MP3 Dan Scanlan - American Rant
An all original American history of progressive politics sung to the ukulele and peppered with short, spoken rants.
20 MP3 Songs
FOLK: like Ani, ROCK: Acoustic
DAN “COOL HAND UKE” SCANLAN
Dan Scanlan was given the nickname “Cool Hand Uke” by a college roommate.
“I guess it’s because I can eat 50 eggs, “ Scanlan jokes, referring to the scene in Paul Newman’s Cool Hand Luke where he struggles through a meal of 50 hard boiled eggs. “I can do that, too-- but it''s got to be caviar on a cracker.”
Scanlan began playing the ukulele and writing songs for it in 1961 and performed on college radio (KXLU at Loyola University of Los Angeles) with The What the Hell Four. In the seventies he and guitarist Pat Sauer performed in California and the southwest as Flathead. “People said they couldn’t tell the difference between our love songs and our political ones,” Scanlan recalls.
Later Scanlan was lead vocalist and ukulele front man in Top Quark and the Self-Righteous Brothers. He performed at the International Ukulele Festival in Honolulu, HI, Santa Cruz and Southern Califorina Uke Festivals, numerous folk festivals, the Sacramento Blues Festival, the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum Expo and in Ireland. He recently gave workshops and performed at the Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Ukulele Ceildh. He once gave a private concert to forest activist Julia Butterfly Hill in her ancient redwood tree, Luna, after pulling himself up 100 feet on ropes. He performed a mile deep in the Original 16-to-1 Gold Mine, a working gold mine in the California Sierras. In the late 70''s he played so hard at Mardi Gras in New Orleans his banjo-uke skin was splattered with blood from his fingers.
He has self-released numerous CDs and tapes, often using the nickname Cool Hand Uke. (Years ago it was Rodd Gnawkin the singing Mechanic. His political writings often appeared under the by-line, Dan ratherthan.)
All songs, vocals, instruments, recording engineering, duplication, graphics and printing and hand-made packaging are done by him. Occasionally he is joined by musician friends, especially his band, Jukolin.
He is a longtime community radio activist and his End of the Trail Saloon was a finalist in the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ Golden Reel Awards competition for best live local entertainment three times. Scanlan was the real radio host who took an imaginary walk downtown to an imaginary saloon where eight real musicians were having an unrehearsed session. The popular show, complete with call-in musicians who joined the in-studio musicians by phone, ended a five-year run earlier this year (2005).
In the 1980''s he created, produced and hosted Tunesday Live!, an open-mic of the air on KVMR radio in Nevada city CA. Anyone who said they could play got to play. The show ended after exactly 100 weekly segments.
In 1998 he was the American codirector of the Father and Son Reunion: The Braguinha Meets the Ukulele, a project that returned the ukulele to its ancestral home of Madeira Island, Portugal, and culminated in the performance of the Reunion Band of Madeiran and American musicians together at the last world''s fair of the 20th century in Lisbon, Portugal. Recordings of that performance are available at https://www.tradebit.com.
Scanlan also heads up Jukolin, a quintet that includes jew’s harpist Chris Towne, fiddler Sunday Oliver, bassist Richard Tewes and National steel player Luke Wilson. He also founded and directs Cool Hand Uke’s Ukulele Extravaganza Rescue and Relief Band, a 22-member senior ukulele group in Grass Valley, California.
“I believe the highest calling a musician can have,” Scanlan says, “is that of the minstrel who comes to town to entertain as well as give voice to the thoughts folks are having. The ukulele is disarming. A guy can say what needs to be said and not get hammered for it. How can you be mad at someone strumming a uke? It’s subversive as hell. Woody Guthrie had a sign on his guitar, â€˜This machine kills fascists.’ The uke doesn’t need a sign. It just tickles â€˜em into a better place.”
"For sometime now Mr. Dan Scanlan has been considered a national uke treasure--so if the government should ever try to knock him down, we have people ready to form a road block!"
"Sue Wasser, Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum
“..what a great player this man is... the sweet twang of his four strings...well balanced, just as the mood swings from pensive to perky.... what better way to wind down after a busy week!”
"Daisy Renton, Uke Said It, Summer 2004
"Danny Scanlan truly has his own style, and with his combined skills as a songwriter, entertainer and musician that puts him at the top of my list, a modern day original. That is really unique today, in and of itself. Even when he plays songs of old, he makes them new again."
" Fred Fallin, Chicago, ukulele performer and historian
“When I first saw Dan in concert at the 1997 Uke Expo, he was wearing an "Earth First" tee-shirt. He sang an original song about tree- hugger Judy Bari that is about as moving and powerful a song as you can find in the pantheon of protest tribute ballads, ukulele- driven or otherwise--songs like â€˜The Ballad of Ira Hayes’ and â€˜I Dreamt I Saw Joe Hill Last Night.’”
Bill Robertson, Producer “Rock That Uke” video
530-477-7393 â€¢ coolhanduke@https://www.tradebit.com â€¢ https://www.tradebit.com