Sunday, August 16, 2009


The Uklectics performed Saturday at Jim and Colleen’s Garden Song down at the edges of the Elkhorn Slough between Santa Cruz and Monterey along the California shoreline. I don’t think there could have been a better venue for our first performance. Jim has built a deck stage underneath the edge of an old grove of majestic oak trees. Their house is on a large piece of property that has many bark lined paths through lush garden areas up and down the soft rolling inclines and declines around their home. Their garden specialties were world class Dahlia species – what a treat to see – some Dahlias were a foot in diameter.
With the oaks and the rolling hills the sounds from the stage filled their valley as each act performed. We were so lucky to be the first performers and got to do a sound check with Jim and Colleen radioing back and forth to get the sound set properly. This gave us the chance to sing some lengthy parts of our songs and to get comfortable with the sound equipment and for me, those a-a-a-h-s!, that I’ve been stressing about.
I think Jay, originally suggested the UKLECTICS, and it felt natural from the beginning and far superior to The Tuesday Night Band, that I was using because we hadn’t solidified anything. As we started off as student’s of Chancelour Rhan’s UKE U, and put in our song ideas we did have quite an eclectic collection of genres and songs: Blues, Country, Rockabilly, Elvis, Hapa Haole Hawaiian, Bossa Nova, and more Blues. And an old movie song didn’t make the final cut; If I Only Had a Brain. We also experimented with Freebird during our garage band get togethers.
Our Selection / Singers / Soloists:
Kansas City Blues / Robbie / Judy bass intro & instrumentals / Jay guitar
Stray Cat Strut / Jeff with Robbie & Sheila / Jay instrumentals
Folsom Prison Blues / Sheila with Robbie / Judy instrumentals
Are you Lonesome Tonight / Jay & Chuck’s poetry too.
Hanalei Moon / Bob & Chuck / Judy instrumentals
Garota de Ipanema & Girl from Ipanema / Jeff & Sheila / Judy instr.
Tell Ev’rybody I know / Robbie & Jay / Jay instrumentals
HONORABLE MENTION – Please stand up Pete and take a bow for playing percussion all along and making a switch from a standard kit to African Drums with small kit just two weeks before our performance – you sounded great!
Judy, told me that I worried to much, I think she’s right. But the worrying made me set goals for practicing and remembering songs. (Like practice song A 4 times and song B 2 times. All of the way through.) The Uklectics performed quite admirably. I think we were all proud of our efforts and the performance. We played thru any glitches, and as Robbie pointed out, one of our errors in practice led us to a simple plan, a just-in-case plan… It happened and we all calmly moved right on during the performance.
I have got thank all of the Santa Cruzers so much for welcoming me into this group. It is the time spent working, sharing, collaborating that makes this a really cherished happening in my life. There’s a lot of work. There’s being open to not playing it safe. Singing loud, being creative, and exploring our faults/strengths to create the best music we can this day. Each step should bring us further as musicians and good people.
I should also thank Jim and Colleen for creating such a great opportunity to get together and celebrate music and comraderie. They were gracious and patient hosts. Colleen sang several of her original songs while playing the ukulele. She's a Mandolin player normally and had only been practicing the ukulele for 2 weeks. She and Jim gave quite a performance of their own.
P.S. I hope to have some pictures and maybe a video up of our performance soon.


  1. Actually, I think The Ukelectics stole the show!
    You can come back anytime!
    Thanks so much for the great comments!
    Colleen Sillver

  2. Congratulations on your show. A lot of time & effort went into it, & of course it turned out wonderfully.

    I've already stated my position on the Tuesday name, & I hope that Uklectics, which of course seems clever at first, remains so & doesn't over time begin to pall & make you sound like just one more band smartly working the "uke" look & sound into its name (must be a thousand of them - well, maybe not), & begin to induce yawns from audiences, ala a name such as The Harmonicats, which I'm sure also sounded clever & right at first, but really.

    Once again, all of you have every right to feel proud.