February 24, 2011
JAMES BOND UKULELE
I've been playing a lot of music lately at the Spy Vibe lair. My attention has been on checking out interesting and rare instruments. One of the coolest things I've played is a gourd banjo, which is a fretless instrument with great blues possibilities! I'm interested in two makers, who made gourd banjos played by Mike Seeger (New Lost City Ramblers and brother of Pete Seeger), Bob Thornburg and Jeffrey Menzies (Menzies sound samples here). Another maker to check out is the Banjo Factory. During my recent missions to various music shops, I couldn't help but notice that the most recent ukulele craze is still in full-swing. Uke, you ask? Anyone who still doubts the possibilities of these little wonders should check out Roy Smeck, the "wizard of the strings," playing Tiger Rag in an early talkie short film here. Below is a more contemporary player, who interprets the James Bond Theme beautifully. There are many versions of James Bond music out there. What are some of your faves? Any unusual arrangements or peculiar instruments?