Daniel Ho's latest makes foray into vocals
"Skies of Blue" by Daniel Ho; Daniel Ho Creations
Ho provides a coaxing, relaxing mood via a number of covers, each demonstrating respect for the original yet yielding a Ho-breezy aura. From "Arthur's Theme" to "Big Yellow Taxi," there's easy-going fun and much admiration of the originals. The roster is middle-of-the-road safe, encompassing "Drift Away," "What a Wonderful World," "If," "Hotel California," "Soak Up the Sun," and "Every Breath You Take," songs we've all sung along to with over the decades.
Ho reunites with his Kilauea musicians Randy Drake (drums) and Steve Billman (bass), who add dimension to his uke-strumming. Faith Rivera cushions some tracks with background vocals and Brian Kigore's percussion work brings an ounce of bounce.
Ho's personal liner notes say it best: "I've always favored the acoustic over electronic, intimate over theatrical, sincere over technical." The project reflects this sentiment with crisp arrangements and faithful delivery. He's been working on his vocal craft, as he chugs along as a prolific artist and producer, and the voice is pliable and personable. As a point of comparison, he falls in the David Gates of Bread basket of voices — tender and warm, like butter melting on bread.
|Sample song: "Change the World" by Daniel Ho|
"Take a Chance and Let the Music Play" by 82Fifty; Lab Munkeez Records
Its sound is an amalgam of influences — a trace of The Beatles here, perhaps a Bob Marley nod there — and there's energy and spirit to share on a myriad of tracks; "Nevermind," "One Day," "So High" and "Take a Chance and Let the Music Play" are primed for getting nods from fans.
82Fifty has appeared at local clubs and reggaefests and needs that breakout song to put 'em on the map.
|Sample song: "One Day" by 82FIFTY|