The Original Mahogany is Mike’s Favorite

 

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Kala’s Mike Upton with the original Mahogany uBass. Photo: Kala “Me & Uke” Blog

In Kala’s new blog, “Me & Uke,” there’s an interview with founder Mike Upton, called “Meet Mike Upton.” He talks about such things as where he’s from (Mountain View, California) and when he first started playing the Ukulele (when he was two years old).

But it’s the last question that’s of most interest to us here:

Q: Last question, what is your favorite uke or U•Bass and why?

A: I just love the original Mahogany U•Bass with the black strings. To me, those were the magic. They just sound so great. The solid bodies are cool, but that’s not really my thing, I like the woody sound of the acoustic.

So there you have it folks. Mike likes the original Mahogany. There’s always something special about the first one.

Of course, I’m sure he likes all of Kala’s other instruments just as well, even if he didn’t say as much in the interview.

You can read the entire interview HERE.

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Coming Soon to a Computer Near You…

 

Kala plans to launch a blog on October 13.

 

…Is the brand-spanking new Kala Blog, featuring all things Ukulele, uBass and, of course, Kala.

The company says the blog is scheduled for launch on Friday October 13. Friday the 13th. Hmmm. They’ll initially post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Daily posts may come eventually.

Kala says: “The blog will feature news and updates on everything Kala, including Ukulele, U•Bass, and Artists. There will also be how to’s, tips, demonstrations, behind the scenes going-ons, and much more.”

So mark your calendars folks. The new Kala Blog on October 13.

There’s Good News. And Bad News.

 

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Mike Upton says Kala is working on a Ubass newsletter. Photo: Kala

 

The good news that now there’s a new source of uBass information you can sign up for.

The newest entry is from none other than Kala themselves. They’ve been sending out an Ukulele-centric newsletter for years. Now they’ve decided to do a uBass-centric newsletter as well.

Really, Kala?

Just kidding. We welcome the company.

Besides, what could be better than getting the info from the horse’s mouth, as it were.

According to Mike Upton:

We received feedback requesting a separate newsletter solely focused on the U-Bass. We took your advice, and you can now sign up to receive our brand new U-Bass newsletter.

You can sign up for just the uBass newsletter, just the Ukulele newsletter, or for both. At the bottom of every page on the Kala web site there’s a sign-up box. Just put your email in and you’re good to go.

If you’re already a subscriber to Kala’s Ukulele newsletter, you can update your preferences to include the new newsletter on their web site.

We can’t wait for the first issue to hit our mailbox.

And now the bad news: Kala says they are discontinuing the acoustic California Series uBasses, in order to make room for new and improved models.

In a note on the Kala Facebook page, the company had this to say:

The Kala Acoustic California UBasses will be discontinued and production on these beautiful basses will cease to exist as we put our heads down and start work on the development of our next generation of Kala California Acoustic UBasses over these next six months.

The company notes it has two fretless and one fretted Koa model available for purchase. Get them while you still can. Once they are gone, that’s it for the current Acoustic California uBasses.

Magnus Demos the Paddle Bass

 

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Magnus Sjöquist puts the Kala Paddle Bass through its paces.

 

Our friend Magnus Sjöquist of PlayUBass fame, posted a video of himself and his bandmates putting the new, as yet unreleased, Kala Paddle Bass through its paces.

Check out the video here.

As Magnus demonstrates in the video, the one-string bass can be adapted to any genre of music and can be played on the lap, mountain dulcimer style, or it can be held like a guitar and played that way.

He also did a Facebook Live video, explaining how the Paddle Bass works. Check that video out here.

 

Kala Affected by Rosewood Restrictions

 

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East Indian Rosewood is one of the Rosewood species restricted for export.

 

Like all companies selling instruments and products containing Rosewood, Kala is affected by the new regulations restricting Rosewood species sales across borders.

The company has placed this disclaimer on its web site:

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS
Please bear with us—due to new International Export Regulations regarding all species of Rosewood there will be an undetermined postponement of orders containing Kala Elites, California U-Basses, and USA Banjo Ukulele shipping outside the United States. We hope to have this resolved as soon as possible.

The Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) held a conference from September 24 to October 4 this year in Johannesburg, South Africa, where it was decided that all species of rosewood under the genus Dalbergia and three bubinga species (Guibourtia demeusei, Guibourtia pellegriniana, and Guibourtia tessmannii) will be protected and its export restricted, according to Reverb.com.

The restrictions went into affect January 2.

Kosso – sometimes called African rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus) – will also be protected, they note.

While Brazilian Rosewood is was already under CITES protection, now all the nearly 300 other species of rosewood are under similar regulation. This includes East Indian rosewood and Honduran rosewood – as well as woods like cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa) and African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) – that are widely used in the manufacturing of stringed instruments, marimbas and some woodwinds.

Rosewood is the world’s most trafficked wild product, according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, accounting for a third of all seizures by value, more than elephant ivory, pangolins, rhino horn, lions and tigers put together.

So, if you’re an overseas customer of Kala’s, prepare for delays if you buy an instrument form them. Sales shipped within the United States are not affected. If you already own an instrument with rosewood and have it in your possession, there’s no need to worry. You can also travel with previously purchased instruments with no restrictions.

Acoustic Bridge Names Us One of Top 23 Ukulele Blogs of 2016

 

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A big Thank You to Andy and the guys over at Acoustic Bridge blog for naming the uBass Appreciation Society one of their “23 Ukulele Blogs You Need to Tune Into This Year.” He also provided this cool badge for us to use on our site.

We were listed 18th among the 23 Top Ukulele Blogs, though I don’t think the blogs were listed in any order. With blogs like Uke Hunt and Ukulele Underground on the list, we’re in pretty good company.

Here’s what Acoustic Bridge had to say about us:

This site focuses on those who are interested in the Kala brand uBass, which is a combination baritone ukulele and bass guitar. They offer playing tips, news and lots of info!

In case you’re not familiar with Acoustic Bridge, they cover piano, ukulele and guitar for beginning musicians and those interested in acoustic instruments. Go check out the blog and tell Andy the uBass Appreciation Society sent you.

The Mike and Ukulenny Show

Kala's Mike Upton and Ukulenny jamming on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On"

Kala’s Mike Upton and Ukulenny jamming on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”

 

Mike Upton of Kala Brand Music Co. not only talks the talk, but he also walks the walk.

Here’s Mike accompanying Uke player Ukulenny on the uBass to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”

Check out the VIDEO  HERE.