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Open Mic Night at the Rattle Inn – February 19

The Austin Ukulele Society’s second open mic night on February 19 gave us an evening filled with excellent and varied music! From creative originals to “Gangster’s Paradise” to “Goody, Goody,” all that attended and performed had plenty to delight them! Thanks to the The Rattle Inn for hosting! See everyone again soon!

The Austin American-Statesman sent photographer Rodolfo Gonzalez to the event and he posted several additional photos on You can check them out here.

Woody, Ray, Kathy, Alex:
Woody  Ray  Kathy  Alex
Kendra, Cindi, Bob & Kendra:
Kendra  Cindi  Bob and Kendra
Joy, Frank, Bob, Bill, Cindi & Mike:
Joy  Frank  Bob  Bill  Cindi and Mike
Elizabeth, Jack, Jack & Elizabeth:
Elizabeth  Jack  Jack and Elizabeth  

Another trip to Uketania

After our November AUS meeting came Uketania, at the Sahara Lounge at the edge of downtown Austin. Here’s Jen’s report of the evening:

uketania2“Jacob Borshard’s Beebort Records and the Austin Ukulele Society were privileged to present Return to Uketania at the Sahara Lounge, on November 14th.  The ‘sequel’ to June 14th’s Voyage to Uketania left a delighted audience and full house looking very much forward to future incarnations of the Uketania series of ukulele music nights, at the eclectic and inviting Sahara Lounge.

“The theme of Return to Uketania was for various ukulele-centric artists to cover new wave and punk rock bands.  Jacob Borshard started off the evening with a uketania1great solo set of Ramones tunes.  Highlights include audience participation on fist pumping the air on “Hey Ho, Let’s Go” during “Blitzkrieg Bop.”  Jacob was followed shortly thereafter by our very own Bob Guz, who played fantastic ukulele-driven renditions of brilliant and varied Elvis Costello songs including “Allison” and “Radio Radio.”
“Shortly after Bob’s set, a lovely quintet of ladies known as the Missy Fits took their stage for the first time, ever, though you would never have guessed it.  They played ukulele, and more, while harmonizing on beloved Misfits tunes, including a charming and deliciously impish version of “Last Caress.”  Luna Tart came next and covered the Boomtown Rats; she started off the set by sharing the chilling but true story behind “I Don’t Like Mondays” and delivering a powerful version of the classic.
“Jen regrets that she generally turns into a pumpkin around pumpkin time, so she regretfully missed seeing the talented and alluring Rhonda Roberts perform a set of Talking Heads covers. Having seen Rhonda Roberts at the first Voyuketania3age to Uketania, she highly recommends any opportunity to see her when she visits Austin, and you can look for her when you visit Houston.  The Skeletors closed out the night with a terrific Violent Femmes set.
“On behalf of ukulele music players and appreciators, Viva Uketania!”
Will there be another visit to Uketania in the cards? We don’t know, but we hope so!

The Austin Ukulele Society is enjoying having many members of the Dallas Ukulele Headquarters in Austin this weekend! We had a blast at the UOGB show last night, at the combo jam this morning, and we have one more exciting event tonight!

Come out and spend some time with your AUS and DUH ukulele enthusiast friends! From 7:30 – 9:30pm, we invite you to hear the wonderful ukulele driven musical talents of Bob Guz (7:30 – 8), Kathy and the Kilowatts (8:10 – 8:40) and The Love Leighs (8:50 – 9:30), at the Rattle Inn – 610 Nueces St. $10 cover, 21 and over.

The Rattle Inn has a woodsy, warm and cozy interior, and a full bar.  You can bring food in with you or grab a bite at one of the many great local restaurants nearby, before or after the show.  🙂

Will you be attending one of the UOGB concerts?

The UOGB, of course, is the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Jen has passed along some information about the two concerts we’ll see here in Austin:

“We know many of you are planning to check out one or both of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) shows, on November 21st and November 22nd, at the McCullough Theater next to the Bass Concert Call, on UT’s campus.
“Below is some info which you may find helpful and/or exciting! Read more here, too:
1)  The shows are technically sold out, but the Texas Performing Arts group recently released some more seats for both shows, so if you still need tickets, grab some now!
2) Parking on campus can be complicated or expensive, especially when there are multiple events on the same night.  (Chicago is playing at the Bass). There is a 50% discount for reserved parking ($6 instead of $12 on the night of the show) if you purchase the parking voucher in advance. You can do so here, before 10pm the day before your show:
3) Some members of the Austin Ukulele Society are performing just above the lobby, before the show begins, from roughly 6:15 – 6:50pm.  There will be a full bar in the lobby, so come early, get your car parked, and enjoy a beverage while the AUS performs for you.
4)  The UOGB will have a play-a-long with audience members, so feel free to bring a ukulele.  The song will be Tom Petty’s “American Girl” in the key of A; you can get familiar with it here:

“Looking forward to seeing many of you at our meeting on Thursday the 14th.”

Ukes playing around Austin

Want to hear some live uke music around Austin? Here you are…

Kathy & Kilowatts
Date: Saturday 9/7
Cost: no cover
Location: Green Mesquite (Barton Springs Rd & Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX, 78704)
Time: 7:00pm

Who: Paper Moon Shiners
Date: Friday 9/13
Cost: no cover
Location: Tantra Coffeehouse (217 E. Hopkins St, San Marcos, TX, 78666
Time: 8:00pm

Who: The Love Leighs
Date: Saturday 9/14
Cost: no cover
Location: Botticelli’s  (1321 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX, 78704)
Time: 8:00pm
+ Tuesday night residency at the White Horse at 11:50pm

Who: various artists, Ukulele Open Mic Night
Date: Wednesday 9/18
Cost: no cover
Location: The Rattle Inn (610 Nueces St, Austin, TX, 78701)
Time: sign up 7:00, performance starts 7:30

Who: Pops Bayless & the Dark City Trio
Thursday 9/26
no cover
Location: The Whip In (1950 IH35 South, Austin, TX 78704)

For more info about The Paper Moonshiners and their upcoming gigs, visit:
For more info about Kathy Murray & Bill Monster Jones and their upcoming gigs, visit
For more info about The Love Leighs’ upcoming gigs, visit:

A time to meet, and a time to rattle

Austin Ukulele Society will hold our monthly meeting on Thursday evening, September 12th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at, as usual, the Memorial United Methodist Church. Six days later, however, AUS will also hold its first-ever open mic night, on Wednesday, 9/18, at 7:30 at the Rattle Inn.  Members like you who perform during the open mic portion of the meetings (or even those who don’t) now have a chance to play on a real stage with real mics, in a live music venue.

The Rattle Inn is a great venue in the West 6th street area (bonus – parking is free on Wednesdays, after 6, and there is plenty of street parking.)

Date: Wednesday, September 18th

Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. (open mic performance signup starts at 7)

Place: The Rattle Inn – 610 Nueces St, Austin, 78701

This event is open to the public, and free – the only restriction is that it’s ages 21 and over.

Greetings from Homer, Alaska

We received the following as a comment from Michael Murray to the Ukulele Music Library, but since it might be missed there, I thought it would be better to post it here. How many of us consider that there might be ukulele groups in Alaska?:

“The Homer Ukulele (Group) Society (so it spells HUGS) is busy in Homer, Alaska. If any of you folks venture up this way you are always welcome to join us even for a day. We practice and jam every Saturday morning at the local senior center and have been playing regularly around town for various events–fund raisers, senior center, governor’s picnic, tour groups etc. we use the Daily Ukulele, Dr. Uke and recently a member came across your site and we borrowed “The Letter” and “Ring of Fire” from you to add to our long list of tunes. We are very open ended and have about 30 people on our e-mail list to keep informed of our events and people come when they can. We are playing for a group of RV’ers who are on a 59 day tour and are about half way–having originated out of Idaho for the trip. We do not accept payment so they donate to the Homer Foundation which supports local scholarships and other grants in the area. My daughter studied for her pharmacy degree in Austin and I love the town and the music there.

“Keep smiling and strumming! Michael Murray – just 10 miles east of Homer Alaska where the sounds meet the sea.”

Uke shows coming up around Central Texas

Here are some great opportunities to hear and see some of wonderfully talented ukulele music acts, coming up very soon – all across the Austin area, and at the Kerrville Folk Festival!

It’s also worth noting that there is a 3-day Ukulele Workshop at Kerrville this year, from May 28th – 30th.  Details can be found here:

The list is sorted by band, followed by the date(s) and info for that band’s performance(s).  Check them out!

Who: The Paper Moonshiners

Date: Wednesday, 5/29

Cost: please visit

Location: Threadgill stage, Kerrville Folk Festival (Kerrville, TX)

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Who: Pops Bayless & the Dark City Trio

Date: Thursday 5/30

Cost: no cover

Location:  The Whip In (1950 IH35 South, Austin, TX 78704)

Time: 9:30p – midnight

Who: Kathy Murray & Bill Monster Jones

Date: Sat 6/1

Cost: no cover

Location: Green Mesquite (Barton Springs Rd & Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX, 78704)

Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Who: Del Rey (all the way from Seattle!)

Date: Sat 6/1

Cost: you will receive a  $5 discount, from $15 to $10, if you attend one of Jim D’ville’s workshops earlier that day in Austin . For more information about and to RSVP to Jim D’ville’s workshops, which Kevin Carroll is hosting at his home/music studio, please visit the Meetup page here:

Location: Sandy’s garage in south central Austin – please email for details:

Time: 8:00 – 10:00

Who: The Love Leighs

Tuesday residence at the Firehouse Lounge – 605 Brazos St, 10pm, no cover!

I’ll share information about wonderful upcoming ukulele music in June, in the next week or so. Please keep Voyage to Uketania (6/13 – after our meeting) in mind as well as Deb Porter’s workshop on 6/20!

For more info about The Paper Moonshiners and their upcoming gigs, visit:

For more info about Kathy Murray & Bill Monster Jones and their upcoming gigs, visit

For more info about The Love Leighs‘ upcoming gigs, visit: Jen

Stephen Mangold–a local uke builder

For his 65th birthday, Stephen Mangold, a long-time bluegrass guitarist who sm3131already had some guitar-building experience, gave himself a gift–a weeklong class in ukulele building, held at a luthier school in Vermont. He had, as many players do, discovered the ukulele after years of guitar playing and wanted to spend some time with the smaller instrument. He hasn’t regretted it since; he’s been busy creating ukes (along with guitars) ever since.

When I went to visit Steve, a retired UT electrical engineer, at his northwest Austin home, he showed me a tenor guitar he’s been working on the past few months [below, right]. “The top is Engelmann spruce,” he told me, and the back and sides are Brazilian rosewood. “Not the endangered kind,” he hastens to add.

sm3133A tenor guitar, of course, is a beast hovering somewhere between the guitar, the banjo, and the ukulele, with a guitar body and a slender neck, with four metal strings, like those on a tenor banjo. “Tenor guitars appeared in the days of the jazz bands in the 1930s,” Steve said. The banjo players saw that the banjo’s days in jazz groups were ending, and the guitar was taking its place in the rhythm section. “A banjo player could pick up a tenor guitar and play it right away. It’s tuned just like a banjo.”

He’s built 7 ukes so far, two of them sopranos and the rest mostly tenors. “I build them from scratch,” he says. He bends the sides, builds the fingerboards, the nuts and the saddles, and crafts the tops mostly from spruce that he buys at one-eighth of an inch thickness but thins down to .07 of an inch (a guitar top, for comparison, is .11 inch). He likes to create the binding–the decorative strip at the point where the top or back joins the sides–from sm3132curly maple. He builds each instrument with a convex back [left] for a louder, fuller tone.

Steve has been to a couple of AUS meetings so far; at the March meeting he played a solo and mentioned that he’d built the uke he played it on. After the meeting he was immediately surrounded by a group of folks who wanted to see his work up close. It’s tough for Steve to get to meetings, though, because his bluegrass group holds their jam on the same night at the New World Deli. He’ll try to get to the AUS meetings more often, he promises. If you’re interested in contacting Steve to learn more about how he builds ukuleles, you can email him at fiddlersam[at] —Walter