Grammys influence slack-key releases
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
By Wayne Harada
Editor's note: Today, Wayne Harada's Island Sounds column joins the TGIF section as a regular feature.
With Grammy season nearing, it's no surprise that the surge of Hawaiian slack-key CDs continues. The latest two are multi-artist compilations, one from Maui and the other from O'ahu, and both are likely contenders in Grammy balloting.
Meanwhile, Kaua'i's Papa'a Bay Boys make a bid for Honolulu recognition.
"LEGENDS OF HAWAIIAN SLACK KEY: LIVE FROM MAUI" BY VARIOUS ARTISTS; DANIEL HO CREATIONS
The disc opens with Ledward Ka'apana's tranquil " 'Opihi Moemoe" and closes with a collaboration by George Kahumoku Jr., Keoki Kahumoku and Da 'Ukulele Boys on "Ka'aahi Kahului," the train song by Palani Vaughan.
In between, there's a wealth of classic showmanship — Cyril Pahinui's vocal on "Ka Makani Ka'ili Aloha," Dennis Kamakahi's "Ahulili" vocal, Martin Pahinui's "Ka 'Ano'i" vocal, Ozzie Kotani's "Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua/Papakolea Medley," Richard Ho'pi'i's "Papalina Lahilahi" vocal, Bobby Ingano's "Hula Blues" instrumental, Daniel Ho's "Kumu Mele" vocal, and George Kahumoku Jr.'s "Aloha 'Oe" vocal. Daniel Ho mixed and mastered the session, capturing the live quality complete with applause and some impromptu chatter. Tracks with voices add earnest emotion to the spirit of the tunes.
|"Aloha O'e" by George Kahumoku Jr. Audio sample available in mp3 format.|
"HAWAIIAN SLACK KEY KINGS" BY VARIOUS ARTISTS; RHYTHM & ROOTS RECORDS
Johnson's "Better Together" is folk with slack-key finesse, while the Kamakahi dad-and-son entry by Dennis and David, "Jubilation," offers a religious undercurrent.
There's so much more to embrace, including Glenn Smith's "Maori Brown Eyes" instrumental-with-vocal rendering, Paul Togioka's "Kekaha Chimes," Makana's "Na Po'o Ka La," Ledward Ka'apana's "Pau Pilikia," Michael Kaawa's "Sepania Slack," Danny Carvalho's "Song for Allie," Dwight Kanae's "Lokelani's Lullaby," and Milton Lau's "Song for Erin."
Vocally, Bobby Moderow's "Sanoe" also contributes to the variety quotient. Crisp and clear sound throughout; acts are pictured and brief liner notes provide a quick snapshot of the musical artists.
|"Better Together" by Jack Johnson. Audio sample available in mp3 format.|
"PAPA'A BAY: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN" BY PAPA'A BAY BOYS; WRM RECORD
"Kaua'i My Home" reflects the earnest, simple outlook of the band — and its 'aina — and could emerge as an unofficial anthem for all of Kaua'i.
|"Sweet Like Sugar" by Papa'a Bay. Audio sample available in mp3 format.|
Reach Wayne Harada at firstname.lastname@example.org.