G Minor Fleas

by wjw on September 10, 2012

I’ve had this instrumental tune going through my head for the better part of a week.  I had no idea what the tune was or where I’d first heard it— because it was instrumental and full of brass, I assumed it was from the sound track of some movie I’d seen at some point in the dim past.

So here I was this evening, drowsing in an easy chair while listening to the Hawaiian music channel on Dish Network— yes, there is a Hawaiian music channel on Dish Network, and you get it free with a subscription— and anyway, suddenly the tune in my head was matched by the tune coming out of the speakers.  What kind of whack coincidence is this?

Turns out the tune is “G Minor Fleas,” and was written for dueling ukeleles by Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta, Jr.  The version I’ve had in my head all this time had a lot of brass in it, so there must have been a version of it on a movie or TV soundtrack that did not feature ukeleles, but I was unable to find that.

Nevertheless I found this video, with composer Herb Ohta, Jr., showing the world what virtuoso ukelele is all about.

Sounds very like Spanish guitar to my untutored ears, but then Hawaiian music was strongly influenced in the 19th Century by the music of the Latin American vaqueros who were brought to the island to teach Hawaiians how to be cowboys.  So that is no surprise.

Enjoy the video and the music.  And may the earbug now move to your brain, because if it stays in mine much longer I’m going to go nuts.


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