Song 46 – I Love You

I pretty much take my ukulele everywhere I go. Actually, that’s one of the reasons I bought it in the first place. My cello is awesome, but it’s hardly portable. You can’t put it in an overhead compartment and checking it on a plane is like playing Russian roulette. Even just driving around town, my cello doesn’t make a good “toss in the back of car and go” instrument. The ukulele is the instrument of choice for travel. Compared to a cello, it’s absolutely tiny. It fits in my backpack so it doesn’t even count as a separate carry on when flying. When it came for me to head to Cold Spring Harbor for a conference last spring, I had my ukulele with me.

Usually when I go there, they put me up in a pretty nice dormitory style building. It’s not on campus, but there’s a shuttle van and I always enjoy getting to know the shuttle drivers. They’ve lived there their whole lives and usually have some interesting stories to tell about the place.

However, last time the put me up in run down motel in a strip-mall right next to a major highway. It was a terrible, dark place with unpredictable plumbing. But, regardless of the setting, I got to see a really, really beautiful sunset. It was one of those skies that goes from deep purple to a darkest blue without a cloud in the sky. Stars were just starting to shine through and looked like gems sprinkled on velvet. And that’s when this song came to me.

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This is an approximation of what I saw out the window when I wrote this song. It was much cooler in person.

As soon as I got home, I wanted to record this tune – but I knew I wanted drums and bass on this song, so for logistical reasons, I’ve had to wait until now. But it was worth the wait! Robert Cantrell and local bass legend, FJ Ventre, and I spent an evening with Al out at Warrior Sound and made some amazing music. For the second time this year, I was lucky and Robert brought his collection of percussion instruments and, starting in the “solo” section you can hear a very distinct afro-cuban rhythm that has probably never been paired with a ukulele before. This song is a perfect example of how much more I can accomplish when such talented people bring their own style to a tune.

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Lately, my songs haven’t had a lot of ukulele in them, but rest assured, I still play it all the time. It’s my go-to travel instrument.

Folks! I hope you had a wonderful October and have a great November. I’m already excited about recording my annual holiday tune and I can’t wait for you to hear it. If you’d like to sing or play along with “I Love You”, here’s the song sheet.

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Here’s what the sunset looked like at Warrior Sound, right before we started to record this song.

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