Category: ukulele


Gone Picking: Kathy Fink and Marcy Marxer

I discovered Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer some time ago when I found a concert titled A Banjo Extravaganza in the concerts on demand section of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The concert featured different artists, all playing a special style on the banjo.

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer are two very versatile and creative players and singers. Cathy and Marcy are regularly playing programs for children and families, and have composed many special songs for this purpose.

Their last CD Banjo to Beatbox was produced together with Christylez Bacon, a famous Hip Hop musician.

Cathy and Marcy have won two Grammys for their music.

I was impressed by the different instruments played by Kathy and Marcy – banjos, acoustic and electric guitars, ukuleles, and much more.

Marcy has developed a special four string cello banjo with the Gold Tone company. This cello banjo has been modeled after an old Gibson banjo from the beginning of the 20th century, when banjo orchestras were very popular in the USA and around the world. Those orchestras used different banjos, including the cello banjo.

In the youtube channel of Kathy and Marcy you can find many videos with different instruments, including some lessons for the banjo and the ukulele.
Here is a podcast in which different banjos are shown, including some selfmade banjos and of course the cello banjo:


Cathy and Marcy were asked to write the music for a text written by Woody Guthry – Howdy Little Newly Come – a poem that Woody Guthry wrote for his newborn baby. This is a great tune, and the arrangement with the cello banjo is fantastic. I listened to this tune many times, and I want to play it with our bluegrass band too.

Here is a video of this tune from a concert:

Howdy Little Newly Come

by Cathy Fink & Woody Guthrie, all rights reserved
Live performance by Cathy & MArcy at Woods Camp, Rosseau, Canada, August 2008 in intimate concert setting.

You can find more detailed information about Cathy and Marcy, more videos and other examples on the homepage of Cathy and Marcy and in their youtube channel:

Cathy Fink und Marcy Marxer Homepage

youtube channel of Cathy Fink und Marcy Marxer

Dancin’ In The Kitchen: Songs For All Families (amazon partnerlink)


Jupiter Creek Music – Australia – Electric Ukulele

Jupiter Creek Music was an Australian company that produced electric mandolins and ukuleles. In 2012 Rob Dick who owned the company passed away.

On the homepage of Jupiter Creek Music you could find a lot of information about the building of electric mandolins and ukuleles. A virtual workshop tour showed, how electric mandolins and other instruments are built.  Jupiter Creek did also build stomp boxes, wooden boxes with a microphone built in, which could be used to make percussion sounds like a drumset.

Very interesting was the production of neck plates and tail pieces. Those parts are not generally available for mandolins and ukuleles, so they have to be built especially.

The homepage of Jupiter Creek does not exist any more…

There are still two videos available at youtube the use an electric ukulele built by Jupiter Creek – a nice demonstration about what can be done with such an electric ukulele:

Greg Franklin plays While My Guitar Gently Weeps on electric ukelele

Greg Franklin improvises on the classic George Harrison song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. Playing a custom built electric ukelele. He recreates Eric Claptons original concept of weepin…

Greg Franklin plays wild electric ukelele (ukulele) blues

Demonstration of blues played on a four string electric ukelele (ukulele) by Greg Franklin in the style of Eric Clapton, Jeff Healey and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Jupiter Creek Electric Mandolin

Message in the Mandolin Cafe Message Board:

Hi to all members in this group.
My Dad suddenly passed away last week so unfortunately Jupiter Creek Music is no longer. A very very sad time for the family.
I will put an update on the group wall in the near future.
Kristie Pope

CD Travels by Jake Shimabukuro (amazon partner link)


Hawaii, the Ukulele and Jake Shimabukuro

This year on August 21, 1969 Hawaii became the 50th state of the USA.

The typical instrument of Hawaii is the tiny ukulele, and one of the musicians, who really know how to play the ukulele is Jake Shimabukuro. The following video shows how Jake Shimabukuro plays one of his most successful pieces, the Beatles song While my Guitar Gently Weeps played on the ukulele. The ukulele played by Jake is made from beautiful koa wood, the typical wood that also grows in Hawaii and that is used for the best ukuleles.

Jake Shimabukuro LIVE Ukulele Concert: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

The ukulele has become very popular during the last years, and during my holiday in New York I have seen several ukulele players. One of those told me that the music of Jake Shimabukuro inspired him to play the ukulele too. While I stayed in New York Jake played an open air concert at the Lincoln Center, the following video was made at that concert:

Jake Interview by – In this interview Jake shows his Kamaka tenor ukulele and tells about his instrument an about how to learn the ukulele. The interview is in English with French subtitles: Interview part 1 Intervie part 2

Homepage of Jake Shimakuburo with many audio examples

Playlist Jake Shimabukuro – New Videos 2017

Playlist Jake Shimabukuro

Nashville Sessions – Jake Shimabukuro

(Amazon partnerlink)