Monthly Archives: December 2011

Enjoy the festive cheer!!!

A quick note to say MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! There’s not very good mobile internet coverage where I am right now so only a short post. Hope you’re having a great time with some great folks.

Be sure to enjoy your festive celebrations and of course, happy strumming!

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James Hill’s new music video

Ukulele maestro James Hill has just uploaded the video for the first single taken from his latest album; Man with a Love Song. The lead song is titled Hand Over My Heart and is one of my favorite tracks from the album (amongst plenty of other stellar tracks). Judging by the scenery, I’m pretty sure this was shot around his home in Nova Scotia, Canada.


Of course you can expect a full review of Man with a Love Song to appear on my blog early in the new year!

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Ooooh! What’s in the box…?

Sorry it’s been a little while since my last post. I have a couple of mates from Australia staying with me so my days have been a little busier, leaving less time for the ukulele. I still manage to get in a quick strum every day though.

In case you haven’t noticed (yeah, right) it’s only a handful of sleeps until Christmas rolls around! I’ve spent the last week staring at this box:

Oh yes, I seriously can not wait until Christmas morning!!!

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Ukulele master James Hill live!

As part of the Mighty Uke’s UK tour, I was very lucky to see the ukulele master James Hill perform some material from his new album.  It was quite an intimate gig at Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse, with not many people turning up at the theatre. I was lucky enough to grab front row seats! He’s a very charismatic entertainer, spinning stories and jokes in between songs.

I snapped off one photo (excuse the goofy expression, my brain had just exploded out the back of my skull from the ukulele wizardry).

And one video (excuse the mid-song ending, never use Poundland AA batteries in a digital camera).


Of course he finished with his now famous rendition of Billie Jean. Sure, I’d seen the YouTube vids, but seeing that masterpiece live is absolutely mind-blowing. It just should not be possible…

The set was followed by a strum along led by James, so now in a roundabout way I can say that I’ve jammed with James Hill. What a treat, haha!

Seriously if you ever get the chance to see James and his partner perform then don’t even think twice about the opportunity. Scrounge the cash, buy those tickets, make the journey, do what it takes. You won’t regret it!

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Bill Tapia passes away at 103

In some sad ukulele news this week, the Godfather of all things ukulele, Bill Tapia has passed away at his South Californian home at the grand age of 103.

Playing since the age of seven, Bill was widely acknowledged to be the world’s oldest performing musician. His career has taken him from entertaining troops during World War 1 and 2, to working with a diverse range of stars including Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Clarke Gable and Shirley Temple.


He was inducted into the Ukulele Hall of Fame in 2004. Here’s the late, great Bill at a young 100 years of age performing I Wanna Learn To Speak Hawaiian:

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The Mighty Uke and James Hill

This Sunday night I am off to Oxford to see The Mighty Uke, a documentary charting the rise in popularity of the ukulele from Hawaii to every corner of the globe. It’s showing for one night only at the Phoenix Picture House.

The movie will be followed by a very special guest performance by the legendary James Hill and then a “strum along” session for the crowd. I guess I’ll be taking my uke along for this one! If you haven’t seen the trailer you can watch it here:


Also worth watching is James Hill’s epic Billie Jean cover:


Should be a good night! If you’re in the Oxford area then there are still tickets available from the Phoenix Picture House website.

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