|These are my "Uke Songs",
composed on my Lanaki concert
I've been a songwriter for longer
than I care to admit, but it's just
been recently that I've
discovered the charms of the uke
and incorporated it into my music
and life! Not surprisingly, I've
always had an affinity for Tin Pan
Alley & 1930's music and culture.
"Somewhere", "A Beautiful Light",
and "Open Your Heart" feature
violinist Jamii Szmadzinski.
"Black & White" and "Open Your
Heart" are full-band recordings.
The rest of these uke songs are
with the very talented,
multi-instrumentalist Denis Smith.
In addition,"Everyone's Gone to
the Moon" enlists the talents of
Robert Reister: keyboards,
programming, bells and whistles.
See below for my pre-ukulele
A Beautiful Light
Let's Go Tubin'
Black and White
The Waiting Room
Everyone's Gone to the Moon
Open Your Heart
I worked in a very popular 60's genre
rock band for some ten years called
The Bashers. We opened for many
major touring acts, played a lot of
summer festivals, drank a lot of beer,
and had some radio airplay. Soon
after the band folded their tent, my
wife began a long battle with breast
cancer. The long dark nights of
uncertainty unleashed a renewed surge
of creativity. I started recording
these songs with the band in my studio.
About this time, an old friend from
Hawaii appeared with the gift of a
ukulele. I started playing around with
it (a lot), and it was just what I needed
to lift my spirits while my wife and I
were coping with her illness.
So, while the band and I were
recording the songs I'd recently
written in the daytimes, I was
practicing my ukulele at night and
feeling the need to take a new turn
with my music. I felt it was time to
step it up a notch. I was listening to
a lot of world, celtic, and gypsy
music, and wanted to incorporate it
into my writing, turn the corner, and
Besides, I could no longer wear
spandex. Well, I could, but it wouldn't
The results (so far - many more in the
works) are above, in the Ukulele Songs
|Let's Fall Out Of Love |
|Fragments of my world.....
come, wander through.....
thanks for visiting.
My uke and me, in front of some of
I hang my art on my fence and let it
slowly dissolve over time.
Like my music, I create it and throw
it to the elements.
"Is there sombody in there
with you, Ronnie?"
Rudy Vallee (hello, Rudy),
and Marlena Dietrich, for
sure. ( It's getting
crowded in here!) Where's
Captain Howdy when you
Film noir, cabaret.... hear
their influences in my
songs "Let's Go Tubin' "
and "Black and White" as
well as others.
"Take me sailing," says the lady
that emerged from my brushes.
"I'll float you away with my music,"
But still she waits.
Bongo Wanda Productions
|My beautiful wife holds me to this earth,
else I would self-ignite and become
but a vapor of my fruitless dreams.
In addition to being my rock, she is
also an exceptional portrait artist.
In my latest metamorphasis, Denis Smith and I have joined forces with
Jamii Szmadzinski and Robert Reister. Jamii and I have had a creative
relationship dating back some 30 years, and have recently reunited.
We call ourselves Black Umbrellas after an instrumental song I wrote,
but have yet to post.
All of my music is original, with the exception a recent remake of
Johnathan King's 1965 hit, "Everyone's Gone to the Moon". Jamii's
beautiful string arrangement adds a haunting quality. It seemed so
timely, that I asked my son, Dylan, to make a film to go with it.
You'll find it here on YouTube
|For you literary-minded people, check
out my son's online magazine. Dylan is
an English professor, filmographer,
poet, and novelist.