https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAEenK-acgw It's been a little over two weeks since the debut of my new single Ha'aheo Nā Kanaka Paniolo from my upcoming album 'Song for Waimea' and I couldn't be happier with the reception it has received. The highlight has been the realization of one of my dreams when my song was played on KAPA radio … Continue reading Ha’aheo Nā Kanaka Paniolo
In my never-ending quest to uncover information relating to the early history of the acoustic steel string guitar in Hawaii I recently came across two sources of quality information that I would like to share. I previously wrote a little about the history of the dreadnaught guitar and the role of Hawaiian music in its … Continue reading Steel String Origins In Hawaii
I recently watched this superb documentary on PBS called "American Epic Sessions". To summarize, the film documents the recent recording sessions produced by Jack White and T. Bone Burnett in which they use a rebuilt recording machine from the early 1920s to record a diverse set of artists including Alabama Shakes, Nas, Taj Mahal and others. … Continue reading Hawaiian Epic Sessions
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 Ke Kali Nei Au and the Hawaiian Opera
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 Defining the Undefinable
This is a continuation of my last blog post that covered the influence of outside musical cultures on modern Hawaiian music. If you haven't already please see part 1 in which I introduce the topic and discuss the elements of traditional Polynesian and Hawaiian music that laid the foundations of modern Hawaiian music. These posts … Continue reading The World Cup That Is Hawaiian Music Part 2: The Church
I only met Chino once, but he left a lasting impression on me. A few years back I went by the Kahilu Theatre to check out the free show during the Slack Key and Ukulele Institute series. I had seen the name "Chino Montero" on the bill, but wasn't familiar with him or his music. What I saw that night blew me away. The way he shredded on the guitar in such a relaxed and humble manner was shocking to my eyes and ears. The way he tastefully and artfully completely ran circles around the melody put me in awe....
One of the most innovative and accomplished musicians in Hawaiian music history is Ledward Ka`apana. Starting with the group Hui Ohana in 1972, Uncle Led set a new standard for what sounds were possible within the realm of Hawaiian music. His electric guitar playing with added reverb was new and exciting. He was never afraid to push the boundaries, or HO`ANALU, of what was being done with slack key guitar....
I humbly believe that the greatest ukulele player ever was Eddie Kamae. He recorded what I find to be the best ukulele album in existence "Heart of the Ukulele" in 1962. I was very blessed to have the opportunity to share the stage with and play with Eddie Kamae when I played ukulele for Bruddah Smitty.
The palaka print is for the Reverend Dennis Kamakahi, who joined the Sons of Hawaii in 1973 replacing Gabby Pahinui. He played with the Sons until 1995 and for a time with my mentor Uncle Braddah Smitty. Uncle Eddie supported Dennis' song writing and encouraged him to blaze his own path and put his own stamp on the group. He wrote such beautiful and classic numbers as Wahine Ilikea, Pua Hone, Koke`e, Ka `Opae, Sweet By and By, Aloha Mau A Mau, Golden Stallion, Kanaka Waiolina, Honeymoon Hotel, E Hihiwai, Hualalai, and on and on and on...