‘Bout time to update y’all

It’s been a while.  Just got back from a trip to Disney’s California Adventure:

12642717_219229138420191_6903949621394194579_nAs in … finally made it to Hollywood!

Before that it was a week at Jon Gindick’s Ventura CA Harmonica Jam Camp.  An absolute blast!

12669477_10153845791060097_2352691593936361311_nWith all the travel I missed out on participating in the most recent Green Valley Theatre VerteFée Cabaret, “Guide to Vice,” but got to sit in on dress rehearsal.  What an amazing show.  And both nights were SOLD OUT!

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Coming up starting this weekend at GVT, the amazing show “The Last 5 Years.”  Tickets available now at www.greenvalleytheatre.com.

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As you know, the folks at Mya-Moe Ukuleles make some wonderful instruments.  I have one in the oven right now, coming my way sometime later this month.  Can’t wait.

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That’s about it for now.  Keep an eye out for our next VerteFée Cabaret.  Until then, happy uke-in’ to all!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Our “Tales of Forgotten Dreams” Cabaret show this past weekend was fabulous!  Hope you got to see it.  Here’s yours truly doing his Bogie impression with “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca.”

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Great fun to work with our house band, “Boo Radley and the Finch Kids,” and all of the talented dancers and singers we featured.

And to get you in a holiday mood, here’s a shot (thanks to Yuri T Photography) from last December’s VerteFe’e Cabaret.  Stay tuned for news about our first one for 2016.

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Upcoming VerteFée Cabaret Nov. 20-21!

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Don’t miss this one.  There will be more singing and dancing that you can shake a stick at … if that’s your idea of a good time.  Plus magic, comedy, burlesque and more.

I’ll be singing two numbers, one written in 1911, the other in 1931.  The music for the older tune was written by a composer who at the time was also pitching for the Chicago White Sox.  The other tune is one that’s become not just a classic, but one of the most evocative songs ever.  No spoilers.  To find out what the songs are … you’ll have to come to the show!

Tickets available soon at www.greenvalleytheatre.com.

See you there, Friday and Saturday nights, November 20 and 21.

TOMORROW NIGHT!

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Hi everyone! Just a reminder, if you’re anywhere in Northern California these days our Ukulele Rob Trio + 1 workshop and show at The Strum Shop in Roseville is tomorrow evening, October 30th.

At 6;00 I’ll be doing my “Learn to Love E-Flat” workshop. Perfect for beginners and intermediate players (but fun for everyone) who’d like to stretch a bit beyond the usual major chords. We’ll be using a well-known Tin Pan Alley song to learn about flavoring tunes with some of the neat things you can do with four fingers and four strings.

Then at 7:00 it’s showtime! This year at The Strum Shop I’m joined by vocalist Beth Grigsby (“Red’s Blues”), slap-bass hero Zack Sapunor (“The Jim Cullum Jazz Band,” “SacTown Playboys” and “Hot City”) and harmonica ace and vocalist John Wilusz.

Tickets and more info available at http://thestrumshop.com/events/ukulele-rob-workshop-and-concert#sthash.0TYrwKBL.dpbs , but here’s a great deal: Get a message to one of us via FaceBook (look for John Wilusz, Zack Sapunor or Beth Reid Grigsby) post a comment to this post, and save $3 off the price of admission.

The Strum Shop is conveniently located off Interstate 80 at Douglas Avenue in Roseville CA, near Trader Joe’s in the Roseville Square Shopping Center.

See you there!

 

 

Get Your Tickets Now!

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Coming up Friday night October 30th I’ll be back at The Strum Shop in Roseville with my Ukulele Rob Trio + One show. I’m pleased to announce that our “+ One” this time will be Beth Grigsby, leader of the Red’s Blues band, one of the hit acts at this past May’s Sacramento Music Festival. A wonderful singer, Beth will be singing some classic old-time blues. And back with me again at The Strum Shop are my friends Zack Sapunor (slap-bass and vocals; Zack is in demand all over town, if not the country, playing regularly as a member of the Sactown Playboys and Hot City, and sitting in at festivals with groups like the Au Brothers) and John Wilusz (more fine vocals, plus chromatic and diatonic harmonica; John was featured last month at The Torch Club’s “History of the Blues” show.)

We’ll start off with an hour-long ukulele workshop, using “It’s Only a Paper Moon” to learn about the fun key of E-Flat. Great for beginners to pros. But even if you’re not a ukulele player, you’ll still have fun learning some things about popular American songs, and you’ll want to sing along.

Tickets are available now on line at The Strum Shop’s site, at http://store.strumshop.com/event-tickets. But for our friends and fans, here’s a great deal: If you buy your ticket directly from Zack, John, Beth or me ahead of time, your ticket, regularly $15, is only $12! Email me at ukerob@icloud.com, or message any of us at our Facebook pages, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009993183891, https://www.facebook.com/zack.sapunor?fref=ts, https://www.facebook.com/john.wilusz.79?fref=ts, and https://www.facebook.com/beth.reidgrigsby?fref=ts.

Hope to see you there!

Cabaret Postponed

Keep an eye on this site.  Our next VerteFee Cabaret, originally scheduled for September 11-12, has been postponed, and is now scheduled for November 20 and 21.

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A Few New Things!

First off, I don’t normally pitch products on this site (as opposed to people and events, which I pitch all the time — shamelessly), but here’s a shout-out to GHS Strings.

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GHS makes strings for just about any instrument that uses ’em, including ukuleles.  But here’s the cool thing:  Working with various artists GHS is making what would otherwise be “customized” sets available to the general public, among them a special set designed by Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel described as “Bari-Tenor.”  Basically the strings are spec’d so that you can take your 17″ scale tenor ukulele and tune it like a baritone uke (i.e., the highest-pitched four strings of a guitar), except that the D is an octave higher, so it’s basically a baritone with re-entrant tuning.

I put a set of these strings on one of my Fluke tenors, and I’m having a lot of fun with the new tuning.  It’s a bit of a challenge to transpose the fingerings for various chords, but using this tuning adds a whole new voicing for some of my tunes.  I recently performed Lyle Ritz’s great baritone uke arrangement of “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” on my now “bari-tuned” tenor (I usually perform it on a concert-sized uke with standard re-entrant tuning), and it was a hit.  (It may have helped that the wonderful Sandra Dolores joined me on stage for a vocal duet.)

The strings are available directly from Craig and Sarah at www.cheemaisel.com/signature-strings/, or you can find them at good music stores.

In other news, we’re working on a new VerteFée Cabaret show at the Green Valley Theatre, the second weekend in September, so keep an eye on this page, or on the website at www.greenvalleytheatre.com.  And looking way ahead, on Friday night October 30th the Ukulele Rob Trio + 1 returns to The Strum Shop in Roseville for another workshop and concert, this time featuring Sacramento blues vocalist Beth Grigsby (“Red’s Blues”), together with returning band members John Wilusz and Zack Sapunor.  It’ll be a great night.

Try to imagine …

Marilyn UkuleleIn about two weeks we’ll mark the 53rd anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death.  A tragic and all-too-short life.  And notwithstanding all of the conspiracy theories, it’s more likely than not that in deep despair she took her own life.  Had she somehow gotten it together and lived, she’d have turned 89 last month.  Can you imagine Marilyn Monroe at 89?  Sure.  No doubt she’d be the Belle of the Ball at trad jazz and ukulele festivals all over the world!  If there were two things she did really well, “Some Like it Hot” proved that they were sing, and play ukulele.  RIP.

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Did We Ever Have Fun!

905933_1119111361435530_4485577297908272224_oThis past weekend’s VerteFée Cabaret at the Green Valley Theatre, “We the People!,” was an absolute gas!  If you were there, thanks so much for coming out and supporting us.  And if you missed it, keep watching this space for news about our next VerteFée Cabaret.11699079_1119107224769277_3043972593234746167_o

While everyone in the cast enjoyed it, yours truly believes he had more fun than anyone.  Here I am in numbers with our wonderful drummer, Peter Halldorf (in George M. Cohan’s “The Yankee Doodle Boy”) and with talented actress, singer and dancer Jessalyn San Gregorio (in the WWI hit, “Oui Oui Marie”):

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(In case you missed ’em, I’ll be singing my two tunes this coming Wednesday at Sandra Dolores’ Acoustic Open Mic at Sacramento’s Torch Club.)

Not to mention my three-second “special guest appearance” as King George III, shocked to receive from his representatives in The Colonies a copy of the recently-signed Declaration of Independence.

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A special shout-out to the whole wonderful cast and crew at the Green Valley Theatre.  See you next time!

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