They sung-along!

28 08 2012

Here’s some video and photos from the HUU’s workshop at Eastern Illinois University, in support of “Guit(art): Guitars from Mark Rubel’s Collection” at the Tarble Art Center. Tarble’s motto is, “to take the arts to the people”. We couldn’t put it any better, and as you can see the people responded. The faculty at EIU, Dean Poulter, the support staff worked together brilliantly. New and old members of HUU came out in force, and local Champaign teachers helped to bring around 50 extra ukes so that everyone could have a chance to strum.

There’s also a nice piece in the Daily Eastern News: Future music teachers “strum” night away at Ukulele workshop.

WCIA, the local CBS affiliate, has a 30-second spot from last night’s news, which you can watch right here.

The HUU at EIU Monday 8/27/12

21 08 2012

Electric Guitars and Ukuleles Sound Off at the Tarble Arts Center

The Tarble Arts Center invites you to learn to play the ukulele and release your hidden Jason Mraz, Eddie Vedder, George Harrison, or Rudy Vallee – all ukulele aficionados. A free ukulele workshop and sing-along will be presented on Monday, August 27, starting at 7pm, in the Tarble’s Atrium. Everyone is invited to attend.

The workshop will be led by Matthew Thibeault and his students from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, the Homebrew Ukulele Union (HUU). HUU members will teach participants how to play a few well-known songs. Ukuleles will be provided, but bring your own if you have one. After some basic instruction everyone will convene for a sing-along to perform the music learned.

The ukulele workshop celebrates the exhibition Guit(art): Guitars from Mark Rubel’s Collection. The exhibition opens August 25 in the Tarble’s eGallery and continues through September 20.

The exhibition presents the guitar as the subject of functional design — classic, quirky, modified, and unique. In 1941 Les Paul invented the solid-body electric guitar with a four-inch-by-four-inch piece of wood he named “The Log” and forever freed the design of electric guitars from the constraints of the acoustic guitar shape.

The guitars range from classics like a 1966 Rickenbacher 12-string to a guitar created by Tex Wynn out of an Army water-can. Also featured is a 1975 Fender “Sparklecaster” Stratocaster, a quilted Maple Hamer 12-string bass, and a giant Fender Jazz Basscustom built by John Gray. About thirty instruments make up the exhibition.

About his collection Mark Rubel states “this is a working stable of guitars, some modified and some old and beaten up, as opposed to a fancy collection. There are some very visually interesting instruments, and a lot of fascinating history.”

Rubel, Director of the EIU Recording Studio, is a musician, recording engineer, legal expert witness, and member of the EIU Music faculty. For a glimpse at some of Mark’s instruments in his Pogo Studios go online to: .

You can catch Rubel performing as a member of Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets in Mattoon on Saturday, August 25. The band will be playing for the Mattoon Eagles Summer Jam 2012, starting at 8:30pm. The event is open to the public.

For more information about the workshop or exhibition contact the Tarble Arts Center at 217-581-ARTS (-2787) or The Tarble is located at 2010 9th Street on the EIU campus in Charleston. Admission and visitor parking are free. For general Tarble information online see:

Ummm, hippies?

20 08 2012

Once you’re famous, even only internet famous, even only internet famous in your own mind, you can’t control the press you get. We at the Homebrew Ukulele Union just discovered an article published last February.

To be clear, we can confirm that there are no reefers in our classroom or at our gigs.

Click the image to check it out: