Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Just had to tell you about Zoë Bestel - Winter Song

Time, time, time, never enough of it, so much to tell you about, I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland... but I just had to make time amid all the Christmas preparations to share this video with you. Zoë Bestel is a young up-and-coming singer-songwriter from the north of England who is now rapidly making a name for herself on the ukulele scene. I've just looked up when I first posted about Zoë here, and it was 17th October 2012, when she was still at school. She has continued to rise and shine, making her big uke festival debut at the Great Northern Ukulele Festival in Huddersfield in September this year.

Her latest song dropped into my inbox the other day - everything about this video stopped me in my tracks and I had to immediately watch and listen again. She has the most gorgeous voice. Add to that the talent of her own writing and the lovely north of England winter footage..... well, watch it for yourself. I think Zoë Bestel is going a long way......



Thanks for dropping in! So many things to tell you... I'll try to get back to you soon!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A day to go and at last I'm in "full Formby mode".....



Enjoying myself in the "thrash", September convention, Blackpool (photo thanks to Lynn Raybould)

With the November Convention of the George Formby Society only one full day away now, at last I've stopped flitting about from song to song, style to style, wooden uke to banjo uke and back again, and settled to the Formby numbers. Both banjo-ukes are out of their cases and near at hand, and I'm practising like mad - because at every GFS convention I curse myself for not spending more time learning Formby. Formby syncopation is a long and winding road, when you're not 13! It is the youngsters who learn this stuff the fastest. They can be highly competent players in a matter of months - and as for the rest of us, it is the more focused among us who achieve the most success. Focused? Me? Get away with you! I'm still enjoying myself learning to play blues, old jazz standards, finger-picking, chord melody .... anything that gets thrown my way. And Formby of course! And now these last couple of days, I'm trying to make up for lost time, knowing that when I go down to the front to join in with the "thrash" I'll be kicking myself, as my eyes try to home in on someone who really knows what they're doing, so I can follow the chords! And will I be venturing onto that Formby stage this time round...? I hope so. Because I'll be kicking myself if I don't. Getting up there and doing it is the only way to get used to it.

Thanks for dropping in - I've been missing, I know - life has been incredibly busy lately, but uke-life has been interesting and I'll tell you all about it, just as soon as I can - I promise!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Ukulelezaza and his Ludwig banjo-uke - "Twilight Shuffle"

I posted yesterday about Peter Moss, ace ukulele and banjo-uke player - whose playing history began with the George Formby Society but didn't end there - he plays all sorts - well, Remco Houtman-Jannsen (AKA Ukulelezaza) is another such player, another one of my favourites, whom I've featured on here many times. Like Peter, Remco only plays instrumentals.

Here's his latest video, "Twilight Shuffle", once more showing that delightful ditties can be played on a banjo-uke! I love that Ludwig. If you haven't got several thousand to spare, dollars, pounds, it makes no difference, don't waste your time looking for one - they're uke-gold....

And you'll see at the end of the video that Remco has a new tab book out - "The Glory of Love", complete with a new DVD. AND he writes about Ludwigs in there... yes, I've got mine! Silly question....! Get yours here and I'll talk more about that later... meanwhile enjoy.......

Before you do, I must say that the videos I enjoy the most are the ones that are simply produced - just the uke and the player, self-recorded, where it's just like someone sitting down and playing just for you. So here you are, it's Ukulelezaza, playing JUST for you!



Beautiful! Such a pretty ditty! And have you noticed how Remco lets you see exactly what he's playing on the fret-board? Superb! Thanks for dropping in.... see you next time!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Peter Moss - US mini-tour starts 15th November!

Peter Moss - the name is spreading... and so it should be!

You know Lil Rev? He's quite a name in ukulele circles. Well now, at Lil Rev's request, Peter Moss is going to be appearing on the same bill at the 6th Annual Milwaukee Ukulele Festival on the 22nd November... and before that he'll be in Florida, doing concerts and workshops in Bonita Springs and Fort Lauderdale, then near Orlando,) and after Milwaukee he'll be in Dayton and Cincinatti, Ohio!

If you want to know what I think of Peter Moss as a performer and workshop leader, just type his name into the search box on the right, to find previous posts! He's just fantastic!

Here's the whole itinerary - the fun starts on 15th November!






If you can get to one of these events, seriously, do not miss - I mean it, do not miss!

Have fun, Pete - and Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Johnny Foodstamp, my Kiwaya KTS-4 and a bit of Roy Smeck - what a combination!

I told you that Johnny Foodstamp (from Nashville, Tennessee) made the pilgrimage to a George Formby Society convention in Blackpool again... just a week or so ago...

He was interested in my Kiwaya uke, knowing how George Elmes (read about George here on Uke Ireland ) thinks so highly of his Kiwaya ... and as he wanted to play it, and I wanted to hear him play it, the result was this lovely impromptu performance of Roy Smeck's Music Box Waltz.

Pure magic.

Please enjoy....



Mmm, delicious!

Thanks for dropping in....