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Byron Shire
May 29, 2024

Folk families bond over ukeleles

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Folk Uke is Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson. Though they were raised on the road with two of the most revered families in music, these two held out against the idea of going into the ‘family business’ for as long as they could.

Their parents were friends since the early 70s (Cathy is daughter of Arlo, granddaughter of Woody; Amy is Willie’s daughter), but Cathy and Amy didn’t meet until 1990 when they found themselves working together in a restaurant in San Diego. They quickly realised that they had both grown up the same way: sleeping in guitar cases, riding tour buses, and joining their dads on stage. A beautiful friendship emerged.

As fate would have it, Amy and Cathy began playing with lyrics and various musical instruments. It wasn’t long before they stumbled into a music store and accidentally bought a ukulele. It was the year 2000 and Folk Uke was born. Amy, with her guitar, and Cathy, with her uke, entertained friends and family with their strange songs. To their utter surprise, they began receiving legitimate show offers. Back then they weren’t very good, but they were funny and quite charming. They are good as well now – see them at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall Wednesday.

 


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