Monday Exposure: Essential Craig Robertson

When they get round to writing the history of this ukulele revival Craig Robertson‘s name should be up there with Jake and IZ in importance. One thing’s for certain, if it hadn’t been for his involvement in Ukulelia and Ukulele Cosmos there wouldn’t have been a Uke Hunt.

Craig’s just put all his albums up on Bandcamp where you can buy them or listen to the full tracks. With there being seven albums to negociate, I thought I’d select ten of my favourites as a starting point for people who are new to his music. If you think I’ve left something out, feel free to leave your own selections in the comments.

Practical Hypnotism

Staten Island Slide

An instrumental track from his debut album. It’s become a ukulele standard and is my favourite tune to mess around with. You can pick up Dominator’s tab here (PDF link).

That Dress

That Dress
She Likes to Pull the Wings off Flies

Possibly the most prominent of Craig’s themes: femme fatales. Usually to be found in bars.

Houdini’s Perspective

Houdini Never Hung Around in Bars

Another one of his recurring themes: performance magic. This time a series of escapology based puns.

DeChirico Street

The Leopard – My all time favourite Robertson song. Don’t listen to a word he says, this song is definitely about his penis.

Goodbye Paul Tibbets – Craig’s next album will be a collection of protest songs. If they’re all as good as this one, it’ll be a fantastic record.

Read my write-up of DeChirico Street

Under The Mystic

The Ballad of Blanche Barrow

A story song about a real-life femme fatale. Blanche Barrow was the sister-in-law of Clyde Barrow (as in Bonnie and Clyde).

Read an interview I did with Craig when this came out.

Better Liar

Narcissa
Better Liar

You might recognise the Shiny and the Spoon featuring Narcissa from the very first Uke Hunt podcast.

Perfect Wife

Ghost of a Chance

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9 Comments

  1. Craig Robertson April 18th, 2011 6:19 pm

    Re; The Leopard. (I HAVE to say this…) It is most definitely not about my penis. If it was, it would have been longer.

  2. Narciso Lobo April 18th, 2011 7:08 pm

    I had the honor and pleasure of collaborating with Craig on a tune for the Duchenne cd. I’d emailed Craig about the project, and withing a few days he’d written a beautiful song inspired by the story of Captain Google.

    I marveled at Craig’s level of craftsmanship, but he is much more than a craftsman. He has soul, and he is singular not only in the ukulele world, but in the larger musical tapestry. There is no one quite like him.

  3. Ron Hale April 19th, 2011 3:22 am

    Well, I do seem to recall songs about a hypnotist, a murder barn, sawing a woman in half, bears, a night owl, and don’t forget his CD of covers. The disc with Ukulele Noir posters and songs is nice, too. Unless I’m mistaken, Craig commented on a video of Staten Island Slide that people were playin the song better than he could.

  4. Phredd April 19th, 2011 1:09 pm

    The new album – Perfect Wife is such a great sounding cd. Production is top notch and I love the writing. Skewed commentary that helps us weirdos feel a part. I won’t mention that Craig’s cranky online persona is nothing like the kind and encouraging person I’ve experienced in our correspondence. I wouldn’t want to blow his cover!

  5. Gary Peare April 19th, 2011 7:55 pm

    Craig Who?

  6. Woodshed April 21st, 2011 11:18 am

    Craig: Always happy to be the straight man.

    Narciso: I agree wholeheartedly with that.

    Ron: Yes, Craig did say that. He was being modest. But I think I’ve played that tune far more than he has.

    Phredd: He is just a fluffy bunny under that hat.

    Gary: He played one of the kids in Tracy Beaker (that reference is lost on you, I’m sure).

  7. Cappers April 21st, 2011 2:07 pm

    Just been checking this music out over the last few days as I haven’t previously heard any of his music and I’m mighty impressed. One of the things I love about the fact that I’m a recent convert to the ways of the ukulele and to uke hunt is that it’s introducing me to a whole new set of musicians and their music. Cheers for that :)

  8. Craig Robertson April 21st, 2011 9:52 pm

    @ Woodshed You’d be right about playing it more than me; I seldom play it, and I find that everytime I do I have to watch the damn video to remember how to play it again…

  9. Woodshed April 22nd, 2011 8:39 am

    Cappers: Very glad you’re enjoying the music.

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