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Uke Enthusiasts Galore in Charleston, South Carolina
If you’ve been thinking about getting your first ukulele, already have one gathering dust in your closet, or have been eyeing up that shiny new uke you got as a gift, there’s no better time to pick it up than now.
The ukulele is currently enjoying an unbelievable renaissance at every age and skill level. Whether you’re playing one, listening to one, or watching someone shred on one, the ukulele makes you feel good.
The sound of one ukulele can conjure up enjoyable thoughts of tide winds, sandy beaches and Mai Tais, so imagine what a dozen or two could do.
There’s nothing better than the sweet sound of the mighty little four-stringed instrument – especially when it’s being played by a group of enthusiasts. And those with a ukulele in South Carolina agree.
The state is jam-packed with enthusiasts, clubs, performances and festivals that focus on the mighty little uke, and in Charleston, bands, groups and events meet all over the city. The Lowcountry Strummers Ukulele Club meet on the second Thursday of every month from 6:30 until 9:30pm, and all levels are welcome. While the club hasn’t been active on social media in a while, they do provide a phone number on the Charleston City Paper website.
If you don’t mind mingling with other instrumentalists, The Folly Beach Bluegrass Society is a twenty-minute drive from Charleston’s city center. The weekly meetup, which began way back in 2002, is inspired by Pete Wernick’s Learn to Jam Camp at Merlefest in North Carolina. Ukulele enthusiasts with an interest for Bluegrass music are welcome to join in on meetings, which take place every Thursday from 8:00pm at the Grill and Island Bar on Center Street.
Those looking to observe rather than play can check out Charleston’s local ukulele-focused band, the V-Tones, who draw from an impressively wide range of influences to execute foot-stompingly good – and extremely entertaining – performances.
It’s difficult to put a formal definition on the band, though they call themselves: “Charleston’s only ukulele hot club jug band vaudeville ragtime neo-retro-postpostmodern beachfront quasi-primitive anachronistic revolutionary anti-inflammatory mass catharsis jazz freakout and philharmonic group therapy session.” Essentially, the V-Tones are a ukulele-focused, Americana subgenre group who stand out as misfits in Charleston’s guitar-dominated local band scene – but they do blend in nicely with the local ukulele community.
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