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Archive for May 13th, 2007

Saturday Night: More Music

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

nycindiandinner.jpgSaturday night was intense. There was so much to do, so many acts to see, and folks who wanted to buy our CD’s (thank you, every one of you) that I missed out on too much, trying to do it all.

Between the afternoon jamming and CD-selling, and the show, there was a dinner break. A bunch of us all wandered down to the same Indian restaurant we’d visited last year as a group. It was a different group but we had an equally enjoyable time.

I’m embarrassed that I”m not absolutely sure of names… please admire that I’m even trying, and do write if you can correct anyone I’ve named incorrectly. In this photo from left to right is Pat, Brian, Me (Lynn), Janet(?), Ron, John (goes with Janet), and Jim (goes with Pat). I hope. Mind you, a few of these folks I hadn’t met before Saturday that I recall, and I haven’t seen them since this trip. OK, end of disclaimer.

nycukejackson.jpgYou can see that this place is like many near the corner of 1st Avenue and 7th(?, maybe 6th) Street. There is a tendency to decorate with multitudes of “Christmas” lights, especially hot pepper lights. In this particular restaurant which was half a flight of stairs up, the place was maybe the size of a Greyhound bus, packed in like sardines from side to side, and then cram packed height-wise where the tall folks had to duck to be seated. Totally New York. I’m all about that sort of experience, personally.

After dinner we descended upon the Theatre again. There was a second stage going which I didn’t realize until I’d missed Bliss Blood’s new ensemble. For that matter, I stayed out in the lobby with the performer merchandise a lot of the time. Folks had watched our CDs while we were busy on Friday night, and it was our turn to pitch in for the other performers. That meant I missed out on more acts than I would have liked but that’s show business. After all, I’d already seen enough quality acts on Thursday and Friday that I could have gone home saturated. I’m glad I got more under my belt before we went home, though!

The acts on the program for Saturday were these, though I’m pretty sure this is not the order in which they were presented. (Fred Fallin was emcee):

John King
NY Ukulele Ensemble
Bosko & Honey’s Ukulele Love In
Sazerac and his Genial Orleanians
The Aloha Boys

nycyanni.jpgYalego is the last name of the performer from Southern France. I called him Yanni, I think his first name is Yan which he told me is not a fully French name… I love talking language but we had little time to pursue that further.

In any case, this guy is a crooner of the finest sort, and he is the master of the mouth trumpet. He opens his mouth like an “ooh” but it sounds just like a muted trumpet, loud and clear. I’ve never heard anything like it. Wow. We all were humbled and amazed. He sang “Nobody Knows You when You’re Down and Out” which you can see on youtube by clicking the link here.

John King is a master of classical music, on ukulele. I heard him several times during the weekend but I missed his stage show. I don’t see any videos of him on Youtube, unfortunately, but trust me about this. Quality.

The NY Ukulele Ensemble did several numbers while I was out of the theatre. nycboskoandhoneyandfredonstage.jpgFortunately there are three videos on Youtube, click here for Ukulele Beach Bum. Uke Jackson, the organizer of NYUkefest (woohoo) sings lead for this ensemble. Though I didn’t get a group shot, the second photo in this post is Uke alone on stage, at one point when he was giving away door prizes (mostly ukuleles, very cool).

Aaaah, Bosko & Honey. Remind me not to wax poetic for three pages on this act alone, but they would deserve it. A young and electric act from Australia, they are fun and focused and pro in all senses of the word. There are few couples in the Uke circuit and I’m pretty sure they are the only other pair we’ve met in person.

nycboskoandhoneyandcraigonstage.jpgThey have a fresh and fun show, playing a far-ranging repertoire. They do some Tin Pan Alley as we do, but they also did a great version of “The Girls Go By” from my youth. Very fine. They both play uke. They do a good number of instrumentals but they also sing.

They were on their way to play in Tokyo after they left NYC. “Honey” is originally from Japan so she writes a bilingual blog (I’m told) and they have fans in Japan. Go, Grrl! The first photo here is the couple on stage with Fred Fallin at far right. The second photo is the couple with Craig Robertson between them, what a great shot this is! There are many Youtube videos of Bosko and Honey on this trip, click here for an instrumental that has a bit less audience chat and a little closer focus than some others (thanks to Mike DaSilva for sharing this one with us).

Sazerac and his Genial Orlenians were next. They were at the festival last year but I had missed them. We talked to the leader several times during the daytime events and I made sure to get in on his act this time.

nycsazerac.jpgI was charmed. It was pretty much a vaudeville-type act, with incredible musicianship and a groaner sort of humor. No mean slams, no obvious off-color stuff, just somewhat-dorky humor with plenty of word play and clever punch lines.

I enjoyed it very much. Corny and cute and very musical. And in the vaudeville style, each bit was short and sweet so that if that particular one didn’t hit your funny bone just so, the next one was sure to please. I can not emphasize too much the quality of the musical performance, but you could lose that between guffaws if you chose. Family fun, delightful. I’m happy to know there are acts like this around yet. It gives me hope. If you want a peek, there’s a Youtube of them playing Moon Man Cheese.

I’m sad to say I missed the Aloha Boys. They are highly-regarded far beyond the ukulele community. I know they have a class musical act that is very enjoyable. Again, I was out at the musician table doing my best to tend to CD sales for as many acts as had CDs out. That is fun in and of itself, and I did enjoy it fully.

nycboskoandhoneyandheftones.jpgAfter the show it was time for more photographic moments. Brian decided he wanted a photo of the “two cute uke couples” so we got in a shot with Bosko and Honey. Aren’t they adorable? It’s as if we are extra in any photo with them. We had chances to talk with them both Saturday and Sunday. Great people, who are serious about their act. It was delightful to get to know them better.