Ukulele enthusiasts will learn to play and sing “The Boodle Am Shake” when touring artist Mark “Lil Rev” Revenson returns to Pittsburgh Saturday.
Steel City Ukuleles, a local community group dedicated to all things ukulele, is sponsoring Mr. Revenson’s second visit to Pittsburgh where he will showcase his talents in a full day of ukulele music Saturday. He’ll lead a ukulele workshop in the afternoon, and host a multi-instrument concert in the evening.
If you go
Workshop: “The Boodle Am Shake.” Players and enthusiasts of all levels are welcome. Bring a ukulele and a music stand. 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Sign-in 1:30 p.m.
Concert: Mark “Lil Rev” plays a selection of folk, old time, blues and novelty songs. Besides ukulele, he is an expert on guitar and mandolin. 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Admission: $25 for workshop only, or $30 for both workshop and concert. Workshop walk-ins, $30. For concert only, pay $10 at the door.
Where: Wilkins School Community Center, 7604 Charleston Ave., Swissvale (Regent Square), Pa., 15218
To register and purchase tickets online: See http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Ukuleles/events/132651412/. For information, email: email@example.com
Steel City Ukuleles promotes community, entertainment, performance and education among ukulele enthusiasts in the Greater Pittsburgh area. All players are welcome, from beginners to professionals. See http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Ukuleles for more information.
The workshop,“The Boodle Am Shake,” is based on the song recorded in the late 1920s by Clifford Hayes’ Dixieland Jug Blowers. “It is one of the most exciting jug band-era pieces ever written because of its infectious rhythm and catchy melody,” Mr. Revenson says. “The repertoire of the 1920s-and-’30s jug band era has a wealth of ukulele-friendly songs, progressions and strums that are so much fun to sing and play.”
The afternoon ukulele workshop will highlight the tune’s unique chords and voicings. And to spice it up, Mr. Revenson will demonstrate various techniques, including moving chords up the neck of the versatile four-string instrument as well as some unusual right-hand strokes. Should time permit, he will teach additional Jug Band-era classics such as “Stealin’, Stealin’,” “Walk Right In” and others. The workshop is open to players of all levels.
In the evening concert, he will Include tunes and tricks from his extensive song bag: old-time blues, ragtime numbers, standards, folk plus original compositions. A seasoned multi-instrumentalist, he is equally adept at old-time banjo, flat-pick guitar and mandolin.
The Milwaukee native tours the East each fall, the South and West in the winter months, while also flying around North America to teach and perform at ukulele clubs and festivals. He’s been called “The Johnny Appleseed of the Ukulele,” logging more than 40,000 miles a year teaching and performing at traditional arts camps, music stores, festivals, temples, house concerts, folk societies and ukulele clubs across North America. He has published numerous ukulele instructional books and DVDs, and he is known on the international scene as a protector of old songs and playing styles.
Mr. Revenson will be joined on stage by Clint Hoover (see accompanying story), a nationally known harmonica player originally from Minneapolis, but now living in Pittsburgh. It was a tough move for him to make, says Mr. Hoover.
“My wife, Gretchen Anderson, was offered a dream job she couldn’t refuse,” he says. “She moved here in 2009 to become the conservator of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. At first, I was reluctant to give up my established professional playing and teaching career. But after two years of a commuter marriage, I made the move. I do go back and forth, mostly for recording dates, but I’m building my teaching practice here in Pittsburgh with both private lessons and group classes at Calliope House.” His latest CD is “Astoria” by EastSide, his jazz band from Minneapolis.
A selection of Mr. Hoover’s and Mr. Revenson’s CDs will be for sale at the concert.
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