After founding and running the Warrnambool Ukulele Group for six years, the three of us, Annie, Judith and Kevin decided it was time to let others have a chance to takeover. Already we had a three-piece group playing sixties music (Guitar, Bass and Drums). We kept playing our Ukuleles every week at home, trying out new ways of interpreting songs. While playing around with different tunes we produced a song to celebrate Annie’s Kazoo; namely, “Dirty Girdy”. Hence the name of the group. From there we created more songs.
We noticed most music ignored issues from ‘third age’ people, ie those heading to retirement or past middle age. Why not pen some songs about them? Why not produce The Grey Album? Thus, began our task of listening to our friends discussing issues that faced them in their daily lives. Sometimes we could use humour or make satirical comment. For example, being grandparents inspired “Only Passing Through” and ownership of caravans gave us “Grey Nomad”. Other times the issues required us to celebrate. For instance, “I Still Love You” and “Still Romance”. There were times we developed songs about life processes like “Retiring” and “Downsizing”. At other times we couldn’t shy away from the plight of friends where songs required more pathos like “Ageing Blues” or occasionally mixed with humour like “Mobile Society”.
Knowing the Ukulele is popular with ‘third age’ people we used different styles (country blues, contemporary folk, rhythm and blues, and reggae) to demonstrate the Ukulele’s potential for a variety of rhythmic patterns. It's been a steep learning curve; writing songs, arranging them, having them recorded, getting the CD cover designed and reproduced and learning a range of computer programs to build websites, produce videos etc.
It continues to be fun playing Ukulele and constantly learning new techniques. Like anything practice makes perfect. We are a long way from perfect, but we will seek to keep on improving our Ukulele playing. Look for us on YouTube, Facebook and our website www.dirtygirdy.net .