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Recent Musical Discoveries

Last night at the coffee shop, I heard an intriguing instrumental piece on the radio. It was played entirely on the ukulele, and the melody sounded familiar. I figured out pretty quickly it was "Bohemian Rhapsody". I would have figured it out even more quickly if it had been a more likely choice for a ukulele solo.

Ukulele renditions of unlikely tunes were a big fad a couple of years ago on youtube. Since the kitsch factor was important, I'm sure lots and lots of people thought of doing Bohemian Rhapsody. I'm equally sure that all but one of them decided against it because it would be just too damn hard. I did a little googling today and learned the one person courageous and talented enough to actually implement the idea is a fellow named Jake Shimabukuro. Here's a video of a live performance:

This morning I went into the coffee shop before work, and the music was from the new barista Tammy's mp3 player. It was excellent country/bluegrass stuff, reminiscent of Gram Parsons but
a little more minimal. I asked Tammy who it was and she said it was the Avett Brothers.

Boy was my face red. I remember when they were the hot new thing a couple of years ago. Aside from that, and having a vague idea of the genre of music they played, I knew nothing else about them. About halfway through my 40s, I stopped making an effort to listen to the cool new musical acts. Listening to the Avett Brothers, and probably being the last person in my neck of the woods to do so, makes me wonder what else I might have missed.

Here's a video of the Avett Brothers performing Tammy's favorite , "Pretty Girl From Chile".