Saturday, November 21, 2015

Aloha, Jake!

Tonight we went to see Jake Shimabakuro at Bass Concert Hall in Austin. Jake is considered the world's best ukulele player and for good reason. He's taken a simple instrument places it's never been before, from a vibrant rendition of Queen's Hungarian Rhapsody to a heartrendingly delicate version of Schubert's Ave Maria.

His performance was amazingly vibrant for a duo, he plays with his whole body and never allows the audience time to get fidgety. His bass player Nolan Verner has exquisite technique (four finger picking) and complements Jake's music perfectly. He plays a four-string but I suspect he may have a BEAD tuning, at least I think I was hearing some thumping low notes.

We stayed to have our ukuleles signed by Jake. He spent time with each person who wanted an autograph and/or picture and made everyone feel noticed and appreciated. He's pretty much my ideal as a performer and a person. He liked the motto on our business card; "Changing the world, four strings at a time."

Many thanks to our friend Daniel Adams for driving, his wife Carol Navarro Adams and our friend Katie Do for the wonderful company. It was a memorable and very special evening.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

October 2015 Fourth Thursday Meeting

We have Ukulele Club twice a month and we decided to host in a new location one of those meetings. Some of our regular members live in Marble Falls and we think another location might get some more members. The Marble Falls Public Library has great facilities and an enthusiastic staff, we were made to feel right at home. Here's our first meeting in our new digs!

Don, Cheryl, Lisa, Virginia, Mike, Elizabeth, Luis, Daniel

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 2015 Second Thursday Meeting

What great good luck, our youngest members were able to attend this time. Abby and Micah came and had a great time strumming along. Daniel has obviously been practicing, because he sounds much better than he claims to, especially for a beginner! Thanks for coming out, y'all!

Here's some news. In order to meet a little closer to some of our members' homes and to try to build membership, we have booked the Community Room at the Marble Falls Public Library for the 4th Thursday of each month, beginning this month, same time.

Abby, Lisa, Micah, Daniel, Don

Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 2015 Fourth Thursday Meeting

Tonight was our bi-monthly Highland Lakes Ukulele Club meeting and we had bunches of fun. Our experienced musician/new member Lee was able to make it this time. Don fixed Elizabeth's baritone uke that she played as a teenager, so that makes her an 'experienced beginner'. She jumped right in with enthusiasm and joy and she's got the fever like the rest of us!

Don, Virginia, Lisa, Lee, Elizabeth

Thursday, September 10, 2015

September 2015 2nd Thursday Meeting

We enjoyed meeting our new members Daniel and Elizabeth, both beginners and thinking this is just about as much crazy fun as they had imagined (or perhaps they were just humoring me). We played our old faves from the current songbook and I've vowed to get some new songs in for the next meeting.

Don, Lisa, Elizabeth, Daniel, Luis, Cherie, Virginia

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August 2015 2nd Thursday Meeting

Once again the computer and monitors are up and running so we can sit comfortably and read the song sheets. We had a couple of new members who got away before I could get a picture. Daniel got some advice from Don on choosing and buying a left-hand ukulele and Lee, an accomplished musician, came by to check us out and see what the club is like. Harriet stopped by and is seriously considering buying a uke, she gave all hers away to children.

We went over some of the regular songs and the Hawaiian/Island set list for the upcoming Luau at Gateway Villas in Marble Falls, should be lots of fun!

Don, Lisa, Luis, Harriet, Virginia

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Restoring A Baritone Ukulele

Our member Cherie has an old Tara Baritone Ukulele. The top didn't have sufficient bracing inside to support the bridge, so the tension of the strings was warping the face of the instrument.

Don removed the bridge and fabricated a tailpiece to secure the strings. The original bridge was glued and screwed so removing it damaged the first layer of plywood which he repaired with sawdust and superglue. He made a floating bridge and replaced the original tuners.

I wanted to make it look a LOT better, so I asked my friend Sheri if I could use some of her acrylic paints and borrow her shop for the day. It's been 40 years since I painted anything so it was a bit nerve-wracking at first but as soon as I started it went pretty well. 

Once the paint was dry, I applied a couple of coats of polycrylic, Don restrung it and it's an attractive, playable instrument.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Young Folks

Our friend Lisa has two very musical children (no surprise) and they have been interested in ukuleles. There's nothing like having an instrument in the house and like-minded people to hang out with so Abby and her brother Micah now have ukuleles! We're so pleased that they're members of our Club!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 2015 Fourth Tuesday Meeting

Today at the Ukulele Club meeting, our friend Abby was very interested in borrowing my uke and showing it to her friends.  Since attendance was sparse, I let her have it for quite awhile.  She appears to be enchanted with it so perhaps she'll join the Club one of these days.  Since she's 5 years old (she said she used to be 4) I think she has plenty of time to learn.

I'm sure she's going to be a good singer.  While I was showing her how to tune, any note I plucked, she was able to sing it perfectly.  Her pitch is dead-on, it's very exciting!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 2015 Fourth Thursday Meeting

Well, once again we had a fun and profitable (artistically speaking) meeting! We've added a couple of new songs, check them out in our Song Files!
Catch A Falling Star
Route 66
A couple (ahem) several song PDF need serious makeovers so I'll be working on them this upcoming 2 weeks. We feel so grateful to have good friends who love music to hang out with. Thanks so much for coming out!

Lisa, Luis, Amber, Don, Viriginia

Highland Lakes Weekly's Photo of the meeting, courtesy John Hallowell.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 2015 Second Thursday Meeting

We've had such fun and met some wonderful people since starting the Highland Lakes Ukulele club.  Today we were small but mighty!  We were thrilled to welcome new member Alicia and our old friend Tom is back, albeit with a trace of the local flu still bugging him a bit.  Once again we thank Fuel Coffeehouse in Llano for hosting the Club meetings twice a month, what a great place to gather!

Lisa, Don, Tom, Luis, Alicia

Thursday, February 12, 2015

February 2015 Second Thursday Meeting

We had some new members swelling our ranks into the low tens!!!  Yay for us.  A couple of novice players, Kyle and Gabe, came early to learn to tune and get started with a few chords, but it was obvious they had been tinkering with YouTube before they got here ;-)  Leo came to see if the Uke was 'his instrument', it certainly looks like it may be!

We welcomed back Amber, who had been out for awhile, we missed her.  We did some simple and a little more advanced tunes and of course enjoyed those lovely harmonies!

Don, Amber, Luis, Virginia, Leo, Lisa, Kyle, Gabe

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Appearance at Gateway Villas Assisted Living

We had a great time and played most of the gigsetlist.pdf. with Goodnight Sweetheart at the very end.  After the first couple of songs, the audience was singing along and having a blast hearing the old-timey songs again, it was very gratifying. 

Some of us were able to go to lunch at Russo's across the street where we 'communed' for another hour-or two.  Thanks so much for the great turnout!

Virginia, Cheri, Cheryl, Don, Luis, Mike, Lisa