I was taken by surprise when I realized that I haven’t posted a video since we left Hawai`i last year, and now we’re almost ready to go back. So I set up the gear in the guest bedroom to take advantage of the interesting light and the tropical pattern cover on the futon, and played a taropatch slack key version of Beautiful Kaua`i by Randy Farden.
I’m not sure why Kaua`i has so many songs written about it, but many of my favorites refer to the Garden Isle, from Uncle Dennis Kamakahi’s Koke`e to Maiki Lake and her Aloha Kaua`i. Beautiful Kaua`i has a sweet charm and many versions to use for inspiration.
It may be a while before we visit Kaua`i again, but I’m sure I’ll keep learning and playing songs about the island and its people.
Lynn has always been our travel manager, choosing the destinations, getting the best deals on flights, and finding places to stay. She has found us some wonderful residences over the years and she just keeps getting better. (more…)
We’ve been visiting Kailua for quite a few years now and we’ve made some wonderful friends. This year some of those friends invited us to a celebration of Easter Sunday at Kailua Beach, and it turned out to be one of those special days. Local folks are known for their hospitality and it was certainly on display this day. Combined with the dramatic scenery and perfect weather, this one will be hard to top. (more…)
Led Kaapana and I were invited to perform at the Old Steeple, a new venue in the charming Victorian town of Ferndale, CA. The trip up Highway 101 took us through the restaurant wonderland of Healdsburg where we had a delightful lunch break. As we continued north the scenery just got more and more dramatic, and when we turned off to head to Ferndale we could see from the coastal mist that the Pacific was not far away. (more…)
Mike and Malissa Kaawa favored us with a visit this past week, they were on a hunt for In and Out Burger and a visit to Tomi in Concord. But you know Mike brought one of his trademark 12 string Ovation guitars, and he spent at least a little time on every single guitar, `ukulele, and bass in the house. And he brought out his producer/arranger side to help me get some audio and video recordings with a new flavor. In other words, we had a blast. (more…)
The Martin tiple is an unusual instrument, but one that turns up in some surprising places. In addition to blues and vaudeville, the tiple made its way into Hawaiian music. Ledward Kaapana tells me that one of his aunties used a tiple as her instrument at their legendary Kalapana parties. My Wai`ehu Sons album has a cover picture of Sheldon Brown with his tiple and the sound is prominent on the recording. And Ry Cooder used the tiple as his instrument when he recorded with the Gabby Pahinui Band.
I found a tiple on Ebay and got Led to play it, but at the time it had terrible action, almost no saddle, and worn out frets. Since then I had the instrument rebuilt with a neck reset, new frets, and a new saddle, and the result was lovely. And Led has been having a lot of fun working up different approaches to the tiple, using his virtuoso knowledge of the `ukulele and his deep musicality to pull out some wonderful arrangements. (more…)
Ledward Kaapana has quite a collection of instruments but he has a couple of favorites that he keeps close at hand. One is his 1992 Martin 000-16 and another is his Moore Bettah `Ukulele custom built by Chuck Moore of Hawai`i Island. We decided to do a tribute to Chuck featuring this gorgeous instrument. (more…)
We’re enjoying a relaxing visit to Kailua, O`ahu, hanging out on Kaelepulu Stream in the Enchanted Lake district. The breeze is cool, the fish are splashing in the stream, and the outrigger canoes go dashing back and forth on their training runs.
I ran into a bit of technical difficulty with the mic module for my recorder, so when I invited Led Kaapana over for a little jam and video session I had to plug our guitars in direct, but I hope you’ll enjoy the music anyway. (more…)
I’ve enjoyed listening to Sonny Chillingworth ever since I connected with slack key and Hawaiian music. His “Spanish bass” style was instantly appealing, as was his soothing baritone voice. I’ve had a soft spot for Pua Tuberose ever since hearing his recording on the Sonny Solo CD. And of course the song moved up a few notches when I discovered that Ledward often includes Pua Tuberose in his slow song medleys. (more…)