11 August 2009

“Everything is science-fiction (and I ought to know)”

This past Saturday (which already feels long ago) it was a delight to attend at Club Passim in Harvard Square while Greg Hawkes put sundry-sized ukeleles through their paces—beginning with (I am guessing) his smallest, while singing “You Might Think I'm Crazy.” The first set also included “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “I’m in Touch with Your World” (when you’ve heard the lines I’m a psilocybin pony/You’re a flick fandango phony sung to a ukelele’s accompaniment, you are well on track to having lived a full life), Martin Mull’s “Ukelele Blues”—let other blues singers begin with the lament, “I woke up this morning”; these here blues are for the chap with a serious complaint, who cannot get up till the afternoon. In a back-to-the-egg moment, Greg even picked out the theme from The Mickey Mouse Club.

At one point, Greg called for audience participation involving small change in “Pennies from Heaven”; the triplets were my responsibility, and I think few of my pennies have ever been made to work so hard ever before. Before the interval, Tim Mann joined in, and repertory broadened to include the Everly Bros. & the Turtles.

[ click for large (but dreadfully blurry) image ]

Greg Hawkes will be offering ukelele instruction at Club Passim; extended techniques on display this past Saturday included singing into the sound-hole, and rapid body spins (the body of the instrument, not of the instrumentalist).

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