Memphis Ukulele Band - Self-titled
One of Memphis music icon Sam Phillips’ favorite sayings was, “If you’re not doing something different, you’re not doing anything.” With a unique ensemble sound and surprisingly diverse repertoire, Memphis Ukulele Band is firmly rooted in Memphis music’s maverick tradition. And like so much great Memphis music, this story starts at Sun Studio. It was there one evening in 2013 that Jon Hornyak, engineer Matt Ross-Spang, and multi-instrumentalist Jason Freeman came up with the idea of starting a ukulele band. They invited a few friends along – critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Mark Edgar Stuart and talented newcomer Kyndle McMahan – and soon found themselves opening for the uke’s biggest kahuna, Jake Shimabukuro. That show earned them both an enthusiastic crowd response and the interest of Blue Barrel Records, and in May 2015 they began recording their debut album at Music+Arts Studio. The ukulele is an instrument whose low volume and capacity to express a broad range of emotion make it one of the most intimate, evocative and underrated stringed instruments. It’s fitting, then, that Memphis – also intimate, evocative, certainly underrated – is the setting for this magical collaboration.