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 →

Ke Kali Nei Au and the Hawaiian Opera

Having just entered into the sacred union of marriage I decided to commit some time into researching the history of one of the finest Hawaiian songs ever composed, the insurmountable "Ke Kali Nei Au" also known as the "Hawaiian Wedding Song". It was hard to dig up too much information other than this very interesting aspect of... 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 →


Atta Isaacs and the Holy Grail of Slack Key

I am amazed at times that with the vast quantities of information available on the internet how sometimes it can be impossible to even locate some basic facts or stories relating to an individual. But thankfully with one important set of liner notes posted on-line I recently was able to learn more about the elusive slack key master and... 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 →


Ukulele In Orbit

I am always amazed at the new undiscovered gems out there waiting for me. Like a rare stone sitting beneath the layers of sand, it remains undiscovered by my eyes, until the right gust of wind comes and blows away the top layer to reveal the beautiful shining crystal. Such is the case with this spectacular... Continue Reading →


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