Jake Shimabukuro | Grand Ukulele: Live In Boulder | Review

Article Contributed by Stephen Boyd | Published on Monday, January 20, 2014

With Jake Shimabukuro’s new release Grand Ukulele: Live In Boulder; ukuleles are not for Don Ho singing Tiny Bubbles or Tiny Tim tip toe-ing through the tulips anymore. Thank Goddess of Fire Pele! The ukulele being In the same vein as the Lower 48’s accordion as a stereotyped instrument that can’t possible grab one’s attention for long; is not only for the Big Island anymore.  Think of the pretty work Bruce Hornsby and Tara Nevins do with an accordion and transfer that to Jake Shimabukuro on the ukulele. No ^&%&.

The sound Jake creates with a ukulele throws a lei around your neck, holds you tight and gets Pele’s grass skirt spinning, spinning free on the quick and lively numbers.  While the common perception of a ukulele has been one of a toy souvenir or instrument for humorous settings, after listening to Grand Ukulele, the ukulele takes a giant step towards the respect commanded by the mandolin in bluegrass; at least when Jake is playing.

While Jake’s ukulele can’t bronze up pasty white skin in the middle of winter, it does provide your spirit with a nice mid-summer eve’s tan and will help keep at bay any form of cabin fever brought on by this year’s extra chilly winter weather.

The tracks:

  1. Island Fever Blues
  2. More Ukulele
  3. Ukulele 5-0
  4. Blue Roses Falling
  5. 143
  6. Gentlemandolin
  7. Inside Story
  8. Dragon
  9. Bohemian Rhapsody
  10. Let’s Dance
  11. Orange World
  12. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Yes. THAT Bohemian Rhapsody. Yes. THAT While My Guitar Gently Weeps. While those two songs while get you to listen to a ukulele when you may otherwise have no interest, the remaining songs offer melodies that are catchy, jams that are more intricate than expected and Jake’s talent speaks for itself. Thanks to Grand Ukuklele, we can now associate the ukulele with the talking mandolin from Reuben and Cerise or as a freshly skinned, with sweetness and succulence to spare, pineapple for your ears.

Hang Loose Sistaaaaaaaaaaahs and Brahs !