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Peace, Love and Ukulele

Peace, Love and Ukulele

Peace, Love and Ukulele… It is the title of Ukulele legend Jake Shimabukuro’s CD. It is also an ideal…that music (in this case, the Ukulele) can bring peace into a chaotic world.

Bry Harris Kala Uke artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know that the Ukulele brings me a great deal of peace. It is a great stress reliever and helps take me to my “happy place”. 🙂 It also brings a smile to those who listen and I have found that it is hard to be in conflict with someone while they are listening to a Uke and smiling. (In my “humble opinion”, the Ukulele is the ultimate “weapon of peace” and should be given to everyone around the world at this very moment.)

At the beach this past week, I sat and watched the ocean waves while playing the Ukulele and wrote one song (Down at the Beach) and started another (Peace, Love and Ukulele).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got home and finished Peace, Love and Ukulele…I hope you enjoy it. (If at any point it makes you smile, please pass this along to someone who needs a lift!)

 

Peace, Love and Ukulele

V1)

Turning off the evening news
It's giving me the blues
We've got to set our sights much higher

Another day has come and gone
I'm just trying to hold on
I know that we can do much better

Chorus)

Peace, Love and Ukulele… we need more of…

The kind of music that can… help us

Finally learn to get along….

V2)

So many people fuss and fight
Everyone thinks they are right
Why can't we learn to love each other

Sometimes our pride gets in the way
And though we know what we should say
It looks like we aren't even trying

Chorus)

Peace, Love and Ukulele… we need more of…

The kind of music that can… help us

Finally learn to get along….

Bridge)

What if we could just remember
On this journey we need friends
The world would be a better place
If we could come together in the end

Chorus)

Peace, Love and Ukulele… we need more of…

The kind of music that can… help us

Finally learn to get along….

As a Kala Ukulele artist (or, Kala Uke Ambassador, as I like to sometimes refer to it), I am always looking for an opportunity to spread my love of Ukulele. It is never too late to pick up this wonderful instrument. It is a joy to play the Ukulele and have someone say that they had always thought of the Uke as a toy but have now changed their mind and realize that it is a great musical instrument!

Although many know me as part of the Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett tribute band from Atlanta, Georgia), I also write original music and enjoy taking the Ukulele into schools, nursing homes and any place that is looking for some fun music to lift their spirits.

My wish for everyone tonight is peace, love and, of course… Ukulele! Thanks for reading and listening…

Peace, Love, Ukulele 🙂

Bry Harris

Parrot Island Band

Kala Ukulele Artist

Peace, Love and Ukulele

 

 

Kala Ukulele endorsing artist Bry Harris

Kala Ukulele endorsing artist Bry Harris

I became a Kala Ukulele artist a few months ago and I have been interviewing some of the other Kala musicians in order to get to know them better (and hopefully help others to get to know them as well). Since I am waiting to hear from some of the other Kala artists, I thought I would share my own story as an introduction to the Kala community. I have really fallen in love with the Ukulele in recent years and view myself as a “Ukulele Ambassador” of sorts…. In addition to our band (the Parrot Island Band), I love to take the Ukulele into schools (and to senior groups) and teach them about the Ukulele. Since I have added the Uke as the main acoustic instrument in the band (in place of guitar), I have had many wonderful conversations about the Uke and I have made several “converts” to this neat instrument.

Bry Harris Kala Brand Music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bio:

I grew up in Tidewater, Virginia, and have had been drawn to the memories of lakes, rivers and the ocean ever since. When I graduated from high school, I was named “most likely to open for Jimmy Buffett” (ok, it was a ‘tongue in cheek” accolade and officially it was something like… “in 5 years Bryant will likely open for Jimmy Buffett”- but time has morphed into the “most likely to” reference :)).

While I did play in bars and restaurants for awhile in college, I took and extended break from music (about 25 years!) and began playing again for others around 2006. I started a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band that now includes my wife (steel pan) and good friend, Kevin Garrelts, (congas) and myself (vocals, guitar and, of course, Ukulele). While we started as a cover band, I have written around 30 songs that we add to our set lists and they have been very well received.

We recorded a Trop Rock CD, Parrot Island Getaway, which consists of original songs and has been played on Internet radio stations from Key West to California, New York to Alaska and even Canada. The Parrot Island Band has been nominated 3 times as Trop Rock duo/trio of the year at the Trop Rock awards that is held in Key West, Florida.

1) Where is home for you at the moment?

“I currently live in Acworth, Georgia… about 45 minutes to an hour north of Atlanta.”

2) What were your earliest/current musical influences?

“I started playing guitar when I was 12 years old in the 70’s. I was influenced by the likes of James Taylor, Grand Funk Railroad, the Eagles, many of the great singer/songwriters of my youth such as Dan Fogelberg and Harry Chapin. Probably the biggest influence on my music (and no surprise to those who know me) was Jimmy Buffett. I loved his fun-loving persona and tropical themed music. Jimmy’s music still influences me today!

“In addition to Jimmy Buffett, the music that I listen to today comes from a broad range of “Trop Rock” musicians that paint musical scenes of beaches and palm trees but are not necessarily known to the general public. I love musicians who play because of their passion for music… but like me, may never play in front of large crowds or on mainstream radio.”

3) When did you start playing the Uke?

“I have only been playing the Ukulele for a couple of years but I have definitely been bitten by the bug. I keep a Ukulele out at home to play while watching TV or just for the fun of it (and to relax and work on new song ideas). I also have another Uke in my office and take a break now and then to play a few chords (I find it boosts my creativity and makes the rest of my work day more enjoyable).”

4) What Kala Ukes are you currently playing?

“I play the Kala Acacia Tenor (KA-ASAC-T) with an added MiSi pickup. I also keep a Kala Long-neck Soprano (KA SLNG) in my office. I use this Uke when I go to preschools or elementary schools to teach them about the Ukulele (or sometimes just the letter “U”!).”

5) Any current musical projects you would like to tell us about (tours/CD's)?

“Our first CD, Parrot Island Getaway, has been out for a few years now so I should be announcing our next CD (but we are still trying to figure out a way to get moving on that). I have written enough songs for a new CD and my plan is that when it comes out, it will be one that features the Uke, steel pan, congas and U-bass (so if there is anyone out there wanting to help us get this going, just let me know ;-)).”

6) Any question that you wished someone would ask but never has? with answer of course;-)

“Q: Jimmy Buffett is on the phone and wants to know if you would like to have lunch and play a few songs together?”

“A: Let me check my calendar and call you back (JUST KIDDING! ;-)) Yes, just let me know where to go… I’ll be right there!”

I get an extra question since this is my idea… 😉

“Q: Why did you switch from playing guitar to Ukulele?”

“A: While I have always loved playing the guitar, there is something about the Ukulele that relaxes me and moves me in a deep way. I feel as if I should have been playing the Ukulele all my life and that it is part of my “purpose in life” (to play the Uke and somehow bring joy to others through it). I am just beginning to explore how the Uke will be a part of this next chapter in my life and I am really looking forward to discovering the answer….”

All for now

I hope I can get in touch with some of the other Kala Ukulele artists and have more of these interviews in months to come… until then, pick up a Ukulele… strum a happy song and make someone smile…

Peace, Love and Ukulele

Bry Harris

www.parrotislandband.com

Kala Ukulele Artist

Kala Uke Artist Bry Harris

The Kala Tree Song

The Kala Tree Song

I wrote a song this week called the Kala Tree Song, another fun little song for folks who enjoy the Ukulele and life at the beach. While it feels primarily like a children’s song, I have had several adults comment how much they liked it… so I guess if you are a child or an adult and you enjoy it, it’s for you!

As a Kala Ukulele artist (I play and promote Kala Ukes for Kala Brand Music), I included the Kala brand Ukulele in the song because they are such beautiful (and great quality) instruments. I also mention the “Kala tree” in the song as it is a Ukulele display that is placed in many stores that sell Kala Ukuleles.

Kala Brand music Bry Harris

As it relates to this song, I imagined a (Kala) palm tree down near the ocean that had Kala Ukuleles hanging from its palm branches. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a palm tree (with Ukuleles) waiting on you so that you could pick a Ukulele and play some Island music to those who passed by? 🙂

 

I think this song might make a neat children’s story (expanded a little, of course).… I will have to keep an eye open for the opportunity to develop this song/story in the future (and it already has the song to go along with it!). I am also excited about having another Ukulele song to share when I visit schools (preschool/elementary) to teach them about Ukuleles (or in some cases, the letter “U”).

Without further delay, here are the words (and video) to The Kala Tree Song… I hope you enjoy it!

The Kala Tree Song
V1)
I saw a Kala Ukulele, hanging in a Kala tree…
I saw those lovely Ukuleles, and this one was the one for me

Chorus)
So I played my Ukulele, and I sang an Island song,
And everyone who gathered ‘round me,
asked if they could sing along…

V2)
Picked up my Kala Ukulele and I went down to the shore
I started playing for the sea gulls,
they asked if I would play some more

Chorus)
So I played my Ukulele, and I sang an Island song,
And everyone who gathered ‘round me,
asked if they could sing along…

V3)
Picked up my Kala Ukulele and I went down to the sea,
I started playing for the dolphins,
they asked if they could stay with me..

Chorus)
So I played my Ukulele, and I sang an Island song,
And everyone who gathered ‘round me,
asked if they could sing along…

Interlude-
Bridge)
I’m thankful for the Kala trees, and lovely Ukule..e..les
I’m thankful for the summer breeze, and the music that it brings

Chorus)
So I’ll play my Ukulele, and I’ll sing an Island song,
And everyone who gathers ‘round me,
I hope will come and sing along…

I’m finding that simply written songs can be enjoyed as much as those that are written by “master songwriters” and that if I have a song in me… it needs to be shared. So pick up your Ukulele (or whatever instrument you choose) and share your inspiration with us… I’ll be waiting…

Beaches and blessings,
Bry Harris
Kala Uke Artist
www.parrotislandband.com

Kala Uke Artist Bry Harris

Kala Ukulele endorsing artist Will Kimbrough

Kala Ukulele endorsing artist Will Kimbrough

I saw a picture of Will Kimbrough playing a Kala 8 string Ukulele about a week ago and thought that Will would make a great Kala Uke artist. Today I saw his picture up on the Kala Brand Music web page confirming that he is now a part of the Kala Ukulele family! 

In my interview with Jim Mayer (Coral Reefer Band/Jimmy Buffett), he mentioned that he and Will had been playing the UBass and Ukulele on some of the songs on Buffett’s upcoming CD. As I am a big fan of Jimmy Buffett (and the wonderful musicians that he surrounds himself with), I was excited to hear that there will be some Uke on this project. Will confirmed that he “just played the Kala Uke all over the upcoming Jimmy Buffett album!! Probably half the songs have the 8 string tenor Kala on them…” !

If you haven’t heard of Will Kimbrough, you have missed out on some great music. Will is not only a superb song writer but an outstanding musician. While Will sits in on some of Jimmy Buffett’s concerts and recording sessions, he is a wonderful talent in his own right… OK, enough superlatives from me… check out Will Kimbrough for yourself.

Kala artist Will Kimbrough

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bio:

“Will Kimbrough was born and raised on the Gulf Coast. He has been out playing music since his first band at the age of 12, and on the road since he graduated high school. Will's bands include Will and the Bushmen, The Bis-Quits, DADDY and now Willie Sugarcapps, his collaboration with Grayson Capps and Sugarcane Jane (Anthony and Savana Crawford). Will has released 6 solo albums in addition to 6 albums with his various bands. Will's songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat, Todd Snider, Jack Ingram and others. He has worked in the studio and live with Buffett, Snider, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples and way too many others to mention here. Will produced two of Todd Snider's finest albums (East Nashville Skyline and The Devil You Know) as well as Adrienne Young's Grammy Award nominated Plow to the End of the Row CD. Will is currently on tour all over the U.S., finishing his upcoming solo CD and working on the debut Willie Sugarcapps CD

1) Where is home for you at the moment?

“Nashville”

2) What were your earliest/ and current musical influences?

“ Hank Williams, Beatles, Mississippi John Hurt”

3) When did you start playing the Uke?

“3 years ago”

4) What Kala Ukes are you currently playing?

“8 string tenor!”

5) Any current musical projects you would like to tell us about (tours/CD's)?

“ Currently finishing a solo CD, and beginning a CD with Willie Sugarcapps—my new band with Grayson Capps and Sugarcane Jane (Anthony and Savana Crawford).”

Kala Will Kimbrough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find Will at:

www.willkimbrough.com and Willie Sugarcapps- Home  for tour dates, news, blogs and information.”

Thanks again to Will for answering a few questions, here’s wishing you a year of gigs and fun… and of course, more Uke! 🙂

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), Will is always welcome to sit in and Uke with the Parrot Island Band (here in Atlanta, Ga but have Uke, steel pan and congas and will travel)- aloha!

Beaches and blessings,

Bry Harris

Kala Uke Artist

www.parrotislandband.com

Kala Uke Ambassador Bry Harris