Posts Tagged ‘free music’

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and I confess to being a little rusty.

I had a whole bit planned out for how my one-man-band One Wood Uke would be back from a faux-hiatus after internal rivalries, rehab and a failed solo effort by our frontman nearly destroyed the group, but my heart just wasn’t in it. (The One Wood Uke episode of “Behind The Music” would be preeeeeeeeetty boring).

What *is* exciting, though, is another Christmas collaboration with Liz. The last time we put out a video was our “We Three Kings/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” duet and we finally got around to a follow-up two years, a new house and an extra 80 pounds of Husky later — the fur balls were kind enough to nap in the other room the entire time we were recording.

So here’s our spin on the *consent* version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski. As always, you can download your own copy of the song for free at my bandcamp page, along with the rest of the One Wood Uke tracks.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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Merry Xmas to all, and to all an extremely frustrating dive into split-screen editing!

But really though, making this video was a bit of a pain. I had all these lofty ambitions of shooting B-Roll of Christmas lights and Santas Claus and my dog running through the snow, but once I started toying around with the screen-in-screen nonsense I knew that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. Plus, we have no snow for Ghost to run through. Thanks Obama (note: I don’t actually think it’s Obama’s fault).

Ever since I started making these Ukulele covers FOUR YEARS AGO (tempis fugit) I’ve wanted to release a Christmas song. I came close a while back with Auld Lang Syne, but that didn’t turn out that well.

*Tangent* about a year after shooting that video I was at a party where this woman was talking about a New Year’s Eve where she went to a pig roast and there was this guy playing crappy ukulele songs.

Me: In Sugar House?

Her: Yup.

Me: Yeah…I was that guy.

*/Tangent*

Anyway, I grew up in the 90s so Blues Traveler is a thing for me (dat harmonica doe!) . That includes “Christmas,” their pan-holiday single from 1997.

I’ve been rocking out to this song every winter since I was in junior high school, and about a month ago started entertaining the idea of recording a One Wood Uke version.

I dig any time I get to harmonize with myself (it turns out I’m the perfect duet partner…for me) and Christmas has that in spades. I actually had to dial down the number of tracks since BT goes kind of crazy toward the end of the song and my limited editing ability couldn’t match it.

Enjoy! As always it’s available at my bandcamp site for a free download. No Xmas 2015 mix is complete without it!

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10553410_10204449416380343_7121517607838412198_nAnyone want some free ukulele music for the new year?

I know I haven’t posted much by way of One Wood Uke lately, but some things just can’t be rushed. I actually started working on this song in September while I was busking at our local farmers market (I’m also drinking Kombucha while I type this — hipster overload!!!) but then I got busy with my new job and before I knew it, it was the holiday season.

Fire/Fear (by The Head and the Heart) just didn’t seem right for a Christmas release, with its pining lyrics and lilting mood, but it’s absolutely perfect for January, the worst month of the year.

I mean, right? I’ve lived most of my life in Utah where January is a seemingly interminable tedium of inversion-bogged, dreary lifelessness. It doesn’t help anything that it’s also my birth month, since birthdays fill me with a creeping dread of mortality and a sense of wasted potential. Time: that unstoppable monster that devours all things.

But even if you’re not, like me, in the throes of seasonal affective disorder, this song is still for you 🙂 Sure it’s about heartbreak, but it’s also about hope. Right? I don’t know. I just like it.

The other reason it took me until January is because when I left my old job in October, I left behind the company-issued MacBook that came with it. Now, I’m not an Apple absolutist like some, but my personal computer was a rather dismal Asus that I had purchased on the cheap in 2012 and barely used since then. It wasn’t up to the task.

But now I’m back on a MacBook and it feels (and hopefully sounds) so right!

As always, head on over to bandcamp for a free download of the song. And if you can tell me in the comments the two places where I messed up you get a special prize.

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I’ve been hearing all my life how similar I am to my brother Jake, who is nine years older than me. I could point to several key differences (he’s an extrovert, I’m an introvert) but from an observational standpoint I’ve been told that we look the same, walk the same, talk the same, act the same and dress the same.

Again, I don’t know about any of that but one thing we do have in common is ukulele-playing (although technically, I started uke-ing first).

Jake was the lead singer of Dishwoody and the Burritos in his younger years and has always had a better hand at songwriting than I have. That’s because I can’t write songs at all, and have thus accepted my lot in life as a cover artist.

Anyway, the other night Jake stopped by for a late night jam so we could record a song he had written for his wife as an anniversary gift. It was already late-ish when we got started so in a little over an hour we rehearsed, recorded and edited the song and an accompanying YouTube video.

It turned out pretty good for a smash and grab job and it was kind of nice to be on backup vocals for a change (you’re all very welcome).

Here’s the video below and since no one downloads these songs but my mom anyway, you can pick up a free copy on my Bandcamp page (where there’s also mine and Jake’s Beyonce cover).

Enjoy.

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Ukulele

The average high in Salt Lake City for the last week was 96 degrees. It hit triple digits on Wednesday (102) and at night we’ve been lucky if the low gets down into the low 70s. I have a window box air conditioning unit in my living room, but the cool air doesn’t quite make it to my bedroom before being beaten down by the oppressive heat.

That’s my long-winded way of saying I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. And what is an amateur ukulelist with insomnia to do besides stare at the ceiling and will his eyelids to surrender to blissful slumber?

Record a cover song, duh, which is what I decided to do last night. I’m not a huge Pearl Jam fan, their heyday was a little before my time, but ‘Just Breathe’ holds a secure spot on my “I love this song so hard” Spotify playlist. I also like that it gives me a chance to work on my finger-picking skills on the Kamoa pineapple soprano.

As you can see by the clock in the video resting on top of my couch (it fell off the wall the other day and I haven’t gotten around to hanging it back up) it was about 10:30/11p.m. when I put this together. Between late night uke-ing and all the coconut curry I cook, I’m 100 percent sure that I’m my neighbors’ favorite neighbor. It could be worse, I could have a crying baby or a dog.

Oh, and to explain the header photo, I fastened my “official busker” pin and returned to the Salt Lake City farmers market this morning after an extended absence. It was a good day, but apparently my callouses had healed, which made for a painful afternoon.

Here’s the video, and as always you can download a free copy of the song on bandcamp.

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Admittedly, this post is a little late. “Fools Rush In” was the first song I learned on my Kamoa Ukulele, which as you may recall I bought in Hawaii and which has a unique low-G base string, but at the time I thought “I should save that song for Valentine’s Day.”

But V-Day just so happens to land in a the middle of a very busy time for me, squeezed between the end of the Sundance Film Festival and the buildup of the 45-day Utah legislative session. So I recorded the song, didn’t love the way it sounded, tried it again, still didn’t love it, started shooting B-roll for a video and then just kind of dropped the project altogether.

Part of the challenge is that my Kamoa, unlike my Cordoba, does not have an audio jack to record digitally. That means I either record everything live through my microphone or sacrifice the base string, which sounds so great in this song.

But after a week of the top image on Wood’s Stock being me, naked on a massage table, it became apparent that I really needed to put a new post online. So here we are, a brand new albeit loosely completed One Wood Uke video just in time for Valentine’s Day 🙂

As always, the song is available for download at bandcamp, should you feel so inclined.

Also, it has occurred to me that theses videos are all essentially the same. I would experiment more, but it’s a fine line between just posting Uke songs for kicks and going full-Marnie. If I ever cross that line, please, I beg of you, warn me by punching me in the face.

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So this isn’t my best video, a fact that I attribute to two compounding challenges. First, iMovie decided to go ahead and upgrade itself, which is good because the new multi-layer video editing is a vast improvement but also means that I have to re-familiarize myself with the program and all of its new bells and whistles. Second, I had to get it done and posted today before my world gets completely dominated by the Sundance Film Festival, otherwise it would just never happen.

As a note, I apologize for all the closed-eyed ooh-ooh-ooohing. The song demands it and it’s hard to ooh-ooh-ooh with your eyes open. In fact, I just apologize for all the facial expressions I make in this. I really need to stop filming from a profile angle.

I’m a big fan of The Head and The Heart. I’ve seen them perform twice – once at The Depot in SLC and once at Sundance last year – and they’re just killer. If you’re not familiar with them, stop what you’re doing right now and go listen to them. Scratch that, watch my video and like it on Facebook, THEN go listen to The Head and The Heart.

Obviously my own musicality can’t even compare to THATH, but I hope you enjoy this song. I actually started working on a version of Down In The Valley about a year ago but could never quite get it right. Then the other day I was just goofing around with hammer-downs and a lightbulb went off for the strum pattern. That, and my new microphone that allows me to add fingerpicking and harmony tracks, sealed the deal.

I hope you like it. As always it’s available for free on my bandcamp page. And if you haven’t yet, check out the One Wood Uke collection that I created for Wood’s Stock. It’s all there to satisfy your ukulele-related needs. Enjoy.

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