David Cassel is a Creative Developer who is also known as the "The Ukulele Bandito" released an album of 16 songs by the same name. You can find it by going to his website at http://www.theukulelebandito.com. The album contains songs full of hope, love, inspiration, laughter, social commentary and a few lullabies that are sure to send anyone that listens to them into a dreamland slumber full of wonder. Perfect for romantics, lovers, parents and children.
David recently finished work on Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson - One" and is currently of no fixed address.
I have always wanted to have a family, it has been the biggest ambition of my life. On April 18 of 2012 I was blessed with one when my partner, Iwona, gave birth to our beautiful healthy daughter, Grace Juno Cassel. This album of songs represents 18 months of composition and recording while we waited for her to arrive and the months leading up to her first birthday, which happens to be the release date of this Album. I dedicate this album to her and her future.
I had read that children in the womb respond positively to music and so I spent much of the pregnancy writing songs and sang them to my wife and daughter everyday with the hope that they might have a soothing effect on our child after the birth, perhaps even put her to sleep on command. That was of course, wishful thinking, but I can dream can't I?
One year later, I can confidently say that this is definitely the case about 75% of the time. My little girl's eyes light up and she begins to dance around whenever she hears the bounce version of "Sweet Little Baby". I was honored to have instrumentalist Dan Glickman play Keyboards on this very special track that now gets high rotation on our household play list. When it's time for bed, I often play the lullaby version of the song live and her eyes eventually become heavy and she drifts onto dreamland. After recording the bounce version I recorded the acoustic lullaby version for bedtime duty when I can't be there. As a matter of note, the Bounce version of "Sweet LIttle Baby" does not contain any ukulele parts in it.
Each of the songs on this album come from a very special place in my heart. The opening song "Grace" was written on the day she was born, I was so overwhelmed by her that I couldn't contain myself and the words just spilled out faster than i could write them down.
"Private Harbour" was written for my wife back in 2005 when we first met and explains everything that happened to us during that period in our lives. Iwona is a rock of a woman and she gives me so much strength and joy, I will never be able to truly express how important she is to me. I love her so very much. Of course there was that one time we broke up and I thought I had lost her forever. "Get That Girl" was written as a personal mission statement to not give up the fight and win her back.
"Deep" is about a failed relationship from many years ago. Sometimes you can be with somebody and nothing that you say or do can help them out their darkness. This song was hard to write and expresses a certain frustration with knowing that , sometimes, there is simply nothing that you can do.
Our baby was born in Berlin, Germany during what many are calling "The Age of Austerity". This period in history is marked by a certain kind of sternness or severity of manner or attitude which seems to be making people edgy and isolated. While we were living in Berlin I always liked to go down to the Ubahn station near our house at Gneisenaustrasse to play my songs, the acoustics were always magnificent and people always put money into my hat while I was rehearsing. Once and awhile I would actually get on subway trains to perform.
Berlin has a rich culture of performance on the Ubahn with everything being presented there from short shots of Shakespeare and classical musicians to pop bands, magicians, performance artists and clowns. It is a veritable amusement park of entertainment 7 days a week. The most popular route is the U7, often called the "The Groover's Express" because it is just one act after another, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. You can just ride the trains for a couple of hours to see some really excellent talent and it is not uncommon for people to bring along their own beers and cocktails. It is one of the most civilized public transit systems I have ever encountered. While it is not legal, it is, for the most part,tolerated by civil authorities.
Occasionally one person in 100 would complain about the music and call security to come and shut me or another act down. I couldn't understand how anybody could be upset by soft dulcet songs about love, romance, and babies. People were seldom on the platform for longer than 3 to 5 minutes. Most often people were on their devices madly typing text messages, playing music and games or browsing the internet. From time to time I noticed that making eye contact with strangers on the trains was a challenge, 20 years ago it never was. My objective on the trains was to get someone, anyone, to smile at me or look me in the eye.
As a result of my experiences in the Ubahn, I wrote the songs "Change in Attitude", "Drink", "Musik in Der Ubahn" and "Communication". They reflect my feelings about what I saw happening at subway level. I loved playing in the Ubahn and hope to get to do it again someday.
After Gracie was born, the writing frenzy continued as I composed songs relating to my wishes and dreams for her future. The songs "Little Gracie"and "Shelter" echo what I believe every parent wishes for their children and, of course, I am no different. Everyday she fills us with a joy that knows no bounds, even when she is cranky and upset. She is our salvation and everything we do is for her.
To handle the occasional crying spurts I recorded her shrieking and, one night when she wouldn't let us sleep AT ALL, I decided to open up the studio and record "Screaming Baby" featuring my daughters ranting and raving as backup vocals. Now, when she starts to scream and shout we play this song and she joins in. It's healthy! While i'm not sure she gets the joke yet, one day she will.
When Grace was about 5 months old and crawling around I put an old Casio keyboard on the floor in front of her and loaded it with batteries. For several weeks she took great pride in flipping it over upside down so that she could roll on the backside of it. It wasn't he sort of musical education we were hoping for but then quite suddenly in her sixth month she starting hitting the keys, sometime with her fingers, sometimes with her chest, bum or back. With the drum track activated on the device she seemed to develop a sense of rhythm and started singing along, or at least, that's what we imagined. "Gracie Juno Cassel - Rockstar" is her first single, we hope you enjoy it.
The title track to the Album "The Ukulele Bandito" was actually the last song to be written and recorded right before the album release. I start all of my live shows with this track, it really gets the audience laughing.
I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Fünfton Studios, Berlin and owner Jens Trondle for letting me have access to their studio and to engineer Juirj Panfilowitsch for all of his great suggestions.