June 16, 2021

Unlikely Strummers, a local Award-Winning Amateur Ukulele Band, Working to Raise Spirits

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The Unlikely Strummers, a local award-winning amateur ukulele band, has been working to raise spirits in the community over the past 14 weeks with musical parodies of The Muppets' classic song "Movin' Right Along."

Each weekend, over a dozen members of the group videotape performances of a new original verse with an iconic or unusual mode of transportation, and the video is posted on social media, to the delight of their fans and other community members. In recent weeks, the group has partnered with both the Seekonk Grand Prix and Remembrance Hill Carriages in Rehoboth for videos that have been a real pick-me-up for all concerned, while also highlighting local businesses. In both cases, the group stayed to enjoy the venues, racing around the go-kart track at the Grand Prix and enjoying a peaceful wagon ride at Remembrance Hill. An earlier video also featured a special cameo appearance by alpacas from Rehoboth's Kave Rock Farm.

Other verses, penned by the group's members, have featured some celebrated vehicles such as the Phone Car (featured on Chronicle), the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, and the Planters NutMobile, as well as the Roger Williams Park Carousel Village train. Staff at the Roger Williams Zoo related that they were "captivated by [the group's] talent and whimsy."

Most recently, the group boarded the Jaguar - the tugboat responsible for escorting the Mayflower II for nearly 40 years - singing about ukulele adventures on the rolling seas.

The "Movin' Right Along" project originated as a way for the group to raise morale in the community during the long winter months of the pandemic, and has also provided its members a safe, creative way to make music together outdoors (even in a kayak on a frozen lake in February) while continuing to take precautions. The full series of videos can be found on their YouTube playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgR6nm-7RIUZxaPy22E4RVovLFz_LtUCp 

The Unlikely Strummers have been a community favorite in the area for five years under the direction of Cynthia Miller, and are the winners of the 2019 New England Battle of the Ukulele Bands. The members are all volunteer, amateur musicians with a wide range of backgrounds. They have performed at fairs, festivals, and private events throughout the area, have been featured on Chronicle and NBC-10. The group is known nationally for their trademark surprise serenades, "You've Been Uked!" To find out more, visit them on Facebook or at their website unlikelystrummers@weebly.com

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