Thursday, August 6, 2009

U - K - L - E - C - T - I - C - S UPDATE

Hey Uklectics - we need a band photo!


The Uklectics are going to be performing in an informal setting at a Garden Party. This performance is like a midterm, in that we are being tested on what Rhan taught us, the skills we have developed individually and putting it all together. A band is a tricky thing to maintain, we have all become good friends, and we are all people with different personalities, skill sets, and levels of desire for perfection. Two of our members have been playing over thirty years. They are the backbone, the strength, the wisdom. Jay H. strives for perfection in guitar and voice. I always tease him that he’s gonna get the panties thrown his way as he croons his Elvis melody. Judy P. strives for the spaces in between to turn a tune into a real song. Judy also blesses us with her glorious instrumentals.

The rest of us are relative newbies. Although, Robbie B., has a sweet and bluesy voice, that is powerful and full of the country sound of an Iowan born woman. Robbie’s voice is a stable anchor for the band. (Iowan born like Greg Brown and Iris DeMent.) Sheila, has been enjoying taking the lead and singing a Johnny Cash tune and joyfully play the guiro and getting us in the mood for our Brazilian bassa. Then we have Buster Bob, who has missed several of the classes, but keeps going strong with his background with the Sons of the Beach ukulele gatherings. He sings strongly in our Hawaiian tune along with Chuckie B. C.B. it our storyteller and communicates a tale his Uklectic outings and has plans for logos and signs, and future stardom.

Then we have our percussionist, Pete. He’s got the duel blessing/challenge of having two war tested drummers, Rhan and Jay H. listening to his every tap, bump and bang. I think in many ways his drumming is the glue that keeps us all together. Pete, was a ukulele player and has moved over to the drums and plays at many uke gatherings and just pleasantly adds to the fullness of the ukulele group.
Me, JW, the humble uker, the one that lives inside this head, and writes this gibberish, I went to Rhan’s Ukulele University (Rhanbo sez, UKE U) class 65 miles away from my home, because I wanted to become a better player AND singer. The Uklectics have a momentum based on Rhan's tutilege. I have a Rockabilly song and a very challenging song in another language. I have gone from singing shyly in a large group to lead singing on 2 songs behind a microphone. Wherever my voice rates on a scale of 1 to 10 I don’t mind. Perhaps, I only went from a 1 to a 2, but the 2 is a whole lot more fun than a 1 and I feel a 3 is coming up on the horizon.

I thank Rhan and the members of the band for enduring me for 16 weeks, that’s: Chuckie B, Pete, Bob, Jay, Judy, Robbie and Sheila.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Jeff, for your kind words and dedication to writing about your life and those in it - I am happy to be one of them.
    I especially like your last comment about where you rate on the "scale".
    If you have indeed only gone from a 1 to a 2, then you have doubled your skills - that's not bad at all. To see 3 on the horizon means you are aware of your potential and plan on going there. Many do not realize that they have it in them to do most anything they want to.
    When I see top notch bands play, I see musicians far beyond my level of playing and I feel "less than" for awhile until I remember that we are all somewhere on that scale relative to others. As long as we are growing, then we are doing what we are meant to be doing. I don't want to be compared to someone else - I want to compare myself to how I was ten years ago, last month, or even yesterday.
    Congratulations to all of you who took my class and who are taking it further. I am honored to have got you started, but it is you who made it happen. I only hope my next class will be as fun and inspiring as you.

    See you at the Uke Club.

    PS - Call it UKE U - it's funnier that way.