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The Duke of Uke & His Novelty Orchestra

Jan. 4 • MOTR Pub

By Reyan Ali · January 3rd, 2013 · Sound Advice
soundadvice_thedukeofuke&hisnoveltyorchestra_ericfrahmPhoto: Eric Frahm
Sometimes, cured pork can speak volumes. In the case of the effervescent Urbana, Ill.-based seven-piece, The Duke of Uke & His Novelty Orchestra, their inclusion of “bacon” as an inspiration on their Facebook page — alongside the more conventional choices of Motown, Funk, Ragtime, Jazz, Rock and “Popssical” — is telling for multiple reasons. 

Bacon a product that comfortably syncs with lowbrow art culture and espouses the same easy-to-understand “come one, come all” sense of fun that TDOU&HNO’s music does. This ukulele- and brass-heavy group’s fantastically upbeat and richly rhythmic material could generate a colorful conga line — a simple physical manifestation of joy through music — with little trouble, just as bacon is likely to excite your average American’s taste buds when they need an edible pick-me-up.

Just as people have taken to exalting bacon for its versatility in cooking (yes, bacon beer, bacon sundaes and maple bacon donuts are real things), The Duke and Co.

squeeze diversity from wherever they happen to find it. The band’s 2012 full-length April’s Empire includes social protest tunes, introverted springtime ballads and dozens of cues to dance. You can easily imagine the Duke of Uke and cohorts entertaining crowds of scattered demographics, which is why they’re totally worth catching when they’re in town.

THE DUKE OF UKE & HIS NOVELTY ORCHESTRA perform Friday, Jan. 4 at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.



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