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A Musical New Year’s Resolution for 2014 January 6th, 2014

After Air Canada destroyed my Martin M3 on a flight to Philadelphia a few years ago, causing me to shed numerous bitter tears, I became hesitant to travel with my guitar, so I’ve been on the lookout for a smaller, carry-on-sized instrument for travel.  Last month on Oahu I found what I was looking for:  a nice little thin-bodied, feather-light Kala ukulele with a big bright sound.  Before hearing Scott Cook play one in concert a few years ago, I’d always considered the uke to be a sort of musical toy.  It was something my mom and grandma would play corny old songs on during sing-songs on family picnics, or worse, it was the ridiculous thing Tiny Tim strummed when he “tip-toed through the tulips.”  Scott’s music showed me that the uke can be a bona fide instrument, so I thought I’d give it a try.  Since buying it just before Christmas, I’ve made pretty good progress, having already used it to write a new song.  This year my resolution will be to play it every day in the hopes of getting good at it by year’s end.  It’ll be good company during my travels as I work to finish researching and writing my new book, which is due at McGill-Queen’s University Press on July 1st of this year.

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