Friday, August 22, 2014

Parrot Island Ukulele

Do you love ukuleles?  Do you love a great beach vacation? Prefer flip flops to shoes? 

Well then you should check out Parrot Island Band's CD Ukulele. It's filled with original music played via ukulele, steel pan, congas and guitar. The music is what some call TropRock in style. All I know is this music will make you happy! This album is especially valuable if the weather is bad. 

When you look at the cover art by Jas Ingram aka Captain LoveHandles (artist who did logos for Sailor Brand Ukulele Co. and Uke Republic) it's a good indicator of what's on the CD.


So many fine original songs on this album such as Ukulele State Of Mind, If I Just Sailed Away and our favorite Down To The Uke Republic.
Down To The Uke Republic was actually written about our store and Bry's experience when coming here.
Bry says "A lot of people love that song but didn't know it was an actual place you could visit." We hope they get a chance to come here some day.
Bry Harris of Parrot Island Band - Down To The Uke Republic 

Parrot Island Band members are the talented  Bry Harris, Linda Harris and Kevin Garrelts. They tour from Key West Florida all the way up to Maryland. They often play venues in the Atlanta area including Uke Republic.
Bry Harris - Voted Most Likely To Open For Jimmy Buffett by his high school graduating class
Bry Harris is the real deal when it comes to tropical styled music. Growing up in a beach town, being an avid Jimmy Buffett fan before there were Parrot Heads and playing music since he was 12.

He was named "most likely to open for Jimmy Buffett" by his high school graduating class. Still waiting for that one. Bry is also a Kala Ukulele endorsed artist. The Parrot Island Band was also once nominated 
as Trop Rock duo/trio of the year by Trop Rock Association.... then Margarita M.A.F.I.A.

Bry also has a great percussion crew.The lovely Linda Harris, who happens to be married to Bry, does backing vocals and steel pan. Kevin Garrelts keeps the rhythm going on the congos, bongos and anything else to keep the beat on!

The Parrot Island Band L to R: Linda Harris, Kevin Garrelts, and Bry Harris

Several stations are playing Parrot Island Band's music such as (just to name a few):

Palm Tree Radio 
Uke Farm
Beachfront Radio
Conch Republic Radio
Island Dreamz Radio
Radio A1A
Tiki Beach Shop Radio and on regular rotation in Uke Republic.
You can purchase the album via I-Tunes, CD Baby or get a hard copy at Uke Republic or Parrot Island

So, just turn it on and let Parrot Island's music take you to a sunny place where you can walk barefoot and splash in the waves.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Living Water Ukulele Strings 100% Pure Fluorocarbon Made In Heaven

When I first heard about these ukulele strings I was intrigued especially when I understood they were being produced by a friend Ken Middleton. Ken Middleton you may already be familiar with from YouTube or perhaps you have seen or met him at a ukulele festival somewhere around the world.

Ken is a fantastic player and instructor giving workshops and explaining songs online. Ken is also one of those persons who has high standards when it comes to musical instruments and their complements such as strings so when Living Water Strings were made available I knew it was going to be something wonderful. I quickly popped an email over to Ken in England asking if we might be able to carry the strings at Uke Republic and the next day I received a phone call. Ken and I have known each other for a bit and he told me straight that if he did decide to have dealers carry I would be the first to have the option of stocking them. Well, fast forward to May 2014 and I'm honored to say Uke Republic is currently the only authorised dealer of Living Water Strings outside of England. This is also fantastic for our customers who have been requesting from Uke Republic.

These strings are 100% Fluorocarbon and lend their bell like finish to an instrument. The strings are also a little less susceptible to environmental changes compared to a nylon string. Living Water strings have been reported to last a long time and have rave reviews from uke players. If you have a chance, please give them a try. If you already have used Living Water Strings you now have another place to order from.
Several sizes to choose from for your ukulele. The Low G and Baritone ukulele string sets are also made from Fluorocarbon.
Standard sizes:
5 string tenor
Low G sets for concert and tenor

Here is a quote from Living Water. I like how the packaging says made in heaven but Ken lets us know where they are really made.
Manufactured from hi-tech fluorocarbon, these strings give a wonderfully vibrant, crystal-clear tone to your ukulele. They are made to exacting standards, with a complex polymer structure that is formulated to give both strength and flexibility, whilst maintaining an excellent resistance to abrasion. In other words, they don't break easily, they vibrate well and last a long time."

They are actually made in England.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Long Neck, Small Body, Narrow waist

What on earth am I speaking of? Super soprano ukuleles of course!
You may ask what is a super soprano ukulele? Well, basically it is a concert scale married to a soprano body. Some also put tenor necks with soprano bodies as well. Oh and then there is a tenor neck on a concert body but that's for another post.
Long Neck Soprano Ukuleles - UKE Republic
Kala Spruce Mahogany Long Neck Soprano

Okay, so what might be the advantage of the super soprano ukulele? For one you get to keep the soprano sound but have the room and additional frets of a concert. The feel and balance on many of the brands feels quite nice to. The portability of a soprano is still there. Now anyone who loves the tonal characteristics of soprano ukulele but felt the fingerboard a little cramped can get on playing one.
If you already play a super soprano or if perhaps it may be your first, you will be happy to know that there plenty of combinations to choose from!
Long Neck Soprano Ukuleles, Made in USA, UKE Republic, Sailor Brand
Sailor Brand Custom Cedar/Black Limba Super Soprano

There are more and more ukulele makers doing this combination. To name a few - Mainland makes a soprano pineapple body in solid mahogany and solid cedar with a solid rosewood back and sides and a concert scale. aNueNue makes a mahogany and koa super soprano (comes with a really nice bag too). Kala has mahogany, koa and a solid spruce top super sopranos. Sailor Brand Ukulele offer several combinations in tonewood for a super soprano and even custom orders. Kelii offers solid mahogany, solid koa and a solid koa top with a solid mahogany back and sides super sopranos. Ohana has a solid mahogany tenor scale super soprano and The Magic Fluke Company offers their Flea with either soprano, concert or tenor scale and what a variety of combinations they have.
Long Neck Soprano Ukuleles - UKE Republic
Kelii Bronze Series Solid Mahogany Long Neck Soprano

Long Neck Soprano Ukulele - UKE Republic
Mainland Solid Mahogany Pineapple Long Neck Soprano

Long Neck Soprano Ukulele - Uke Republic
The Magic Fluke Co. Concert Scale Flea in Red Hibiscus

Uke Republic has a great variety of quality super soprano ukuleles setup and available for you!
You can find them here: