Popular ‘ukulele soloist Jake Shimabukuro released his latest CD, “Gently Weeps,” this week. An easy-listening CD reflecting the repertoire from his live shows, Shimabukuro worked with Mac McAnally, lead guitarist for Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, for this project.
“Recently I’ve been touring a lot as a solo artist,” said Shimabukuro in a release. “It was suggested to me that I record an album to directly reflect my live ‘bandless’ set. The songs I chose for this project are tunes I frequently perform at my shows. “
There are a handful of new songs, but most are songs Shimabukuro plays often. Shimabukuro and McNally produced “Gently Weeps” in Nasheville, Tenn.
“This project is something I began daydreaming about the first time I heard Jake play,” said McAnally who first brought Shimabukuro’s music to Buffett’s attention. “Our goal with this CD is to introduce Jake to people who have yet to see him.”
Most notably is Shimabukuro’s cover of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Last year, a video clip of Shimabukuro playing this song in Central Park circulated the Internet and e-mails of support and amazement came in from France, Germany, Korea and Australia.
The 12 include solo tracks “Ave Maria,” “Blue Roses Falling,” “Spain” and “Misty.”
In addition there are five non-solo bonus tracks that allowed Shimabukuro to compose and arrange for some new kinds of projects.
“I was recently hired to score the music for a Japanese movie titled ‘Hula Girl’ that was released in Japan earlier this summer,” said Shimabukuro.
His track “Beyond the Break” is a surf tune he wrote that is currently used for television series of the same name, which stars Kaua‘i’s own Sonya Balmores. It was also selected as this year’s Honolulu Marathon theme song.
A first for Shimabukuro, maybe the most surprising inclusion on the CD is the vocal version of “Wish On My Star.” Delightfully melancholy lyrics intertwine beautifully with his ‘ukulele playing. Jennifer Perri, Oceanic Cable’s Kiddieoke-Plus Contest winner from 1997, provides the vocal.
“Gently Weeps” is in stores now.