There are plenty of stringed instruments out there -- guitars, banjos, zithers, harps, ukuleles, mandolins. But, as St. Louis musician Bryan Ranney warns, they're not the same thing, dammit.
Besieged over the years with questions about the latter two mentioned above, Ranney is out to set the record straight during his recently launched "Not a Ukulele" tour. Ranney tells RFT Music that upon seeing him play his mandolin, audience members have pondered what it is, grasping only that it's a strangely shaped guitar-type thing and automatically (and kind of inexplicably) assuming that it must be a ukulele. Early on, Ranney even considered creating t-shirts saying "Not a ukulele."
"The idea came to me again a couple of months ago. I thought, 'Hey, I've got a friend who makes t-shirts; I should just run with this,'" Ranney recalls. "From there, I thought I should make a sticker, and then it became a brand for the tour."More »