to all of those who live in So Cal (or anyone who is interested)

philthy

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there is a great little shop in Claremont, California called the "Folk Music Center." it is a little store that sells all kinds of obscure and interesting instruments from digeridoos, to rain sticks, to kazoos, to sitars...and yes they have ukes, lots of them. the vast number of ukes are ohanas, but i have seen kamakas, and koalohas there. if you are anywhere near the area it is a cool place to stop in. the downtown area is also a cool little area to just get away. wonderful restaurants like Espiaus and a cool music strore, rhino records, is across the street. and if that isn't cool enough, Ben Harper's parents own the store, and he has shot a video from inside it. i think it is totally worth the visit.
 
Yes the FMC is a gem of a place. Ben's mom is very nice and the store is a fun place to visit. They also offer performances and classes as well. Every year they sponsor a folk festival http://www.claremontfolkfestival.org/index.php and some of the money goes to support the center. I went a couple of years ago and it was great. I saw Ben play, as well as Taj Majal and Jackson Browne. What a treat.
 
It is a great little place! I found my Koaloha there at a surprisingly good price. The owner was super helpful and kind enough to let me play a vintage Martin and a vintage Kamaka from her personal collection, even though they weren't for sale.
 
yeah, she let me play the kamaka too. it was lovely! i want one now:eek:
 
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