The Real Top Five List

Another day, another list of the top fifty Hawaiian music albums, or the ten best Hawaiian songs or top five essential ukulele albums. While these lists are valuable in exposing outside audiences to Hawaiian music artists and albums they may have otherwise not heard about, they still are far from comprehensive in my humble opinion. As Hawaiian... Continue Reading →


Five Days of Johnny Cash: Day 3

I have a very special announcement coming this Thursday, so this is day three of my five days of Johnny Cash blog in which I will post a significant song that contributed to my understanding, love and appreciation for Johnny Cash the artist, musician and man. As I set out on my professional music career it was... Continue Reading →

The World Cup That Is Hawaiian Music Part 5: From Prussia With Love

One of the most influential people on the sound of Hawaiian music came from an unexpected place. Having being chosen by the king of Prussia to be sent to Hawaii by request of King Kamehameha the Fifth, Henry Berger changed the face and direction of Hawaiian music for many generations to come. After the death... Continue Reading →


Hōkūle`a, Star of Gladness

With the highly anticipated launch of Hokule`a and Hikianalia from Hilo tomorrow, I thought it appropriate that I discuss some of my favorite mele about sailing and navigation. With the prevalence of interest in Polynesian navigation and wa`a I am surprised that there isn't more music centered around this topic. While these concepts are deeply imbedded... Continue Reading →


Kou Aloha Mau A Mau

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...


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