Welcome to UKULELE BABYLON! Uke Bab is here to celebrate the wild and wacky world of the ukulele and to introduce some of the the wonderfully unique and creative folks who have chosen this tiny, eccentric, powerhouse of an instrument to express themselves. So dive in! The water's fine!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Enter Sandman

I decided that I was in the mood for some heavy metal ukulele today. And it turns out that the video I chose features another German uker. This guy's name is... Guy (aka UKUFROMHELL) and he does quite a shred-tastic version of Metallica's, Enter Sandman, on his electric ukes. Ukes? That's right. He plays two ukes in this video, or more accurately, he plays the same uke twice and overlaps them using the marvels of modern technology. It's quite a treat. So I hope you enjoy today's Uke Bab Vid of the Day, and don't forget to bang your head!

Next: Singing in the Rain

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Out in the western US, they're having record heat, 113 degrees in LA on Monday. Here in Vermont, things seem more seasonable. But no matter how it may feel where you are, September is nearly over. Summer has given way to fall in the northern hemisphere. Today's Uke Bab Vid of the Day is of Robin, a young man from Germany, covering the melancholy, Green Day song, Wake Me Up When September Ends.

Next: Enter Sandman

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

King Bee

Okay. Here is something you don't see everyday, a half-naked beekeeper, playing his ukulele, amidst a swarm of bees. This is Hoosierhiver, aka Mike. Mike also runs his own ukulele business called, Mainland Ukuleles, in Nashville, Indiana and is great guy too. You can check out Mainland Ukes HERE and Mike's YouTube page HERE. And now, without further ado, a man playing his ukulele amidst a swarm of bees.

Next: Wake Me Up When September Ends

Monday, September 27, 2010

Build Me Up, Buttercup

Yeah, it's Monday already. But that's okay. Another day means another Uke Bab Video of the Day. And today we have a nice little upbeat ditty for you. Julia Nunes is quite a popular YouTube musician, and her weapon of choice is most often a ukulele. This video of Julia performing the Foundations' hit, "Build Me Up, Buttercup", has been viewed nearly 2 million times on YouTube. And today, it's being viewed by you!

Next: King Bee

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Everyday is Like Sunday

It's a cloudy Sunday afternoon here in Stowe, Vermont. Kind of puts me in a mood where I'd like to hear some Morrissey. Or better yet, a guy from the UK named Ian, covering Morrissey on his ukulele. So here's your Uke Bab Vid of the Day. Ian performing, Everyday is Like Sunday. Enjoy!

Next: Build Me Up, Buttercup

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Final Countdown

Sometimes when you watch a ukulele video, it just leaves you speechless, with your mouth hanging open, unsure what it is exactly, that you just witnessed. That was more or less the response I had when I first saw Stuart, a uke player from Edinburgh, UK perform Europe's, The Final Countdown. I love this vid and it is my pleasure to share it with you.

Next: Everyday is Like Sunday

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do You Wanna Dance?

One of the first ukers I met online was Max, The Ukulele Punk. He is a great guy with a lot of talent and enthusiasm for the ukulele. Today's video is of Max doing a great, energetic, cover of Bobby Freeman's "Do You Wanna Dance" with fellow Japanese uke punk, Sumakichan. They really got creative with this video. I hope you enjoy it and it helps kick off a great weekend for you. Enjoy!

Next: The Final Countdown

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hey Ya

It's Thursday. Not quite Friday. But we're getting there. Your Uke Bab Vid of the Day is of The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra performing Outkast's bouncy ditty, Hey Ya.

Next: Do You Wanna Dance?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ukulele Babylon... The Show!

At some point I decided that it might be fun to put on a ukulele show. I was working at Borders Books in Los Gatos, CA at the time and we had our first ukulele concert there out on the deck. We had four or five ukulele acts perform and the crowd really loved it.

The success of that show inspired me to put together a much bigger show at The Brookdale Lodge in Brookdale, CA. It was to be a huge ukulele extravaganza. I wanted to give the show a name that would convey that this was going to be wild and edgy, not your grandparents ukulele show. That's when I came up with the name, "Ukulele Babylon".

That show was more succesful than my wildest dreams. Completely sold out, standing room only.The acts included Ian Whitcomb, Tippy Canoe, Oliver Brown, Tiki King and The Idol Pleasures, The UkeAholics, and myself (going by the stage name, "Beau Vine"). We started the whole thing off with a screening of the movie, Rock That Uke.

As a matter-of-fact, you can see some great pictures and a review of the show by clicking HERE.

Unfortunately, I have no video from that show in 2005. But please enjoy this clip of Tippy Canoe performing her song, Mass Transmissions, in Connecticut last year.

Next: Hey Ya

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sheena is a Punk Rocker

I quickly learned that I was not the only one who enjoyed playing songs on the uke that you wouldn't expect to hear on the uke, and also that this uke obsession really was a world wide phenomenon. Here is a great cover of the Ramones' song, Sheena is a Punk Rocker, played and sung by a couple talented Scotsmen who go by the name, Gugug. Enjoy!

Next: Ukulele Babylon... The Show!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Then, one day, I stumbled across The Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz and I began to realize just how powerful the call of this little musical instrument could be. I showed up early with my cow-colored, electric Fluke, aka my Mookulele. There were a few other friendly-looking folks wandering and chatting and showing off their ukes. Then a few more came in. Then a few more. Then a lot more. By the time the meeting officially got started there had to be close to one hundred ukulele fans filling the room. Easy-to-read, tablature-style, ukulele sheet music was handed out and this large group of people, old and young, male and female, all began strumming and singing together in happy unison. Wow!

I met a lot of great, fun people at The Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz. One really talented group of guys called themselves The UkeAholics. Here is a video clip of them struttin' their stuff.

Next: Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Sunday, September 19, 2010


That first uke I had purchased was a cheap one and the bridge kept popping off. But by then I had been bitten by the ukulele bug. I just loved the charm, portability, and coolness of this tiny instrument. I also loved the absurdly humorous results of playing edgy, hardcore, and decadent songs on such an innocent-seeming device. I replaced my cheap, broken uke with a nifty, electric, Fluke, as seen in the video below.

Next UkeAholics

Saturday, September 18, 2010

White Sandy Beach of Hawaii

Time passed, I grew up, and life got busy. It wasn't until years later that the ukulele came back into my life with a vengeance. I was on a trip to Hawaii with the company I worked for. I wanted to bring back a souvenir of my trip. I remembered my Grampa and Abba Dabba Honeymoon and I decided that I needed to bring home a ukulele. I didn't know it yet, but my life was about to change as a result of that fateful decision.

So in honor of the role Hawaii played in reintroducing me to the ukulele, today's video is a cover of the song, "White Sandy Beach of Hawaii", played with enthusiasm by a young, Japanese, ukulele fan.

Next: Skulls

Friday, September 17, 2010

Abba Dabba Honeymoon

My own first exposure to the ukulele came when I was just a small child. My grandfather was a musician, a band leader of The Kearney Kallander Orchestra. He always had musical instruments laying around the house and he frequently played music for us kids. Usually, he would play his guitar and sing. Less frequently, he would pull out his clarinet. But once in a blue moon, he would bring out the ukulele. We LOVED it when he played the uke. And the song that I remember him playing most was a fun little ditty called, "Abba Dabba Honeymoon". The song was written and published byArthur Fields and Walter Donovan in 1914. Unfortunately, there are no videos in existence of my Grampa playing the ukulele. But I did find a a very charming rendition of Abba Dabba Honeymoon performed by a YouTube Uker who goes by the handle, Mercedezzz. Enjoy!

Next: White Sandy Beach of Hawaii

Welcome to Uke Bab!!!

Hey Gang! Welcome to my new uke blog, Ukulele Babylon! Uke Bab, for short. My plan is to post a new ukulele vid here everyday, to introduce you to the wide world of the ukulele and to the many cool folks who love the instrument. For the first video, I am posting my own rendition of the Carl Perkins classic, Blue Suede Shoes. Why this particular vid? Because my dog, Elvis, steals the show and I thought it would be a fun way to get this ball rolling. So without further ado, I give you Elvis, the singing dog.

Next: Abba Dabba Honeymoon