I thought the Ukulele Muxtape, deserved some liner notes. There were only two rules to it: uke featuring and no cover versions. Here’s a quick rundown of the tracks with places to visit to hear more from the performers.
1. The Cedar Tavern Singers AKA The Phonorealists – Artistic Statement
One band, two names. The Cedar Tavern Singers are a pair of artists who sing songs about art history in a shop window. How could that be anything but brilliant? You can hear more of their songs here and you can buy their stuff here.
2. David Ivar Herman Dune – Take Me To Your Country
As well as fronting up Herman Dune (check out chords for I Wish That I Could See You Soon), David Ivar Herman Dune puts out plenty of ukulele stuff: a ukulele covers project Yayahoni, a solo album Ya-Ya (from which this track comes) and playing uke with Kimya Dawson on Hidden Vagenda.
3. James Hill – One Small Suite For ‘Ukulele: I. Allegro Con Brio
James Hill is my favourite ukulele instrumentalist around today. By a long way. His technique is unmatched and he can write a catchy tune. This piece is the first segment of his Small Suite for Ukulele from the album A Flying Leap.
4. Jacob Borshard – Brains, Brains
Have I mentioned Jacob Borshard enough yet? His songs are irresistibly charming and so are his videos. As far as I’m aware, his only commercial release is Cocktail on the equally wonderful WeePOP! but you can download two of his albums free on his website.
5. MJ Hibbett – Chips and Cheese, Pint of Wine.
6. Shelley Short – The Sunny Side
I discovered this song by Shelley Short (not to be confused with the glamour model of the same name) while perusing eMusic. I love coming across unexpected ukuleles. It happened this morning when I was listening to Ryan Adams. The track comes from her album Captain Wild Horse
7. The Darlings – Emily
8. Jens Lekman – Arms Around Me
Disappointingly, there was no ukulele on Jens Lekman’s most recent album Night Falls Over Kortedala. Fortunately, this solo ukulele version cropped up on the intertubes and blew the album version out of the water. I wrote up the chords for Your Arms Around Me here.
9. Mirah – Engine Heart
As she’s gone on, Mirah’s sound has got increasingly epic. But on her debut album You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This there were a couple of stripped down ukulele songs. There’s tab for Mirah’s A Million Miles here.
10. Noah & The Whale – Five Years Time
I wrote about Noah & the Whale ealier and I love this song even more now. There’s a very healthy posh singer-songwriter scene in London at the moment. Check out Welcome to our TV Show for some class acts.
11. P:ano – Trouble Ahead
P:ano have officially called it a day, but their final act was to release an album packed with ukulele ditties Ghost Pirates Without Heads.
12. Craig Robertson – She Just Needs Her Head