This month we met for the first time in our larger new premises in the Logan Village Community Centre, the upper floor of the Old Schoolhouse (Wharf St, Logan Village), which we were very happy with – it’s a nice breezy space with plenty of room for us to spread out.
I had a lazy month and appropriated music from Richard G’s Ukulele Songbook for our new songs of the month. We warmed up with the Beach Boys’ Sloop John B, then moved onto a couple of Johnny Cash songs – Ring of Fire (where we’re sort-of-almost managing to play our little introductory riff we’re doing in unison) and Folsom Prison Blues.
We moved onto something Australian with Hunters and Collecters’ Throw Your Arms Around Me, but have decided to transpose it into C for our next meeting to suit our voices a little better. We always try and go back to Fly Me to the Moon at each meeting, as some of those chords sound just so lovely on the uke, and I’d like to get it to a stage where we can play it at a reasonable pace.
As we had our bass player back, we tried I Shot the Sheriff again, but it’s just not working – we’re losing our rhythm after every little pause, and I need to correct some of the chords on our music. I think I’ll put that aside for a time, and perhaps try One Love in C as an easier reggae piece for next month.
We had a quick look at George Gershwin’s Summertime, which we’re going to look at as a more complex piece to practice in June. It’s not a song that really works with a group of people singing in unison, as everyone tends to use such individual phrasing, but we might pick a soloist for each verse and perhaps have other players humming along in the background if they like.
We also played Oh Susanna, which is a very cheerful song with oddly depressing lyrics – we speculated that Susanna is actually dead, and the song’s narrator is dreaming of her ghost. James Hill does a beautifully depressing version of this song in a minor key on his True Love Don’t Weep album (which you can listen to here), using a slide ukulele.