Photo by Jon Behm Photography
Dent May is something of an oddity. For one thing he doesn’t look like a pop star (unless you think he looks like a young Elton John). For another his instrument of choice, the ukulele, is not a standard pop instrument. Finally, his music runs the gamut from doo-wop to country swing to the sort you’d expect to hear on a tropical island. The total package is perplexing and immensely entertaining.
For Dent May the journey to musical success revolves around Mississippi. He was born in Taylor, Mississippi. He attended the University of Mississippi. And he was “discovered” by Animal Collective while they were recording Merriweather Post Pavilion in Mississippi. You would expect his southern roots to be filled with songs of lost love, drinking, and the blues. Instead it has odes to washed up tennis stars, an aging one-man-show, and the possibilities of finding love at an academic conference. In May’s capable hands, with the help of his trusty uke, these topics are just as engaging as the classic tales from the Mississippi Delta.
Dent released his debut CD, The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele in February.
You may not be able to force a dance party, but you can start one with a ukulele. The song’s got a strong doo-wop vibe that makes it sound like it could have been written in about 1960, possibly to be a one-hit-wonder for some band with a stupid name.
“God Loves You, Michael Chang”
It takes a rare breed to write an inspirational song to a washed up 90s tennis star and make it seem relevant and interesting to everyone. May pulls it off though.
“Meet Me in the Garden”
“26 Miles (Santa Catalina)”, live