Quelbe, Fungi: UkeTube

I don’t know how it’s possible but there was a genre of banjolele-heavy music that had completely passed me by until now: quelbe (or fungi), a cousin of calypso and mento from the Virgin Islands. From the US Virgin Islands, the Ten Sleepless Knights are a Quelbe band (Virgin Island’s cousin of calypso and mento). And from the British Virgin Islands, The Lashing Dogs playing Fungi (the British Virgin Island’s version of quelbe). So I know where I’m going for my holidays this year.

Also this week: Taimane (hasn’t she grown and isn’t she exactly the same), Misty Miller with easily the best song I’ve heard from her yet and plenty more besides.

YouTube have changed the way they do embeds. Looks like they’re setting lower quality by default so bump up anything you like the sound of and watch some spinning balls for a while.

In other video news, Jake Shimabukuro’s performance at TED has finally hit the intertubes. He does his usual, “If everyone played the ukulele we’d all be living in happy-fluffy-bunny-land,” schtick and plays Bohemian Rhapsody and gets a standing ovation.

Lashing Dogs – Medley

Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights

Lulu and the Lampshades – Moccasin Mile

Misty Miller – Why Try To Change Me Now

Taimane Gardner – Toccata

Herman Vandecauter – Schmitt Courante

Clare And The Reasons – All The Wine

Thanks Humble Uker

Phil Doleman – Wallace and Gromit Theme

Helsinki Syncopators – Le Poinconneur Des Lilas

krabbers – I’m Waiting

View Comments


  1. todd January 29th, 2011 2:35 pm

    lashing dogs…great stuff…infectious!

    phil and krabbers…great stuff too :)

  2. Craig Robertson January 29th, 2011 3:26 pm

    It’s good to see Misty Miller in a more relaxed setting. The song is nice.

    I haven’t heard the Jake version of Bohemian Rhapsody, and I’m not really going to listen. I would rather not be carried away to happy-bunny-fluffy-land. Particularly of Freddy Mercury is there.

  3. Herman Vandecauter January 29th, 2011 3:31 pm

    I like Taimana’s new outfit & show But I prefer Helsinki Syncopators to my surprise I seem to understand finnish very wel.I hope to meet them in helsinki in august.

    ps. That man with Schmitt courante lives in the wrong century!

  4. Phil Doleman January 29th, 2011 5:08 pm

    Nice selection! thanks for putting my little effort in there. If anyone is interested, the Wallace and Gromit tab is in the Youtube notes.

    Love your playing Herman, and you know how to sit up straight when you play! I really should work on my posture…

  5. Rob Ny January 29th, 2011 7:05 pm

    Misty Miller’s voice was made for the ukulele.

  6. Peter January 29th, 2011 8:31 pm

    In fairness, Jake’s schtick is almost exactly two sentences long. You make it sound like he has a powerpoint. With slides.

  7. Jimmy January 29th, 2011 9:04 pm

    I thought Jake’s Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t a very imaginitive arrangement, but hey whatevs. Also Wallace and Gromit was so ace

  8. Emily January 29th, 2011 11:11 pm

    Love the Lashing Dogs stuff. Also, it sounds fairly easy, which I’m an advocate of. Thanks, Al!

  9. Ron Hale January 30th, 2011 2:48 am

    But isn’t Happy-Fluffy-Bunny-Land the dimension of reality in which most ukers past, present, and future exist, Al? Some of us may dwell in Grumpy-Gloomy-Morose-Istan, but that’s just HFB Land’s next door neighbor, whose residents are not one iota saner or more normal than their kazoo-tooting cousins who drive them up the wall.

    Unfair to single out any one ukulele act as
    staying exactly the same over time. Plenty of uke acts are doing the exact same uke acts they were doing yesterday, last week, last year, last decade. No need to name names and get fans upset, but it’s true. And this includes some very big names who keep with the same schtick but just change the songs. And acquire
    “beloved” status as a result…

  10. George Stone January 30th, 2011 8:04 am

    I said to Phil before but now I say it here: Awesome! I will love to play that one!

    I’m sorry to say Tamaine grows (…mmmmm)XD

    And happy also to discover the funghi, I’m a caribbean tunes lover.

    Mention Herman, brilliant!

    and Krabbers, I laugth, good, imaginative and fresh

    Good stuff! thanks!

  11. Woodshed January 30th, 2011 3:09 pm

    todd: Agreed. I’ve been trying to get my hands on some Lashing Dogs mp3s without success.

    Craig: Misty Miller is growing on me.

    Herman: Thanks for your contribution. I for one am glad you were born in a century I could hear your playing.

    Phil: I’ll add a link to the post as well.

    Rob: I wasn’t too impressed with some of her others, but it certainly works well in this one.

    Peter: It felt longer. What with it being total bollocks.

    Emily: The chords are pretty straightforward but the strumming on the Lashing Dogs track is pretty formidable.

    Ron: I’m not sure that’s true. Take a look at Ukulele Cosmos. No shortage of grumpy sods on there.

    George: Glad you enjoyed.

  12. Secret Home Party January 30th, 2011 6:04 pm

    Jake Shimabukuro is the most overrated uke player alive today. Eagerly, I tool myself to his concert, only to be literally bored to tears before the end of the second song. Virtuosity cannot replace imagination. His nauseating fluffy bunny banter about meeting the queen of England etc was actually more entertaining than his music, but not much.

  13. krabbers January 31st, 2011 8:56 am

    great selection yet again. except one, it didnt load properly

    i have been trying to learn the Wallace and Gromit Theme but my fingers are pants

  14. Sebastian January 31st, 2011 10:49 am

    Wonderful stuff from Lulu and the Lampshades…

    … and Jake Shimabukuro is really precise and technical, but his music belongs in bloody elevators.

  15. sailboats January 31st, 2011 3:21 pm

    Secret Home Party…I disagree, He does have imagination. To be able to figure out and play those songs to that level requires imagination.

    He is not for everyone. There are uke players that I like more than him, but he is for sure a fantastic uke player.

    but oh well it’s all just opinions anywho

  16. L.bo Marie January 31st, 2011 4:47 pm

    If every video in the world was stop-frame animation, it still wouldn’t be enough for me.

    I fully agree with Rob Ny, Misty Miller- lovely.lovely lovely.

    and, I was really hoping that Taimane had a tiny top hat attached to the headstock.
    Helsinki Syncopators was a nice surprise.

  17. Secret Home Party January 31st, 2011 7:02 pm

    sailboats, you’re absolutely right. i immediately regretted my negative comment. i DO feel that way about his music, but it’s pretty obvious i’m being motivated by jealousy. part of my problem is that i live in hawaii where there are a lot of uke players (jake is worshipped like a god), but very little tolerance for anyone trying to do something non-traditional with the instrument, like myself.

    great videos this week, as usual!

  18. Woodshed January 31st, 2011 8:17 pm

    Secret Home Party and sailboats: I’ve regularly been impressed by Jake’s playing but I’ve never been moved by it. It’s not something I’d listen to for pleasure.

    krabbers: Thanks very much for your video. It’s not often I hear a song I can relate to.

    Sebastian: Wholeheartedly agreed on both points.

    L.bo: I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Taimane adds a little headstock-flair.

  19. Peter January 31st, 2011 8:34 pm

    If you aren’t moved by his covers of Bohemian Rhapsody and Halleljuah…I dunno. Give it another listen?

    I’ll admit that there are some songs of his that I skip over but the ones that really move me, do.

  20. Woodshed January 31st, 2011 9:03 pm

    Peter: I don’t think a lack of listens is the problem. It’s just too sterile to do anything for me.

  21. sailboats February 1st, 2011 7:14 am

    Secret Home Party, You are probably right though about him being worshiped like a god. ( I really wouldn’t know that I am from a small town in Canada and would be surprised if if anyone even knew his name here)

    I do see your points. I found Krabbers song more enjoyable and it is just a nice blues progression.

    side note: Woodshed, your site has been such an amazing help with my ukulele playing. I have enjoyed your books so much!

  22. mia February 2nd, 2011 8:24 pm

    Whoa! I am loving Clare And The Reasons…

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