This week’s UkePrints features the dynamic ‘ukulele group Heart and Soul. Heart and Soul has taken different incarnations over the years with the constant being ‘ukulele player, teacher, and owner of the ‘ukulele school ‘Ukulele Hale, Jody Kamisato. The group debuted with the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-nominated and Hawaii Music Award winning album Take It Easy back in 2010. Since then the group has changed personnel with current members TJ Mayeshiro and Micah Ganiron joining Kamisato on stage at the Disney Aulani Resort as a featured act in the Starlight Hui show.
Today we are going to listen to an original by Kamisato titled 12th Ave. Named after the street where Ukulele Hale is located, 12th Ave sits in between a cross of The Ka’au Crater Boys’ version of Kawika and Pure Heart’s Tokada. The song starts with the introduction of the main theme of the song starting with the trio tripling the line with slight variation (harmonizing and an octave up). Mayeshiro and Ganrion mute and scratch on their ‘ukuleles to add a driving rhythm to the song. Separating the main theme, the trio vamps on an A7b9 chord with the three of them moving between various inversions (0:08). Ganrion takes the first solo starting with a soft sweep and light pull-offs while Kamisato and Mayeshiro strum softer, bringing the song closer to the floor (0:20). Next Ganrion does an octave run as Mayeshiro jumps in with fast syncopated strumming on various A7 inversions (0:30). Hits follow as Jody arpeggiates a Dm before launching back into the main theme (0:42). Kamisato jumps in with Tokada-esque riffs, first using a tremolo technique to climb up the neck then a descending riff (0:52). The group moves together with hits as Kamisato continues with single notes and then an octave run, resolving by transposing to D major from D minor (1:12). In a Jake like slide, Kamisato moves up the neck as Mayeshiro moves down the neck creating a swell like sound (1:25) before the group plays the main theme one last time finishing with a harmonized line (1:33).
I love the way the three utilize their ‘ukuleles to create different parts which adds a lot of variation and depth t the song. Not to mention their high energy performance!
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.