Posts Tagged ‘ukulele’

In life, there are quite a few certainties in life. For instance, it is always ironic. And you can bet your ass that you will learn more from your first day at the job that you would have from three years of college. Art too has certainties without which it will probably be better off, but that’s a story for another day. When it comes to films, you can be sure of a lot of things. For example, About Schmidt will remain the finest testament to Jack Nicholson’s talent and Charlie Kaufman is the best scriptwriter in Hollywood bar none. It would also be safe to assume that Wolf Creek is the best Australian outback film ever made.

With the sheer enormity of its content, it might be a bit foolhardy to make the same assumptions about music. But there are a few undeniable cases. For instance, there is no denying that Nina Simone had the loveliest voice that side of the Atlantic. Or how Beach Boys made some of the most melodious pop music that ever was. Also I believe that Bob Dylan’s “Masters Of War” will reign supreme as the greatest chetatkinstommyemmanuel-thedayfingeprotest song ever written.

Last week, another such certainty crawled up to my ears. I heard what I think is the best Beatles’ cover of all time.


Tommy Emmanuel & Jake Shimabukuro – While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Tommy Emmanuel – an Australian guitarist known for his intricate fingerpicking style and Jake Shimabukuro – a Japanese American ‘madcap’ ukulele player with his roots in freestyle jazz – performed this version of George Harrison’s classic at some random concert in Sydney.

The Beatles crafted harmonies that were ridiculously simple and just as effective. I’d prefer The Rolling Stones to the Fab Four any day of the week, but still I can’t help but have a ton of respect for their dedication to create pitch-perfect melodies.jakeshimabukuro_11

Through the ages, musicians have covered them to hell and back. Right from Joe Cockers blistering version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” and Aretha Franklin’s awesome rendition of “Eleanor Rigby” to a really weird cover of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by William Shatner and Siouxsie Sioux’s gothic take on “Dear Prudence”, diversity has been the keyword when it comes to Beatles’ covers.

Emmanuel & Shimabukuro’s instrumental cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is stunning with its simplicity. If Jimi Hendrix got brainwashed Don Felder and drank Absinthe through a ukulele, he might approve of this. And that can never be a bad thing.

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