I was looking at the artist page on www.originalukulelesongs.com today and realised that the bulk of the artists there are solo or duo acts. Then when I thought about acts performing at live festivals it occurred to me that this is a prevailing trend. I suspect there could be a number of reasons for this including the fact that the more people that are in a band, the more organization is required for recording and gigs to take place. With my own band The Small Change Diaries there is an extraordinary amount of planning needed to ensure we get proper rehearsals and time to record. Even with four members this can be very time consuming. When we play overseas, you can triple the amount of time needed to make arrangements. I often joke “Thank god we are not an eight piece band!”
I set up Original Ukulele Songs as a platform for creating original music. The project is now a year old and is gathering momentum with a FB page with 2300+ members and 34 artists on the artist page. I’m interested to hear from bands that are playing original ukulele based music. When I say “ukulele based” I don’t mean they play an occasional ukulele amid a mass of other instruments, but rather the ukulele is central to the material. Personally I think the ukulele is an amazing instrument for creating great songs and there’s huge amounts of potential in a band context. I’m not a fan of mass ukulele strumming although I admit it is fun in small doses.
I am more interested in how this tiny instrument can interact with others of it’s kind and complimentary instruments to create original material. One consideration in finding other instruments that work with the ukulele is to consider how other instruments expand the overall sonic range. To my ears double bass is a wonderful choice in this respect and my interest is in constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible and ORIGINAL.