Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ukulele You Tube Sensation

Writing Note: Willows Blood is in its last hours ( within the plot line, anyway). I'm stressed about it, but I often am at this stage. My husband has threatened to medicate me with whiskey laced eggnog to get me to "just finish the darn thing". I've never written under the influence of hard liquor before. 'Could be fun.

I am a big believer in promoting young talent. Especially talent that seems to come from a genuine place. While puttering around on You-tube the other night, I ran across this young lady's music and fell very much into like with it. The funny thing is, the first time I heard her, someone I subscribe to was standing in the audience at You Tube Live while she was performing on stage. He was not impressed with the music and, because of it, he didn't even volunteer who she was. But the tight harmonies and the well put together acoustics caught my ear so I went on a quest to find out who she was. The results were a pleasant surprise.

Julia Nunes is another one of those kids who found their voice on You Tube and thus a huge fan base. And, believe it or not, she did it playing ukulele. Leave to the next generation to take an instrument that's been the butt of jokes for most of its existence and turn it it into something cool (Julia herself won an international contest playing "Survivor" by Destiny's Child, while accompanying herself on ukulele). Who knew?

Julia does covers, but she also writes and plays her own stuff, most of which is quirky, all of which is charming. Her greatest appeal--to my ear and eye--is her very real effervescence. The kid glows when she's performing. I actually had a hard time choosing between videos to show you, but I especially like this one. This one is a mix of her accompanying herself with both guitar and ukulele as well as singing all the harmonies.

Her You Tube Page

On a personal note--My own oldest is putting together an acoustic version of Carol of the Bells which he's promised me I can post on here tomorrow. He's been working on this project for days, perfectionist that he is, and informed me that there will be a a nursing home with great big roaches in my future if I posted any of his early attempts. So watch this space.


Dennis Bryant said...

Personally I'd pass on the egg nog--it spoils the taste of the bourbon ;-)

Looking forward to reading Willow's Blood!

Anonymous said...

Julia rocks!

Believe it or not, the uke hasn't been the butt of jokes for "most of its existence." Only since the 1960's, when the guitar sort of took over, has the uke been seen as a joke. Many blame this on Tiny Tim, though only those who don't really understand what he was about.

Between the years 1915 and 1935 the ukulele was the most popular instrument found in the American home. Through a chunk of the 1950's it occupied a similar spot, thanks to Arthur Godfrey and a fella named Maccaferri (who invented an all plastic uke that was a -- and many still are -- nice. playable instrument).

Since the mid-to-late 1990's the ukulele has seen a huge resurgence in popularity, sometimes referred to as the "third wave." Julia is part of that.

The best history of the uke available online is the one by Cool Hand Uke. Check it out, you may be surprised.

Great post! Oddly enough, I'm working on learning a solo ukulele instrumental arrangement of Carol of the Bells even as we speak... errrr... type. Be sure and post the good one by your son. You'll want to avoid those roaches.

Howlin' Hobbit
got uke?