Today I’d like to take you to my backyard on the island of Maui with Da Ukulele Boyz. First cousins Garret Probst and Peter deAquino began playing ‘ukulele together as part of Keoki Kahumoku’s ‘ukulele competition on Maui. Both have beautiful voices, a great sensibility for contemporary Hawaiian music, and clean ‘ukulele technique. Since then they have continue to gig on Maui and are co-hosts of George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Show. Their debut album in 2013 titled Da Ukulele Boyz (Live From George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Show) captures them in their natural element at the show, loose and colorful.
Somewhat of a more obscure Johnny Noble (Little Grass Shack, Hula Blues, etc.) tune, In a Church in an Old Hawaiian Town features Probst taking the lead while deAquino embellishes and holds down the rhythm. With this simple yet beautiful arrangement we get to hear the ‘ukulele play in a few different roles. I love the fills from deAquino following the solo. He starts out building tension right after the solo with a tremelo line traveling up the neck and after a few bars he makes his way back down with a line that I like to call the “cascading effect.” They’ve got good chemistry and have a nice balance as a duo.
Personal Note: I remember when I first entered Keoki’s ‘ukulele competition after a year of playing and meeting both Garret and Peter. They were the big wigs to me as they were great players already at that point. I loved how much fun and how natural they were on stage together. They really make you feel as if you are sitting in a backyard jam.
UkePrints is a curated playlist of some essential ukulele tracks that all ukulele player should listen to. These songs have left a legacy for future players and in essence, sound impressions of the ‘ukulele or what I like to call them: UkePrints.