Reader Suggestions: Jake Shimabukuro, Melody Gardot, and The Shouting Matches

Time to catch up on reader recommendations.

First up is Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele virtuoso.  Below is a video of his interpretation of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.  Apparently, this video was posted in 2006 without Jake’s knowledge and went viral, by now attracting over 12,000,000 views. If you want to see Jake stretch this instrument into other genres of music, spend some time watching this TED Talk. After a flamenco tune, Schubert’s “Ave Maria” starts at about 5:30 and The Beatles’ “In My Life” at about 18:00. Thanks for the tip, John!

Philadelphia’s Melody Gardot has an incredible voice and an incredible personal story. Severely injured when she was hit by a car while riding a bicycle at age 19, she faced a long rehabilitation. In the video below she sings her composition “Baby I’m a Fool” accompanying herself on the guitar, an instrument she took up in the hospital when her injuries made it impossible to sit at the piano. If you want to hear more of her singing and learn more about her story, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2 of a mini-documentary, “The Accidental Musician”. Thanks for letting us know about her, Claudine!

Shifting gears, The Shouting Matches stake out a spot in a stripped down, bluesy, garage rock place. The trio, led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Justin Vernon, has put out an EP “Mouthoil” and a full length 2013 release “Grownass Man”. Vernon’s former vehicle, Bon Iver, won the 2012 Grammy for Best New Artist. Listen to “Avery Hill” from The Shouting Matches, and compare it to “Holocene” from Bon Iver to get a sense of the range of Vernon’s musical interests. Thanks for turning us on to The Shouting Matches, Gabe!

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