Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick reminder that we will be gathering at NapAloha in St. Helena, this Sunday, November 29, for our monthly flea fest!  If you’re bringing a new song, please bring enough copies for eveyone.  And don’t forget the pupus! RSVP with Diana: 707-967-9700.

And don’t forget the Big Ukulele Event coming up December 3 hosted by Kala Brand ‘Ukuleles to benefit the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. There will be free ‘ukulele lessons and a concert by the “Ukalaliens.”  Tickets are available online at http://phoenix.inticketing.com/events/59289 or can be purchased in advance at Tall Toad Music in Petaluma. The fun begins at 7:00. I do believe our good friends the Petalukes are also performing.

And this just in:  An ‘ukulele showdown (of sorts) has been scheduled for the weekend of March 19-21 at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino in Reno/Sparks when James Hill and Jake Shimubakuro headline twin concerts in the Nugget’s Celebrity Showroom in conjunction with the Tahoe Area Uke Fest. Not sure if the two ‘ukulele superstars will be on stage toether, but at least it’s nice to see James Hill getting the billing he so deserves.  It’s kind of like Bruce Lee meets the Royal Canadian Mounties……

In the meantime, James and his partner Anne Davison just won the “Traditional Abum of the Year” award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for their CD, True Love Don’t Weep.  Here’s what they’re saying about it: 

For starters, True Love Don’t Weep, his first full-length collaboration with cellist Anne Davison, abandons the “bet-you-didn’t-think-I-could-do-that” subtext of his earlier work to follow a muse that seems unfettered by supply and demand and uninterested in ukulele evangelicalism. Cello, banjo, bouzouki, fiddle, voices, winds, brass, bells and music boxes entwine with ukuleles of all shapes and sizes through twelve tracks that resonate with folk, old-time, gospel and blues influences. True Love Don’t Weep isn’t a campaign for the ukulele, just an offering of beautiful, sweetly sorrowful music. From the heart-rending Ev’ry Night to the cathartic Obedience Blues to the slightly demented Duke’s Alley Rag, the duo – assisted by a handful of talented friends – weaves a broad tapestry of vivid colour and emotion. Fret-burning, uptempo cuts like Ode to a Frozen Boot, Richard’s Reel, and One More Lie to Love show why Canadian Folk Music calls James “truly amazing… a serious virtuoso upon the instrument.” But it’s the meditative introduction to Sakura, Sakura, the sweet vocal harmonies of Because, and the haunting chorus of Oh! Susanna that explain the three-year gap between True Love Don’t Weep and James’ “tour de force” third album A Flying Leap. After all, it takes time to dig deeper and True Love Don’t Weep certainly comes from a deeper – often darker – place.

I can still hear that very haunting rendition of “Oh! Susanna” that James played at the first Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival.  To hear some of the songs and order the CD directly from James you can visit his website: James Hill: Ukulele…Seriously.  Otherwise you can download the entire CD (highy recommended) or just individual songs on iTunes to the right.

And now for something entirely different, I’ve posted a new copy of “On a Coconut Island” under the Song Files.  It’s the Louis Armstrong version (you can also download it from iTunes on the right) …wonderful.


And, finally, since it is Black Friday, don’t forget to do your ‘ukulele holiday shopping soon: www.kani-ka-pila.com. Send me an email if you’d like me to bring anything to Flea Jumpers on Sunday.  I can keep it a secret if you want…..