There aren’t many people in the ukulele community I have more respect for than Craig Robertson. He’s been a massive supporter of new ukulele talent through his Ukulele Noir and Ukulele Caravan shows, he’s the original ukulele blogger and, of course, he’s a killer songwriter.
Craig has just released a new album, Under the Mystic, so I took the opportunity to fire some questions at him.
How would you describe the new album?
I’ve always struggled with how to describe my music. This CD is definitely more personal and punchier. I dunno; this CD is full of music that looks at what and who you probably hadn’t thought of looking at. Or, maybe you didn’t want to look at. I’ve tried to take more song subjects by the throat and shake them. Standard pop fare kinda makes me cringe.
Many of your songs are character based, what draws you to certain people?
Something that transcends the normal. Something that makes them blossom into their own reality.
What was it like playing the ukulele before it was fashionable?
The audiences were more patronizing. Of course, they’re still that way occasionally. Is it fashionable now? It always went well with my fedoras, so, to me, it was always “fashionable”.
Who would be on your dream Ukulele Noir bill?
James Hill, Folk Uke, Bliss Blood and moi. I guess. Oh…yeah, and to get paid.
– Which song do you wish you’d written?
How important is your image to what you do?
Blah blah blah branding, blah blah stage persona…Yeah, it’s a consideration, but I’ve pretty much always dressed this way. There IS a stage persona I put on, but it’s probably just the other side of the mirror. That alternate reality where I get to be a private detective who plays ukulele.
What can you tell us about your up-coming European tour?
Still in the negotiations stage. Sigh. This being the “holiday season”, everything and everyone grinds to an agonizing, screeching, emotional halt until after the new year. There are a lot of people in Europe I’d like to meet again for the first time, so I’m working on it.