Hawaiians On the Chitlin Circuit

One important question that is addressed head on in John Troutman's book "Kika Kila" is what is what level of influence can we ascribe to the Hawaiians in terms of the development of the slide guitar in southern blues music? Did southerners independently come up with the slide guitar or did they adapt and refine... Continue Reading →

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Where Did It Come From: Guitar Origins In the Islands

As I digest the opening chapter of John Troutman's book "Kika Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music" I am intrigued by the possibility of two other sources for the guitar in Hawai'i. While the common narrative holds that cowboys of California brought here by Kamehameha III in the 1830s... Continue Reading →

The Killer Kika Kila

Very excited about a recent book by John Troutman that came out covering the relatively undocumented history of the Hawaiian steel guitar. This book was released about a month ago and I eagerly picked up a copy, but the business of work hasn't enabled me to get past the introduction! None the less it is definitely... Continue Reading →

Defining the Undefinable

Each time the issue of defining slack key is addressed by either a specific artist or some governing body of musical societies, I find the divisiveness of these definitions and categories on the one hand interesting, but also unfortunate on the other. I do see it as a basic human trait to try and classify things into... Continue Reading →

The Hawaiians and the Dreadnought Guitar

I came across some fascinating bits of information while reading the recent Martin Guitar online journal. Celebrating the 100 year anniversary of their iconic dreadnought guitar, they present a detailed history if its creation, from its inception through its alterations throughout the years. In this journal article lies some information relating to how Hawaiian guitar playing of... Continue Reading →

Na Hoku Hamajang

I joined the HARA this year more so out of curiosity than anything, and it's turned out to be quite an interesting experience. From the six month long process of confirming a membership I had already payed for, to the arbitrary placement of my music in their preset categories, there has yet to be a dull... Continue Reading →

Scholarly Southern Blues and Hawaiian Slide Guitar Connections

A fellow musician friend of mine recently shared an article with me that outlines a compelling argument supporting the theory of the connections between the Hawaiian steel guitar and early southern blues and the development of finger slide guitar playing. This was a truly fascinating article that verified some connections I had made in a previous blog... Continue Reading →

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