Produced by: Rhomboid Music Inc.
Length: 33 minutes
Available From: CD Baby

  • Whoopsi Daisy
  • Wreck of the Sloop John B
  • Duet For One
  • Fleas in the Grass
  • Comin' Home Baby
  • Old Shoe Rag
  • It's Uke Time!
  • Can't Refuse the Blues
  • Uke Noir
  • When You Wish Upon a Star
  • Soy Scramble / Sheik of Araby

Dan "Soybean" Sawyer
Uke of Ages

Review by: Zathras
Last Updated: 8/22/05

According to the liner notes Dan "Soybean" Sawyer wanted to show that the uke can be much more than just Aloha Oe and novelty tunes. He certainly accomplishes this and then some on Uke of Ages.

Not only is the variety of genres covered impressive - what I find most refreshing is that the CD is recorded using "normal" ukes - mostly a Harmony Concert, with a Lanikai concert and a Fluke thrown in for good measure (a Gibson UB4 banjo ukulele does make an appearance for half a song). They certainly all sound great in the hands of Mr. Sawyer, and now I have one less excuse to give to the wife on why I need a new ukulele :).

The disc is mostly original songs with a few classics featuring new arrangements thrown into the mix. As mentioned above, a lot of ground is covered, from jazz to bluegrass to waltz. Several songs have accompaniment/vocals, but the uke is always the focus.

I am hard pressed to pick out favorites, but if you twisted my arm I would probably have to choose Fleas in the Grass and When You Wish Upon A Star. Fleas in the Grass is a nice upbeat bluegrass song with serious pickin' going on. When You Wish Upon A Star is a great solo rendition of the Disney/Cliff Edwards classic - and as you might make the connection from the title of the site, I have a soft spot for all things classic Disney.

Finally, I have to mention that in the liner notes, every song gets a short "blurb" that includes the key(s) used in case you want to strum along. The notes mentioned that Roy Smeck did it that way on his albums, and it certainly is handy to know. Hopefully other artists will follow suit.

If you are looking for a showcase of what the ukulele can do, or more importantly just wanting a good CD, give Uke of Ages a spin!


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