The Ukulele today - volume 1

23 Jul 2011

The Ukulele today - volume 1

When you start playing the ukulele there is every chance that some smart alec is going to say to you "oh you look just like George Formby" or "Do you know any Tiny Tim?".  Of course, the ukulele has been around for some time, and in the 40's and 50's had a huge surge in popularity with many music hall stars using their ukulele as instrument of choice.  As such, comparisons like these are understandable, but your friends may not be aware just how common the uke has become of late in popular music of today.

You may have run through my Famous Ukulele Players page, but I thought I would expand on some of the bigger acts that are choosing the ukulele today.


Noah And The Whale, a kind of indie folk outfit from the UK chose the ukulele on their first album to great effect.  Lead singer Charlie Fink plays the uke.  It was on their 2008 launch album "Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down" that introduced their uke love, most notably on the track "Five Years Time", a song that is driven by a chunky ukulele strum rhythm.


American Amanda Palmer started her musical career in the punk cabaret outfit "The Dresden Dolls" and has since released solo work also.  She took the ukulele to her heart and featured it throughout the album "Evelyn Evelyn" with Jason Webley, in which she tells the fantastical tale of a pair of siamese twins (both called Evelyn) who are abused, but take joy from the ukulele.  Since then she has regularly performed with only the ukuele despite being a piano player by trade, including a series of now famous spontaneous public performances she calls ninja gigs.  Most recently she released a digital EP of her covers of Radiohead songs such as Fake Plastic Trees, Creep and No Surprises all performed on ukulele.

More modern ukulele acts to follow soon!


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