Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Myrtle Concert Uke

Kumalae shape, concert size, 15 inch scale
Myrtle top back and sides
Mahogany neck
Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
Florocarbon strings, Gotoh tuners

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wet Your Whistle!

Hey Friends- As a follow up to my Two Chord Songbook, I just finished a book called "Wet Your Whistle." It contains 29 bourbon cocktail recipes and 11 folk songs about whiskey/drinking!

It was typed on my vintage typewriter and illustrated by my wife Nicole. It fits in your pocket or ukulele case and is printed on recycled paper. It includes classic recipes, my own inventions and lot of recipes I found on the road with my band. There also are little bits of historical info, anecdotes etc...

Click here to shop:

Click here to hear one of the songs from the book:

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Website for Bean Sprout

Hey uke friends- I got our new website up today, check it out at:

The models, features and pricing are new for 2011, so click through and see what I am up to!

Also, to celebrate, there will be free shipping on all orders made between know and Jan 1st.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Two Beansprouts on Ebay!

I have a Baritone and a Concert Beansprout on Ebay

Come, on. Get the credit card out and make a bad decision!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Danzig Cover by Leighton on a Beansprout

Here is Leighton from Safe Boating Is No Accident singing a Danzig song while playing his banjo uke:

It is a vintage pot with a new neck I built him, 19 inch scale.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Redwood and Apple Concert Uke

For Jeff Menzies.

-Redwood top
-Apple back, sides and headstock overlay
-mahogany neck
-rosewood bridge and fingerboard
-15 inch scale and Kumalae shape

The 1st Baritone Beansprout Banjo Uke!

Well, here it is!
-19 inch scale
-10 inch banjo rim
-maple and ebony
-gotoh tuners, worth strings, renaissance head
-custom nickel plated steel hardware
-tuned dgbe with high d

This instrument could also have 4 steel strings in various tunings, including gcea, cgda, and gdae.

It has a nice loud sound but is pretty and mellow due to the 10 inch pot and 19 inch scale.

We should be ready to produce this in early 2011!

Denver Ukulele Festival

The 4th annual Denver Uke Fest is coming up. We have been around and helping out since the 1st. Thanks to Swallow Hill for always putting on a great event. This year we are going to two nights at the L2 center!

Monday, November 15, 2010

San Juan Mandolins!

After the show the other night in Delores, I got talking with a guy about my banjo ukes. It turns it his name was Bobby and he builds San Juan Mandolins. I have known about him for a long time and I was glad to get to meet him. Instead of staying at the hotel, I went back to his shop to check out what he is working on, listen to Leadbelly records and play some tunes in his kitchen. Here are some pics:

First, here is a new mandolin in progress for Drew Emmitt. Notice the one piece maple back and awesome sunburst. Up close and personal, you can see Bobby's careful scroll carving. You may have read in the last Fretboard Journal about Drew selling his Nugget mandolin to Jeff Austin. Well, he sold it so he could order this one!

Here is a spruce top and maple back being joined for an "A" style mandola.

And lastly, here is the scroll of Bobby's personal mandolin. Great inlay and peep the awesome engraved Waverly tuners!


For about six months now I have been sponsored by Curt Mangan strings. They are a small company in southwest Colorado and make all sorts of guitar, etc... strings.

We played in Delores, CO at the Brewery last weekend and they came out to see the show and deliver a batch of strings for me. Since I was going back and forth on what strings to put on my guitars, Curt brought me several custom sets to try! How cool!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A fancy Guild from Jason Krekel!!!

I finally got to hang out with Amy and Jason from Mad Tea Party this weekend, it has been way too long! The are from Asheville, NC and play some awesome folky garage rock on ukulele and guitar. I have always known Jason to play a 1960s Silvertone, but on this trip he also had his father's Guild Starfire along. Jason's dad, Tim Krekel, was an amazing songwriter and guitarist from Kentucky. He passed last year and Jason inherited his main guitar. Here is with the Guild.
And here Jason is with the Guild and the Silvertone, both of which were made around 1964-1965, FYI.

Ok, now some pics. Notice the gold plated Bigsby Tremelo and Rotomatic tuners. Also, two single coil pickups and all original hardware, except for a missing finger rest. The whole thing is really awesome maple with a reddish sunburst. The neck is maple/walnut/maple and feels great. People pay the custom shops big bucks nowadays to fake the kind of mojo that Tim put into this guitar, but this is the real deal! Also, check out the two color pearl inlays and celluloid bindings!

It was really special to see Tim's guitar and learn more about him. I think for the next blog post I will feature Jason's silvertone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recording with Danielle Ate the Sanwich

My friend Danielle just took us into the studio to record a Lady Gaga song. I played electric guitar and had a great time. Peep it here:

We recorded at Macy Sound Studios, which is always awesome. I played my Epiphone guitar through a twin reverb and some fancy hand wired amp. Chris on fiddle, Carl on drums, Dennis on bass, DATS on uke and voice.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Crooked Enough

While driving through the snow tonight in the van, Neil pulled up "World's on Fire" by the Crooked Jades on the Ipod. This is one of my all time favorite records! The Jades are led by Jeff Kazor and have been around the Bay Area since '94. I saw the lineup that is on this record play in a hotel room at folk alliance in 2005 or so and it totally changed my life.

It is old time music that seems to skip right over the "party line" of the current scene and hits hard as the idiosynchratic music that it should be. Funky poly-rhythms, call and response vocals, odd song forms, modal melodies: all the good stuff.

Here is the link to download the record, its a must.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quality Folk

Tonight we are in Centralia, WA playing at the Olympic, WA with

Steve Einhorn
and Kate Powers.

They play uke, banjo and guitar and sing great folksy harmony vocals. we heard about them from Gordon and Char from Myamoe Ukuleles and they were right, they are great.

A little bit of Cat Stevens meets Doc Watson, with harmonies that only come from singing together for 30 years!

Also, like all the venues on the great northwest music tour, The Olympia Club is totally haunted. it is a venue, bar, cafe, pool hall and hotel.
Mobile Blogging from here.

40 year old port

Gordon and Char from Myamoe Ukuleles have been cooking for us for a couple of days while we hang out in White Salmon. Neil has been playing Grand Theft Auto while I help in the Myamoe shop.

We had two kinds of Port last night, 1970 and 1985!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Hoosier Hot Shots Kay Plectrum Guitar!

When we played in Eugene, OR the other day. The pickup on my electric guitar stopped working. We popped into Mckenzie river music with fingers crossed. It turns out they could fit me in that day, but we had to wait a few hours. Of course, Neil and I played all kinds of cool instruments and amps. When we were ready to go, I saw a flight case by the counter. I kicked it and asked if it was for sale. They said no, but it had a famous plectrum guitar in it. I asked to see it, and, HELLO! I recognized it as the plectrum guitar from a famous photo of The Hoosier Hotshots! The man who played it on all those great records was Ken Trietsch. This one was custom made by the Kay company and seams to be made of spruce and maple. Celluloid binding and pickguard, gold hardware, skinny maple neck, big body. A very nice guitar for a Kay! Check it out!

I have an autographed photo that belonged to my great aunt that has this guitar in it. I will post it when I get home from tour.