JI021 – Blaine’s Koa Tenor Uke
Blaine Dillinger is the guitarist for Reggei band Hirie. He contacted me when in February of 2018 when the band was on their Way to a show in Bend as part of their Stay Wandering Tour. Blaine invited me to meet him at the band’s soundcheck and asked if I could bring him a few ukes to try out (read all about it on our Blog)
After a great evening of connecting with the Blaine and the Band and watching them rock out all evening we decided to start on a custom uke project that would be built specifically for a Band that plays over 100 shows a year. I knew it would be a big project, but I was also excited to have one of my instruments in Blaine’s hands.
For this project Blaine selected a koa top that I brought back from my last trip to Hawaii paired with a nice African mahogany back. We went with a nice quarter sawn maple neck and a rosewood fretboard all topped off with a matching koa headstock veneer (special note – this was one of the first 2 ukes with the newer Joyner headstock and logo).
For electronics we used a couple of hot single coil pickups with a custom spacing to give Blaine a little more room to get his pick between the strings. The pickups are Reverse Wound Reverse Pole, so when the selector is in the center switch the pickups hum cancel. A volume and tone knob round out the electronics on this uke.
This was a really great project and I truly can’t say enough nice things about Blaine, both as a musician and a human. I think we nailed it, but its best to hear from the man himself. Here’s what Blaine has to say:
This uke is nothing short of AMAZING!!! It is built tough. I tour internationally and I have had ZERO problems in it’s performance. The tone and feel is excellent and it easily keeps up with my guitars on stage. In city after city this uke never fails to turn some heads!
Oh wait – You wanted to hear Blaine playing? Ok here you go: