Ukulele Video of the Year 2010: Vote

Voting Closed

The nominations are in and there’s a big shock already, after the last two years of fluffy winners, all this year’s nominees are human (with the possible exception of Jonsi). Other than that, it’s a good mixture of stuff running from virtuoso performances to strums, big groups to solos, international superstars to bedroom performers, cute ukulele girliness to big-hairy-man territory.

I must admit to a fuck-up on my part: Keston Cobblers’ Club’s You-Go was from 2009. Sorry to anyone who nominated it.

Make your choice on whatever criteria you like (I’m going to vote for the one I enjoyed most). Vote closes February 15th at midnight Hawaii time. Feel free to canvas for votes for your favourite (or yourself) on the net. No prize other than glory and admiration. All I ask is that you watch any videos you’re not familiar with before you vote.

The Nominated Videos

Slightly shorter shortlist than usual this year.

Secret Home Party – Reciprocation
Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra – Short People
Manitoba Hal – Poulet Shack
James Hill – Billie Jean
Jónsi and Nico Muhly – Go Do
Bella Hemming – (She might love you if you learn to) Play Guitar

The Result

1. Manitoba Hal – Poulet Shack: 411 (33%)

2. Bella Hemming – Play Guitar: 400 (32%)

3. Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra – Short People: 236 (19%)

4. James Hill – Billie Jean: 137 (11%)

5. Secret Home Party – Reciprocation: 40 (3%)

6. Jonsi and Nico Muhly – Go Do: 31 (2%)

View Comments


  1. Josh Ward February 9th, 2011 7:18 pm

    Has to be Billy Jean! The WOW factor is epic. It’s a brilliant song as well. I feel bad for not voting Randy Newman’s song, it was probably my favourite of the songs but James Hill is there by himself. The WIUO are a load of people. I’ve always found that the beauty of art is in the difficulty of it’s creation.

  2. Baz Maz February 9th, 2011 7:46 pm

    Love the old time feel of Poulet Shack – nice one Hal!

  3. Krabbers February 9th, 2011 8:07 pm

    Jonsi gets My vote.

  4. Ambient Doughnut February 9th, 2011 8:24 pm

    The Billie Jean is excellent (and I hate MJ), Bella Hemming – very cute and seeing Bret McKenzie in the WIUO was a nice surprise BUT an easy win for Manitoba Hal for me, that’s just awesome!

  5. cardboardfrog February 9th, 2011 8:38 pm

    i almost, ALMOST voted for the billie jean cover by james hill because frankly it’s technically brilliant and a hell of a lot of fun.
    i ended up voting for bella hemming though because frankly pretty girls with pretty voices and Bb chords are always going to do it for me.
    is poulet shack on the list of things to do chords for woodshed? cause that’d be awesome, if not pleeeeeeaaaase!

  6. sanford(andsong) February 9th, 2011 8:54 pm

    although i’m a Randy Newman fan, and the WIUO do pull it off with style, my vote has to go to my fellow Manitoban. Poulet Shack it is.

  7. Manitoba Hal February 9th, 2011 9:27 pm

    Wow such good company to be nominated in. I can say in all honesty I’ve never been on a list like this before so thank you, thank you, thank you! Please vote for your favorite and if that favorite is me then I’ll come to your house, sleep on your couch and eat your food…oh and play Poulet Shack till you get sick of it! LOL. and for cardboardfrog, I have a songbook out with an easy chord play version of Poulet Shack in it now. I’m working on a detailed transcription though. :)

  8. Bonnie February 9th, 2011 9:34 pm

    Poulet Shack – Manitoba Hal is my vote :)

  9. Jimmy February 9th, 2011 9:42 pm

    Choosing between Bret McKenzie and Bella is totes unfair, eeny meeny time!!

  10. nicole February 9th, 2011 10:04 pm

    Yep, Poulet Shack. Fo’sho’.

  11. Woodshed February 9th, 2011 10:29 pm

    Josh: No doubt that James Hill is the most technically accomplished. I can’t even work out what he’s doing.

    Baz, Ambient and Bonnie: That song is badass through and through.

    Krabbers: Mine too. I love the others but that one cuts me to ribbons. I’m nearly in tears when I hear it.

    cbf: I was considering tabbing Poulet Shack but if Hal’s doing it, I don’t want to tread on his toes.

    Manitoba Hal: Well deserved nomination. It’s a fantastic song and rocking performance.

    Jimmy: I had it down to two before the choice got nearly impossible as well (but different two).

  12. Woodshed February 9th, 2011 10:31 pm

    sanford: I was about to complain about geographical bias. Then I realised I voted for the act closest to me.

  13. Manitoba Hal February 9th, 2011 10:34 pm

    Funny thing about that Woodshed, I live in Nova Scotia now so I may actually be closer to you than to Sanford now. Just sayin…

  14. Liz February 10th, 2011 12:01 am

    woah close call, i REALLY liked (She might love you if you learn to) Play Guitar, but ended up having to go with WIUO

  15. Jean Debefve February 10th, 2011 8:47 am

    Love (almost) them all. Now as far as Uke chops are concerned, James Hill is obviously the top. Then Poulet Shack has guitar chops and a drive and obviously found something new (just try to play that one…) plus the singing is great. The Uke orchestra is all the fun we can have playing together (and rehearsing a lot). Jonsi is having a nice Uke pop star dream (did Tiny Tim marry Boy Georges ?) but on the cliché side. And Belle Hemming’s twin sister could have been the reason why I switched from guitar to ukulele after 30 years of dedication (and campfire flirts). But James has got it all : chops, style, audience fun, voice and campfire attitude. Vote James, if only because then we’ll probably get more videos of him…

  16. ritchie February 10th, 2011 10:39 am

    Oh how I hate these vote things especially when my vote ends up nowhere! … it’s the ‘miss world/eurovision song contest’ all over again!
    Some nice ones but i was torn between james Hill & Manitoba Hall… but the possibility of you transcribing ‘poulet shack’ swung it ;-)

  17. Foinnse February 10th, 2011 12:51 pm

    Tricky between Manitoba Hal and James Hill but I gotta go with James Hill….Such a good tune and so well adapted to the uke. Very clever.

    -Cheers, -F

  18. Sue B February 10th, 2011 1:10 pm

    Go Hal!

  19. Marie February 10th, 2011 3:01 pm

    ug. this is hard.
    I think it’s because I’m stuck on the language- “best video” is a heck of a lot different than “best song” two completely different votes from me.
    I should go check the archives and see what the wording was for the nominations….

    side note:
    I’ll always vouch for Hal as a great house guest, Book him for a house concert!

  20. Marie February 10th, 2011 3:06 pm

    Al!!!!! (rolling my eyes)
    “Use whatever criteria you like. I went with whichever videos/songs I enjoyed most.”
    this does NOT help me.


  21. Jim Bunch February 10th, 2011 3:27 pm

    I’ll stick my neck out. Poulet Shack
    is where its at.

    I love the Secret Home Party vids, but it’s the bass on it that knocks my socks off on this track(and of course the girls).

  22. didgeridoo2 February 10th, 2011 3:37 pm

    It was a toss up between James Hill and Manitoba Hal. The selections are quite different. I enjoyed them all. I eliminated the WIUO because the performance is from 2009…

    Went with Poulet Shack. Great vibe. I love New Orleans.

  23. Jill February 10th, 2011 4:02 pm

    Ugh, Jonsi is the only one I even sat all the way through.

  24. Marymac February 10th, 2011 6:08 pm

    O boy – too many great performances to choose from. I wanted to vote for three: James Hill, Bella Hemming, and Manitoba Hal. Ended up going with James for this one but it was really hard to click that button.

  25. ShawnB February 11th, 2011 12:10 am

    Apparently I’m not allowed to vote because someone else here already did. James Hill is my favorite all-time player, but I’m calling shenanigans – he didn’t post that vid.


    I’m half-joking – these are all awesome and I was glad to watch/re-watch these.

  26. Andy Z February 11th, 2011 5:01 am

    Manitoba Hal for the Win! I’ve had Poulet Shack stuck in my head since the first time I heard it! Looking forward to seeing that transcription!

  27. Jeffrey Weatherill February 11th, 2011 8:53 am

    Manitoba Hal is just great!

  28. Woodshed February 11th, 2011 11:36 am

    Liz: Thanks for voting.

    Jean: The audience is the one thing that annoys me about James’s video.

    ritchie: I won’t be tabbing Poulet Shack if Hal is doing it, I’m afraid. Sheesh! 479 people managed to vote without me holding their hand.

    Marymac: I dithered before making my final decision too.

    ShawnB: I shall ensure James is eliminated from next week’s Most Efficiently Uploaded Ukulele Video of the Year vote.

    Andy and Jeffery: Thanks for the votes.

  29. Gerry February 11th, 2011 12:26 pm

    I will back fellow Manitoban Hal with his terrific Poulet song. GO Hal Hope you win.

  30. Rob NY February 11th, 2011 12:58 pm

    Manitoba Hal gets my vote

  31. Manitoba Hal February 11th, 2011 1:14 pm

    Al if you’re set to tab Poulet Shack quickly, please go ahead. I won’t be able to do this until April because I’ll be on tour from tomorrow until the end of March.

  32. Marie February 11th, 2011 1:21 pm

    right right, act like a big girl….

  33. Martijn February 11th, 2011 11:03 pm

    I am just a beginner, and I am absolutely thunderstruck by all of them. I was torn between James Hill and Bella Hemmings, but cuteness carried the day. But James Hill absolutely is a uke-technical miracle.

    Woodshed, I absolutely love the blog, & am slowly treading my way across three years of posts and learning an awful lot, from your e-books too. Keep it up, you are a great teacher and an inspiration and I’m anxiously watching my mailbox every day for announcements of new posts!

    Now if only I could get my fingers sorted out…

  34. Lucy February 11th, 2011 11:39 pm

    Voted for Bella c: Because she’s absolutely lovely & is a wonderful musician c:

  35. Bella Hemming February 12th, 2011 12:06 am

    Oh my goodness, I had no idea I was nominated! I just had a look at the website and I was shocked to see my name! Thank you so very much :) xxxxxxxx

  36. Acilius February 12th, 2011 12:21 am

    If Lila Burns “Young Hearts, Young Minds” had made the cut, I might have voted for it, but of this group it was easy to pick Manitoba Hal. And I can’t resist mentioning that Manitoba Hal’s “Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women” is the best new upload I’ve seen on YouTube so far this year.

  37. Rachel February 12th, 2011 4:46 am

    It was hard voting for anything related to Micheal Jackson. But I had to vote for James Hill, He’s just so talented.

  38. Calum February 12th, 2011 4:54 am

    “Short people” is awesome! And it has Brett Mckenzie
    so you know it’s good.

  39. Snojimbo February 12th, 2011 8:31 am

    Tricky. WIUO is always good, and local to me so I do feel a bit of loyalty is in order. And I really enjoyed that gig. But is it the best video? James Hill, the playing is superb, and the song is surprisingly brilliant on the uke. Made me laugh. But Bella Hemming’s song and video were lovely. I like the ‘twin’ approach, so that qualifies on the video front, and the song is a charm. That’s it, decision made. Bella it is!

  40. Moose Karloff February 13th, 2011 6:31 pm

    Manitoba Hal broke the Applause Meter when he played at Ukulele Caravan 2008, held at Sidewalk, Avenue A, Manhattan in the Spring 2008, which I hosted. The late John Kavanagh was also on the bill. Maestro Hal has some busy fingers, fer sure.

  41. Jon February 15th, 2011 1:41 pm

    Really want to vote for my fellow country man Jonsi but the wtf wow factor of Billy Jean is just too much.

  42. sanford(andsong) February 15th, 2011 8:44 pm

    (Hal must be sweating something fierce right about now! 10 point spread!)

  43. Kempo February 16th, 2011 10:01 am

    Can’t believe I picked a beardy man over a lovely girl, but I did.

  44. Manitoba Hal February 16th, 2011 11:51 am

    Wow! Thanks everyone for all your votes. I am humbled and grateful for this honor. Thank you all.

  45. Acilius February 17th, 2011 1:36 am

    You absolutely deserve it Hal!

    I’m surprised Jonsi and N.M. were so far down in the result, I’d have thought they would have been close runners.

    Anyway, congratulations on a much-deserved win, Hal.

  46. Debra from BC February 17th, 2011 6:15 am

    Way to go Cuz! You’ve earned this honour!!

  47. Woodshed February 17th, 2011 10:49 am

    Thanks for your votes and comments, everyone. And congratulations, Hal.

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