I have to tell you something. Are you sitting down? Imelda May isn’t a ukulele artist. She’s an Irish musician with a tremendous voice with passion and indeed talent for rockabilly.
But Imelda must have an affinity for the ukulele for track 17 of her last album, “Tribal” (extended version) is a rather sweet version of the Blondie classic Dreaming. You may ask if one track from an established artist is worthy of Uke Planet consideration while there are so many great ukulele focused artists out there. And I will argue that this wee track is definitely worth your attention and suggest there’s a lot more to this little gem than simple bandwagon jumping, the record label with one eye on a department store Christmas advert soundtrack.
There are a few YouTube versions of Imelda performing this live, established then in general set rotation, which I think strengthens the logic that a great deal of thought has gone into this performance rather than it being a simple passing whimsy. For one’s part I think the BBC version posted here is perhaps the most endearing, Imelda’s voice is brimming with depth and passion in the delivery of every syllable, every breath, every note sublimely perfect.
I’ll be honest, I already love Imelda May, she is an incredible singer (ukulele aside, just listen to her belt out this collaboration with The Levellers). So I was personally delighted to discover this gem of a track on her last album. I think the uke arrangement has a considerate melodic strum to it and I think Imelda’s voice, brought down in verve from her rockabilly powerhouse to a more discreet and intimate level to match, sweetly bonds with the ukulele to produce an intoxicating partnership. I for one will be hoping Imelda explores that mix again… after all, dreaming is free.
Head over to Imelda May’s website for all the links to CD, tours and t-shirts you could ever need 🙂 She has of course a great social media presence including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and you can buy her stuff from your favourite download store.