Ok so I realize we all have different tastes in music but this track is simply phenomenal. The beautiful melody in the Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz song, “My Old Stompin’ Ground”, coupled with lyrics that paint such a vivid portrayal of life, immediately transported me to the rural back roads of my youth. Having such a specific and immediate emotional response to this song is something that doesn’t happen often and there are only a few records that can achieve that – where I can close my eyes and visualize the lyrics almost as if I was there.
Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz – currently made up of Wade Kaneshiro: Lead Vocal, Ukulele, Background Vocal, RJ Strayhorn: Composer, Cajon, Shaker, Background Vocal, Michael Okamoto: Acoustic Guitar, Curtis Tanaka: Bass Guitar and Michael Ige: Lyricist, has achieved a work of such unassuming depth that is impossible not to grow impatient for another recording. “My Old Stompin’ Ground”, manages to convey moods that are at once tender and full of existential pain, without ever indulging on the way too common tendency in young songwriters to put music to their private diaries, nor indulging on the kind of over-instrumentation that not-so-young performers indulge in to make up for the lack of richness in their work.
This is almost like Americana stripped from its clichés, bringing together longing, sweetness and the lingering sense of someone reflecting on life without an axe to grind. This, substantially, is the difference between poetry and a simple, personal journal. The first thing that appeals to me with kind of music is the lyrics. If the lyrics are solid, thought provoking, and have something interesting to say, I’m half-way there. However, if the lyrics are the typical and mundane with predictable rhymes, the music just doesn’t matter. Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz, like my other favorites, grab my attention, hold it, and have me still thinking about the words for some time after the music has stopped.
The folksy, mountain sound of ukuleles and acoustic guitars on “My Old Stompin’ Ground”, is perfectly composed and just what’s needed to back up the melancholic, bittersweet thoughts of times gone by. Whether or not Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz soothing sound suits you, I cannot say. I can, however, suggest that this should not disappoint as long as you give it a chance, enter with an open mind. Sometimes the quieter things speak the loudest…