David Taylor, 35, pops up in parks in the community usually on an alternating basis to showcase his work.
You may see the Riot of the Hot Pink Ukulele if out on a stroll in the Town of Stony Plain over the next few months.
The name does not refer to an anarchist collective practicing civil disobedience with the instrument that originated in Hawaii. Instead, it is the stage title of town resident David Taylor. He is 35, originally from Ontario and picked up the instrument after being laid off in October from his trades job and finding that his daughter loved its sound.
“She got me into it,” he said. “So I go outside and enjoy the weather and let nature kind of talk to me about what I should perform. I like taking in everything that is around me and by picking up my ukulele I am able to tell stories.”
He highlights the trials and tribulations of farming communities, moments from the Great Depression and pops up in parks in the community usually on an alternating basis to showcase his work. Taylor added that, while people are remaining away from him, they have been supportive of what he offers and he is proud of his late-in-life passion.
“I love trying to bring an artistic spirit back to this town that has been locked away by quarantine,” Taylor said. “I will see people who give me positive looks, smiles, nods and waves. Everyone has been following the distancing well.”
Taylor is working on an album he is assembling through the basic equipment on his computer. It is set to chronicle the hardships of farmers from the 1920s and he hopes that it instills confidence in those who listen to it that the country can make it through the COVID-19 pandemic of today. He dreams of playing in a physical venue when things return to normal, and, now that he knows he can create, he never intends to give it up for anything.
“I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life,” he said. “I find it to be quite odd that I have stuck with it, but knowing that I have fans on a bunch of sites, I am quite happy. I never thought a guy like me could do this. I have only ever had a basic education and worked to survive, so this is all so uplifting, especially today in particular.”