Ukulele Festival Newcastle Under Lyme 2017 anyone?

I’m thinking of starting a ukulele festival here in Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, sometime in 2017. Are you interested?

I’m looking for venues for gigs etc, groups who may want to perform, uke players who may want to pass on the expertise in ‘workshops’, etc..

I have approached Newcastle Under Lyme Council for their guidance and will report back.

But in the meantime, please let me have your comments.



Mya-Moe – are they the best?

Having just started playing with a Kala resonator uke I have to say I’m happy with it although some reviews have said it’s not so hot. It is an entry level uke, so you get what you pay for.

Looking around I came across this site:

Love the look of these resonator ukes on this site and would be lovely to own one but the price is daunting. Maybe when I’ve cut my first massive no 1 selling album (dream on) I will get one.

From their website:

There are very few companies that make wood-body resonators ukuleles–the design and construction challenges are significant. The resonator cone is extremely delicate. The strings pass over the bridge/saddle which is attached to the cone. The tension of the strings, in combination with the angle to the tieblock, determine how much downward pressure is placed on the cone. It is the precise control of this downward pressure that determines the acoustics of the resonator. Too little pressure and the sound is distorted–less pressure still and the cone buzzes. Too much pressure and the voice becomes choked–more pressure still and the cone will be damaged. After much testing and evaluation, we determined the perfect amount of pressure to place on the cone, and we carefully control that during the construction of each instrument.

We custom-turn a wooden soundwell to support the resonator cone. This provides level support for the cone while allowing it to freely resonate.


After careful testing, we chose a National cone for it’s clear tone, long sustain, and lively voice. The result is a resonator ukulele that still retains the acoustics of a wood-bodied instrument. Our goal is to bring out the voice of the wood, while providing passive amplification. This instrument sounds wonderful when played solo fingerstyle, and it shines when put up against the volume of a banjo or mandolin in a music circle. For a more woody tone, choose woods such as koa, mahogany, sycamore or mango. For a more punchy tone with more of the resonator cone component, choose the brighter woods with spruce tops. The hand-shaped neck, radiused fretboard, meticulously leveled frets, and individually dressed fret ends deliver the playability that every serious musician should demand.


Are they the best, leave us your thoughts and recommendations.


Ukulele Album of the Year

Congratulations go to Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta Jr for taking the title Album of The Year at the weekend’s ‘Na Hoku Hanohano‘ awards. The album, Ukulele Friends, is a recording of a dozen duets by the two long time friends.

Other nominees included:

Da Ukulele Boys – Jus Cuz, Ukulele Duets

Kimo Hussey – Low G

Jake Shimaburkuro – Travels

Taimane Gardner – We are made of stars

The Noah Baritone

Web site link:  Introducing the new Noah Baritone!

One day I’ll own a hand made UK uke but until then I can dream – and pass on any news I get.

Matt at Noah Ukulele (from their blog) says – It’s been an exciting week at Noah HQ – lots of new ukuleles have arrived  ahead of what is going to be a busy and exciting summer at various ukulele festivals around the country. After lots of requests over the past couple of years, I’ve finally added a baritone to the Noah range. As with all Noah instruments, it is completely solid – with a Spruce top – and definitely has that lovely rich, warm sound that you look for in a baritone instrument. For now, we’ve only made 10 and as a result they won’t be made available on the website shop, but will be coming with me to festivals. If you’re not able to make it to any festivals, and are keen on getting hold of one, then please contact me at

I’ve also brought back the Noah Campanella  – a Super Concert with a pin bridge which proved to be very popular when we first made them in 2014. Again, we’ve only made 10 so if you are interested then please get in touch.

As well as the Campanella and Baritone, we’ve also made more of the existing three series – Mahogany, Monkeypod and Rosewood / Spruce in all sizes. I’m completely in awe of Mr Anh and his family’s work and I honestly feel that they have improved further on the ukuleles which they made last year. I’m extremely taken by the Mahogany Series this time round – we managed to source some lovely curly mahogany for them which I think people are going to love.

If you’re attending any of the following festivals look out for Noah:

Ukulele Festival of Great Britain – June 18th

Ukulele Festival of Wales – June 25th / 26th

Rye Ukulele Festival – July 3rd

Spa Strummers Festival – July 9th

Isle of Wight Ukulele Festival – July 23rd