recordings out and is also a featured performer/interviewee, in the
international hit documentary: Mighty Uke
Dan's Site is: http://www.coolhanduke.com/
Dan's Strum Bum Group: http://www.coolhanduke.com/strumbums.html
The F.0.U. Interview W/ Dan (Feb. 2013 -Rev's Winter Tour):
(C) 2013 Lil Rev/Fountain of Uke Blog