“At first, Folk Uke weren’t very good. But that didn’t stop us.”
“We like to huff on gas lamps. It’s addictive. No one talks about it.”
Amy Nelson’s account of her love for the Gaslamp Quarter, might seem slightly suspicious. But it’s a splendid introduction to the humor of Folk Uke, the duo Nelson runs with her longtime friend from the Quarter, Cathy Guthrie.
Favorite things about the Quarter for the two included the architecture. Amy always wanted to live in the apartments above Fifth Street.
The worst part was the crack situation. But at the corner of 5th and F they met several of their all time favorite humans, including each other. “We both worked at Croce’s,” recalls Nelson. “I thought Cathy was funny at first, but it turned out she was fucking hilarious.”
At first, she adds, Folk Uke “weren’t very good. But that didn’t stop us. We just pushed through and continued to practice very little.”
Collectively, they’ve lived in Del Mar, Encinitas, North Park, University City, University Heights, Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, and somewhere in the SDSU area. Amy Nelson lived downtown for one night but that’s a long story. Favorite hang-outs included Envirogentle, Ki’s, Jaunitas Tacos in Leucadia, Don Carlos, El Zarape, Twiggs, and Satellite Amplifiers.
They used to watch bands at The Casbah, although they never played there aside from the time that Ms. Nelson got up on stage drunk with the Supersuckers, “and super sucked. They were great, though, as always.”
Nelson, at least, felt a need to move on. “I moved to Dad’s house in Abbott, Texas,” she explains, “so I could get away from all my great friends and have some solitude to write with.”
The single “Small One” is dedicated, mostly, to someone you can probably guess; someone who goes on a great deal about having a big one.
Quoth Nelson: “I wrote the hook line about five years ago, and then I stopped writing it because there was no one that I could think of who deserved to be the subject of it. Also because it could be taken to heart by the wrong people and misunderstood.”
“So I put it down for years. For the record, size does not matter because it is all relative.”
And for the immediate future, then after the virus, whenever that may be? “We are making a ‘Small One’ video. That should be completed soon. And we’re about to put together some handmade 45s and give the proceeds to Grassroots Leadership [in Austin, Texas].
“After COVID, we’re going to hug everyone we know and eat at restaurants every day.”