Here’s an alternate take of my arrangement of the Springsteen classic I’m on Fire. This is a really cool little song – almost a sketch at under 3 minutes long, but it really creates a great atmosphere in that short amount of time. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 412ce LTD (Rosewood/Spruce, with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone in Honolulu, Hawai’i 2/26/15.
Here’s an improv around Nick Drake’s “Horn” I recorded one day between takes of another song I was working on. Appearing as a sort of interlude on the Pink Moon album, Horn is a fascinating little study of a song in its own right. I love the simple, atmospheric melody, and think it translated well to ukulele. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Kamaka Koa Deluxe Tenor ukulele (Kamaka HF-3D, high G with Uke Logic Soft Tension strings and a Thomastik-Infeld CF-27 flat wound third string) and a Telefunken M60 microphone.
Alternately titled “Paia Morning” or “Paia Kakahiaka,” the song “Morning in Paia” began life as the harmonic laden intro/outro figure and grew into the mellow yet energetic song here. Paia Morning captures some of the mellow yet entrancing vibes of a morning in Paia, Maui: you start out strolling the sidewalks – still sparsely populated this time of day – perhaps pick up some fresh fruit from Mana Foods while catching a little bit of local news at the North Shore outpost, or head up the road a short ways to Island Fresh Café for some breakfast nosh. Next, travel back down the road to grab coffee at Paia Bay Coffee or Anthony’s, maybe taking a meditative stroll along the sand at Paia Bay before wrapping up with lunch at Flatbread Company or Café des Amis. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor K22ce (solid koa grand concert with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) and a Telefunken M60 small diaphragm condenser microphone.
Today’s song from the vaults is Slow Funk Fun, which starts off slowly with a quizzical theme but picks up speed as it moves along, culminating with some driving harmonized guitar riffs. Slow Funk Fun originally appeared on a project called Positivity that was in part a collection of demos and song ideas. I don’t recall where I got the idea for Slow Funk Fun or what made me decide to record it, but listening back now it’s kind of an interesting piece. Hope you enjoy.
Growing up in Hawai’i, the classic theme song to Magnum, P.I. still resonates with me somehow. Though my memories of the actual show are filtered through a sort of vague, hazy nostalgia, I always liked the idea of Thomas Magnum cruising around in a Ferrari and solving mysteries. Original Magnum (and later Monica boyfriend) Tom Selleck has been one of those now longtime TV hallmarks, and established the character. The reboot with Jay Hernandez from a few years back also had a great cast that built upon that legacy, and I was happy it featured a remake of the original theme song. I’m not really into recording TV theme songs, but this one is a classic that ended up being fun to record on uke. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Kamaka Koa Deluxe Tenor ukulele (Kamaka HF-3D, high G with either Uke Logic Soft Tension or Ko’olau Aho strings, and a Thomastik-Infeld CF-27 flat wound third string) and a Telefunken M60 small diaphragm microphone.
This song was born of my desire to improvise around some familiar ideas and possibly discover some new ones. Using familiar shapes and runs, perhaps I would come to appreciate them from a new angle, or juxtapose them in a way that I hadn’t before. I wanted to explore textures, try to accent some of the notes in a different way, give the strings a staccato strum or two, play some lush harmonics. Sometimes rather than trying to come up with something totally new, you want to explore the familiar ground of existing templates, maybe change them just a little – not to the point they’re unrecognizable, but to explore how they can be tweaked and see if it suits.
In addition to trying out some musical ideas, I wanted to see how they would sound with a microphone I hadn’t used lately, recording with a different sound. The mic I chose sounds crisp, picking up all the harmonic details and giving clear note separation. It’s quiet, and also good at gathering room ambiance. The bass is not as bold and the mid-scooped rosewood sound isn’t as prominent as another mic I had been using lately, but this mic would provide a nice, hi-fi, detailed sound – one I might now want to explore even more. Anyway, sometimes it’s important to try something a little different with your sound, to record an improvisation and see what happens. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 912ce (Rosewood/Spruce, with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD Light strings) and a Neumann TLM 103 microphone.
“Hualalai Sunrise” was inspired by the morning sunrises in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Much of North Kona – from Kalaoa where I spent much of my early childhood to Holualoa where I later lived – can see the sun shining over the top ridges of Hualalai in the morning, bathing its warm light over the slopes from the summit to the ocean. This is an early version of this song, though I have improvised several slightly different versions since. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 414ce-NR (Rosewood/Spruce grand auditorium nylon string) and a Telefunken M60 microphone.
From the vaults, here is an old recording of a slack key medley performed during an informal kanikapila at what was then the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Hotel (it has since changed hands from Sheraton). The medley starts out with a rendition of Little Grass Shack, followed by the classic Pua Tuberose. Hope you enjoy.
Here is a version of the classic Johnny Noble song “Hula Blues” recorded on nylon string guitar. Hula Blues is a steel guitar and slack key staple – a quick check of my iTunes library shows over a dozen versions by everyone from Sol Ho’opi’i to Sonny Chillingworth, Led Ka’apana, Leonard Kwan, Bobby Ingano, as well as separate versions from Gabby Pahinui and his son Cyril. This song is fun to play and captures a certain energy that many find appealing. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 414ce-NR (Rosewood/Spruce grand auditorium nylon string) and an Ear Trumpet Labs “Edwina” microphone.
Here’s an isolated track that I recorded for a collaboration a few years ago. That particular collaboration didn’t end up coming together, so I thought I would release this track as a stand alone piece. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor K22ce (solid koa grand concert with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) and a Line Audio CM4 microphone.