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MP3 Ukulele Mike - EASY LISTENING: Mood Music

hi folks, welcome to my first uke cd. it has a cool 18 ft ukulele on the cover but it''s the music that''s important. it offers a lot of different musical tastes: a collection of jazz, spiritual, country, polka, hawaiian, bluegrass/cajun, roaring 20''s-enjoy

18 MP3 Songs
EASY LISTENING: Mood Music, LATIN: Brazilian Jazz

A lot of people tune into the popular Idol shows. I have watched them myself and have appreciated the talented and even the not-so-talented contestants. I remember one contestant who had the opportunity to actually play her ukulele on the American Idol show. Well as a uke player myself, I thought that was just great.

"You should be on a Ukulele Idol Show!" someone exclaimed to me once when I was playing a fast ukulele solo. They had never heard a uke played like this before and I really appreciated the compliment.

I started out taking ukulele lessons in my hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada (the land of hockey great Sidney Crosby).I was about 10 years old then. Soon after that I obtained the Chalmers Doane''s Ukulele Solos album and began to teach myself to play each of his challenging solos. My music teacher at the time, Bill Wallace, was so shocked that a kid could play at this level that he invited Mr. Doane to come and see me play. He was impressed. Chalmers Doane is responsible for thousands of kids, rich and poor, all learning the ukulele in the school system together. He has contributed greatly to the ukulele and the school music program here in Canada. I joined his adult uke group years later and enjoyed many years of playing and touring with some great people. We toured Hawaii twice and performed at such places as the University of Hawaii and the Kamehameha School to name a few.

The ukulele has always been my sidekick and I guess it was inevitable that I would one day make a recording. On my CD cover is a huge ukulele, 18 feet to be exact! It’s even in the Guinness World Book of Records.

When making my CD I decided against using multi-tracks of ukulele and decided on the simplicity of a single uke to do all the work. I chose a variety of musical tastes for my first CD to show the versatility of the instrument.

I open it with the Molly Brown Medley, named after the Unsinkable Molly Brown of the Titanic story. It''s a very fast, rip-roaring tune that people seem to really like. I suggest you turn the volume up a bit and just sit back and enjoy. I played this tune at what i thought was an open mike night once, and the crowd went wild. Afterwards I was handed first prize: some cash. I was shocked but of course accepted the money.

I had to do an Elton John song as I am a big fan. I do a reggae version of Crocodile Rock which is very cool.

When I first watched the DVD A Concert For George and saw Paul McCartney beginning to play the uke, I was mesmerized. Then when Joe Brown closed the show with I’ll See You In My Dreams on his uke, with a picture of George Harrison as a backdrop, I was so moved I just had to learn the song. It’s on the CD as a tip of the hat to George who loved the uke so much and to all those who played the instrument with him.

A ukulele CD without a Hawaiian tune is simply out of the question. I had a wonderful opportunity to go to Hawaii with the Halifax Adult Ukulele Ensemble and to meet some really great uke people there, including ukulele great Herb “Ohta San” Ohta and even the legendary Don Ho. I actually had a scheduled performance with Don Ho but the show ran long. It was a great show however. With Aloha Oe I send the wonderful aloha spirit back to the warm, gentle people of Hawaii.

For all the many George Formby fans I do my version of Leaning on a Lamppost.

Charlie Chaplin wrote only one song in his entire lifetime called Smile. I loved it from day one and decided to play it expressing the complicated emotions that are contained in the lyrics.

The late Israel Kamakawiwo Ole’s medley of Over the Rainbow and What A Wonderful World has a truly special place in my heart. I wanted to pay homage to him with my own medley. Its message is very appropriate for the challenging times that we are living in today.

If I had only two wishes the first would be world peace of course, the other would be that people would discover the truly healing power of music: its power to unite, to heal and to inspire. Why schools would diminish it importance is truly mind-boggling.

The ukulele can be so misunderstood in some cultures; some see it as just a silly Tiny Tim toy. Although Tiny Tim was a wonderful entertainer in his own right, the technical abilities of the uke were not presented by this unique entertainer. I hope people will keep an open mind about the ukulele and see its abilities. It can truly stand with other instruments, even take the lead. It’s time for the ukulele to come back into the mainstream just as it was in its heyday……the Roaring 20’s!

And for all you dedicated Idol fans………try to spot the Idol songs on the CD.

Thank you for your time and I hope you choose to own a copy. Enjoy.
Many thanks,
Ukulele Mike

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