With life getting in the way of this ukulele blog, I have been finding it hard to get reviews done as quickly as I would like. And as part of that I have a stack of ukulele albums that I have been listening to that I haven't got around to reviewing on this site as yet. Feeling guilty about that, I figured I would give them a shout out in a combined roundup of what I have been playing in the last few months.
Manitoba Hal - Dancing In The Moonlight
I adored Hals 'Flirting With Mermaids' album, and have seen him perform live a couple of times since then, so have really been enjoying this one. The Canadian bluesman really shines on this short album in what sees his blues show of more of their country side (which is a real love of mine). A mix of originals and covers (including a sublime take on Wayfaring Stranger) I thoroughly enjoyed this one and it cements his position as being one of this bloggers favourite ukulele artists.
Available from http://www.manitobahal.com/#!music/c1erv
Ben Rouse - Love Of Rin
If you have not been wowed by one of Bens stage performances lately, then you have missed a treat. But for those that struggle to get to shows, you can now hear what all the fuss is about with this 12 track recording of total wizardry on the strings. For anyone who thinks Ben is 'that guy who plays rock tunes' on the ukulele then this album really shows that the breadth of his tastes go way beyond that. Whilst we have rock in covers of Zeppelins Immigrant Song and a sublime medley of Thunderstruck and Highway To Hell we also have the likes of tango in Por Una Cabeza, classical music, folk and an inspired choice of 'Baby Now That I Found You'. If you like your solo ukulele you will love this. Something for everyone really. Another performer in the 'how does he do that' category.
Available from - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/benrouse2
Ric McCormick - Pies, Love and Ukulele EP
I first saw Ric perform at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival but had been hearing good things about him for a while. Really enjoyed listening to his new EP selection of self penned witty tunes. If you are compelled by song titles such as 'Bunny Stew' and 'Who The Hell's George Formby?' or subject matter including Ethel Austin knickers you will like this. It's all very tongue in cheek, but well performed. In addition, Ric is making this available in return for a charitable donation to The Christie hospital.
Available from - https://www.justgiving.com/ricmacfeegle/
Jono and The Uke Dealers
I had no idea what to expect with this one. I have been in touch with Jono Bell, lead singer and uke player with this Northampton four piece for some time, but I have to admit that I had not heard his music before this EP arrived. It's really nice when something new arrives that is just up your street and this certainly is. Six self penned tunes and one of those records that, whilst clearly having a ukulele in their, is more of a full band sound. Kind of a punk / mod / grebo / groove sound to it which I am really enjoying. Includes a guest performer in the form of Rev D Wayne Love from Alabama3 just to add to the cool factor. I'd recommend you give this a listen. It's my pick of the bunch.
Available from http://grassrootsrecords.bigcartel.com/product/jono-the-uke-dealers-ep
More reviews coming soon!
© Barry Maz