All I can say is… it's not odd to me. The ukulele is the instrument that inspires me, and the artists listed play music that inspires me. I don't feel one has to dictate the other, or vice versa, but that they overlap to form an integral whole of what the music I like to play has become.
I started my musical life on a trumpet, and although I took piano lessons for a short time, the trumpet was always my main instrument throughout high school. Years later I took up guitar, but I was never able to get my mind wrapped around chords and my fingers didn't seem to wanna make the shapes necessary. Ouch. So, I ended up using the guitar to play single note at a time lead lines, like a trumpet player. I'd put CDs in the player and just lead along with everything in my collection. This kept me pretty satisfied music-wise.
Fast forward to a day when my wife and I were watching Spongebob Squarepants (we're an avid animation fans!) and we suddenly became aware of the soundtrack. This was the early Spongebob and the soundtrack featured real music, mostly ukulele based. It was so nice to hear that instead of the keyboard-centric "canned' stuff that was populating most kids cartoons at the time, that we were smitten.
Soon after that I was cruising around ebay looking for something for her birthday and I bumped into a soprano Flea from Flea Market Music that was hand painted by Tiki King to look like a pineapple. Wow, an instrument that would make the sound we heard on Spongebob that also looked like his house! I couldn't pass it up.
Needless to say, she loved it. And so did I. The more I heard the sound she was making with it, the more I knew I needed to play with that sound too. So I got myself a tenor Fluke from Flea Market as well. Little did I know how much that would change the musical landscape of my life.
Suddenly chords shapes were easy to make (well, most of them anyway ;-) and little melodies and rhythm patterns started emerging from seemingly out of nowhere. It made more sense than guitar to me, since I've got four fingers available on my fretting hand and the instrument has four strings. I enjoyed making "uke music" with it, but I also found myself rocking out and playing other genres of music as well. It seemed to be a conduit for anything my musical muse was leaning me towards.
I've barely taken my guitar from it's case since, which was almost 10 years ago! I became a uke-aholic, hence the name of Davenport Johnson's label, with serious UAS (ukulele acquisition syndrome) and haven't regretted a moment of it.
I guess I'm not the kind of person that feels ukuleles should only be used to make what people have usually thought of as "ukulele music." I like music, and I like my ukueles, and whatever sound I make with them, whether that's mildly acoustic or wildly electric is good by me.
(Warning: blatant advertisement alert) And that's a pretty good description of the range of sounds the three of us make on our new CD "Constellation." Mildly acoustic to wildly electric. Check it out on April 28th.