What a great Flea Fest!  Thank you everyone for coming to Yo el Rey last Sunday evening.  We packed the joint!  And special thanks to J Kirk, the host with the most; Sean Allen for accompanying us with his very shiny National steel guitar (didn’t it make us sound great?); and the youthful ‘Ukulele Underground contingent who drove up from Vallejo and San Leandro and introduced us to Drop Baby Drop.

bigbg_80ef858fSome of you were wondering what ‘Ukulele Underground was. Well, it’s a little bit of everything (lessons, tutorials, forums, chit-chat, songs–all on the internet) for the growing, world-wide population of ‘ukulele fans.  It’s well worth a visit.  Here, for example, is a tutorial (they post a new one very week) by  Aldrine Guerrero on “Drop Baby Drop” (Let me know if you figure out what “chunking” is):

There are two versions (one with and one with-out the picking pattern) of the song posted in Drop Baby Drop under Songs.  

chuckberryI also added Memphis. (Better download and play it now, before you forget that neat little F-Dm-F7-Dm-F riff taught  by our friend Mark Kailana Nelson.)

paul-anka-2The UnderGrounders also reminded us of that great Paul Anka song: Diana. This one is also posted, though I must say I’d never paid much attention to the first line before: “I’m so young and you’re so old…”  (What do you think it means, Mrs. Robinson?) Anyway, if you know of any other songs that use that same 4-chord progression, please let me know….we might as well play them all.

Save the Date. We’ll be meeting at the home of Jeanne Baswell this month, Sunday, April 19.  I will post more information as we get closer to the date, but, you will have to RSVP me personally to find out where she lives………

ab23_1The Thursday Night Follies at Nimbus is Back On!  Sorry for the brief hiatus, but we’re back in business and this week will be even better. At  6:15 pm we’ll be doing Hula with Lois.   This is a very basic, beginning class. “No preshah.”  Men are invited and encouraged to join in.  (In case you don’t know, women love men who hula!) Then at 7-ish we’ll segue into Beginning ‘Ukulele (unless we’re just having too much fun doing the hula.)  Even less “preshah.”  And Intermediate ‘Ukulele/Song session will start at 8-ish.   Feel free to bring snacks! Nimbus Arts is at 3111 St. Helena Highway, just north of St. Helena. Please bring a $5.00 donation for each class.

In the meantime: Let’s figure out if there’s a better night for everyone to get together for our monthly Flea Fest. Let me know which evening works best for you. You can choose as many nights as you wish:

There’s a lot going on this week-end.  There’s the Bob Brozman Workshop down in Santa Cruz and I just found out Bill Tapia will be at Freight & Salvage Saturday night!  He is 101 years old, the oldest performing musician alive, and he plays the ‘ukulele! He played in the Monarch Room at the opening of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel more than 80 years ago and he played there again when they closed it for renovations last May!

While he was in Hawai’i last spring, Bill bought a condo.  Apparently they tried to get him set up with an adjustable-rate mortgage;  he told them, “No way! I want a 30-year fixed!”

This is history in the making.  Don’t miss it! Freight & Salvage Saturday night!


Speaking of History in the Making:


ukuleleslamgreen1And, Flea Jumper Erich Sylvester, “a guy who sings with a uke,” is continuing his ‘Ukulele Slam & Jam,  Sat. April 4 from 7pm to 9pm at the Café International in San Francisco, at 508 Haight St, near the corner of Fillmore in San Francisco.  He’s looking for participation by ‘ukulele enthusiasts of all kinds, both performers and audience members.   Sounds like a great opportunity to meet some other like-minded folks.

The corner of Haight & Fillmore is well-served by major muni bus routes.  Route 22 runs north/south on Fillmore and Routes 71 & 7 & 6 run
east/west on Haight from Market St. in downtown SF where a BART connection can be made.  www.sfmta.com has all the bus details. 

The Café International serves beer & wine, coffees & teas, sandwiches, soups, middle eastern foods, and desserts.  Cash only; no checks or credit cards. Don’t call the Café about the Uke Slam; call Erich before 9pm at 415-359-9826

Two last notes:

There’s been talk of a Napa Valley Flea Jumper entry in the Calistoga 4th of July parade. I’m away most of the month of June, so if there’s anyone else who’d like to take the lead on this, please let me know.

Also, we talked a little about a Flea Jumper entry in the St. Helena Pet Parade.  We’ve got the fleas, we just need a dog!  Again, I’ll be a little busy with the ‘Ukulele Festival, so if there’s someone who’d like to take the lead on that, let me know. Here’s my formula for winning the Pet Parade:  1) an adorable child, 2)lots and lots and lots of people, 3) a structure of some kind, 4) bring up the rear.  Come on! We can do this!

Hope to see you Thursday.