Sunday, October 23, 2016

Rocky Mjos || An Introduction to Ukulele Drive

I received an e-mail from Rocky Mjos in the middle of a very busy week. His e-mail is really an opportunity to share his group with the baritone ukulele playing community so I am sharing it as it came to Humble Baritonics...

Hello, Humble Uker.

First, I want to thank you for your Humble Baritonics website. It is one of my daily go-to sites since I started playing the baritone uke. It has introduced me to some fine and interesting musicians and I’ve also used the useful links.

Secondly I wanted to introduce you to a group I play in — Ukulele Drive.

I am actually writing you first regarding our group (I am a bari player, after al!), though I also plan on contacting some of the other sites in the near future.

Ukulele Drive gave it’s first public performance of a few songs almost two years ago at private party on Halloween night.

The group was founded by a group of players and singer friends who all had connections to one another — four had played together decades earlier in a contemporary folk band, two had played Renaissance and Baroque music for a long time, and there are two married couples.

With a real diversity of skills in different musical genres, this group has been trying to incorporate them — original music, jazzy things (my wife is a jazz and world music singer), pop tunes, and even early music. We do a movement from a Vivaldi concerto, are now working on a medieval piece and even Beethoven (via Charlie Brown).

We have some strong singers and the three women sound great on “Heebie Jeebies” in an arrangement by the Boswell Sisters which we pair with a modern “Slickville” rag — same chords!

Our typical lineup includes 2 soprano ukes, a concert, tenor, bari, and bass. I play both finger style and with a pick, depending on the musical needs or volume required.

Our website is:

Perhaps of the most interest for your readers (judging by the great videos you embed) would be a public TV show we recorded in May of 2015 (broadcast in August of 2015) and which is now online. We don’t have individual song videos but the timings for the show’s ukulele songs are listed on our website along with a link to the show:

Or the show can be accessed at the TV station’s website:

Since the videos can’t be embedded like regular YouTube vids, I have attached some screen captures from TV show, some featuring baritone. These have been sized to 520 pixels wide, which seems to be the standard size for your YouTube images.

The show spotlighted the work of our main writer, Emily.

Thank you again for your blog! I appreciate your efforts!

— Rocky Mjos for Ukulele Drive

La Familia de Ukuleles || Cherry's World

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hope College's The Anchor || Indie-Folk Popularization

“I think our generation as a whole is tired of the overproduced and over-processed media and music, and so when you hear something as raw and real as folk music, especially in the live scenario, that’s a lot more genuine and a lot more real"

The Holland, Michigan Hope College student paper, The Anchor mention's one of Humble Baritonic's favorites, Wild Child, in this issue. Topics about the rise of the ukulele are discussed as well as popular bands like Mumford & Sons.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Justin Johnson || Snowy Mountain Coming Down

Great studio recording, multi-instrumentalist...

Justin Johnson || Electric Cigar Box Guitar

Some 4 string brethen blasting...