When I first met Andrew in Los Angeles, he was just starting to make waves on the uke scene, but it was obvious he’d become one of the best performers around. He had a glint in his eye and the skills to back it up. Fast-forward a few years and Andrew has three fantastic albums to his name, as well as a brand-new online ukulele academy. We had a great chat about his musical journey so far and he gave me some valuable tips for players of all levels. Enjoy!
American singer-songwriter Tom Freund is a fairly recent convert to the uke, but he’s making up for lost time. As soon as I heard his single Happy Uke, I thought it’d be fun to have a chat with him about it, and I was right!
Over the years, Tom has collaborated with Ben Harper, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, KT Tunstall, Dave Matthews, Diana Krall and many others. He’s also done a lot of work on TV shows such as One Tree Hill, Dawson’s Creek, Parenthood, Las Vegas and Pete The Cat, and he performed with Graham Parker in the 2012 Judd Apatow comedy This Is 40.
Daniel Ho & Cameron Murray at the 2019 NAMM Show in Los Angeles
Born in Hawaii and based in California, Daniel Ho is a one-man industry. The talented singer-songwriter, producer, arranger, composer and audio engineer has won six Grammy Awards and shows no signs of slowing down…even during a global pandemic!
In our wide-ranging chat, Daniel talks about the future of the music industry, gives us an insight into co-designing Romero Creations instruments, and tells us exactly what the ukulele means to him. And you won’t want to miss his fantastic tips for players and songwriters.
For Episode 10 of the podcast, it’s my great pleasure to bring you an interview with the incredible Janet Klein. Since 1998, the charming uke-playing chanteuse and her hot band The Parlor Boys have been recording and performing rare and forgotten musical gems from the 1910s, ’20s and ’30s.
During lockdown, she’s been presenting her “Hit Of The Week” Parlor Party, an online hootenanny that features interviews with fascinating artists and historians, as well as plenty of fabulous music.
I hope you enjoy our chat!
AMERICAN uke star Victoria Vox put out her first solo album in 2006 and in 2018 released her 10th, the fantastic Colorful Heart. More recently, she’s been performing with her husband Jack Maher as one half of Jack & The Vox, and the couple has been presenting fun online concerts from their home in California during the COVID-19 lockdown.
It was a real pleasure to catch up with Victoria for this episode and I hope you enjoy it!
WILLIAM Preston Robertson (above left) is the writer and co-director of 2003 documentary Rock That Uke. Narrated by Oscar-winning actress Holly Hunter, the quirky film looks at the punk rock ukulele scene that emerged in America in the 1990s and includes interviews with local punk luminaries, such as Carmaig DeForest, as well as our Issue 7 cover girl Janet Klein.
RTU was heavily criticised at the time of its release, but to me – and many others around the world – it was nothing short of a revelation. When I finally met Bill in Sydney, Australia, I knew right away that we’d be friends. It was a great pleasure to reconnect with him for this episode. Happy listening!
Rock That Uke is available on DVD exclusively here:
*This episode of Ukulele Stories was recorded before the COVID-19 crisis.
GRACIE Terzian is a ukulele-playing singer-songwriter and actor living in New York City. In 2015, she gained attention in the jazz world with the release of her debut EP Saints And Poets, and has just released a lovely Christmas album titled Bells & White Branches.
In our chat, we talk about the holidays, creativity and her preference for the unusual harp ukulele.
Thanks for listening to Ukulele Stories in 2019. I have some great interviews lined up for 2020, so please subscribe so you never miss an episode. Merry Christmas!
Bells & White Branches
BASED in the beautiful coastal town of Byron Bay in southeastern Australia, Bobby Alu is as friendly and laidback as his tropical-flavoured music.
His Samoan mother taught him to play the ukulele early on and he then dedicated himself to mastering traditional Samoan log drums, which led to an opportunity to perform with Xavier Rudd for five years.
I caught up with Bobby shortly before he set off on an international tour and we chatted about ukes, the challenges of the modern music business and trying to find your flow in every day.
Welcome to Episode 5 of Ukulele Stories! This time, my guest is fantastic US singer-songwriter Danielle Ate the Sandwich. A YouTube uke pioneer with a great sense of humour and a catalogue of skilfully crafted tunes, she has some excellent tips for aspiring musicians. I hope you enjoy our chat…
And don’t forget to follow and support Danielle online!
Since she began performing with a uke in 2000, Rose has been a fixture on the Australian ukulele scene and has been instrumental – pun very much intended – in popularising the instrument Down Under. In 2004, she organised a concert called Ukulele Land on Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach, which turned out to be quite a pivotal event.