Years back I was working on some turnaround ideas when I wrote “Slippery Slack Key.” Also known as the “Slippery Fish Slack Key,” this is a fast paced and fun to play slack key song that saw various incarnations in my set a few years back. The slippery runs were inspired in part by the fish in the waters off Kailua-Kona. Kona’s world famous fishing was also brought to mind frequently by my landlord at the time I wrote this song, a local fish boat captain named Chuck. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 310ce (Sapele/Spruce, Elixir Polyweb 80/20 Bronze) and a matched stereo pair of Shure KSM141 microphones in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, 9/20/07.
Here is an early version of my song “Fair Wind,” recorded not long after I wrote it. There is a boat of the same name that ran snorkel / dive cruises to Kealakekua Bay out of Keauhou Bay – still does – and my parents took me and my friends for a cruise on it for a number of my birthdays.
Recorded with a Taylor K22ce (solid koa grand concert with Elixir strings) and a Line Audio CM4 microphone.
For your listening pleasure here is a collection of Ki Ho’alu a/k/a Hawaiian Slack Key guitar instrumentals. This compilation includes both energetic and relaxed tunes, though I’d say the overall vibe is relaxing. I like to listen to some of those longer “relaxing music” videos while working on the computer and became inspired to produce some videos featuring my own performances. Hope you enjoy.
Here is a remix of my fingerstyle rendition of Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight. Eric wrote the song about his then-wife Pattie Boyd, who had already inspired great songs from Eric and previous husband George Harrison. This song has been the theme to many a high school prom, and its simple yet tasteful melody has held up over the years. In keeping with that, my arrangement here is fairly straight forward: it doesn’t move around the neck very much or have any unusual chord voicings. Hope you enjoy it.
Recorded with a Taylor 412ce LTD (Rosewood/Spruce, with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone in Honolulu, Hawaii 4/27/15.
Here is a song I wrote years back called ‘Saddle Up! Slack Key.’ It pays tribute to Hawaii’s unique Paniolo cowboy culture, including the beautiful Pa’u riders I would see at the Kona Coffee Festival Parade among other events. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 310ce (Sapele/Spruce, Elixir Polyweb 80/20 Bronze) and a matched stereo pair of Shure KSM141 microphones in Holualoa, Hawai’i, 3/5/08.
Here is an alternate take of my fingerstyle arrangement of Harvest Moon, the titular song from the great early 90’s Neil Young album. In era when some of his peers were merely coasting along, Neil was doing some of his best work. 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 9/7/15.
“Awake Again” is an unfinished project I started working on in in early 2009 and only recently revisited. Now, assembled here together for the first time since it was recorded, the music in this playlist brings the project to a conclusion of sorts.
This music here was recorded in Holualoa, Hawai’i, on 11 different dates ranging from 2/14/09 through 6/20/09. Rather than a finished product this is the complete ‘first draft,’ comprised of the best recordings from that time in the order I had envisioned for the completed project. Hope you enjoy.
Track List: 1 – Intro 6/13/09 2 – Dust Yourself Off 2/24/09 3 – Ohio River Rag 3/1/09 4 – Transition I 3/1/09 5 – Straight Ahead Blues 2/26/09 6 – Hand Dancing 6/20/09 7 – Home Abroad 3/18/09 8 – Make 3/19/09 9 – Moment in the Sun 4/20/09 10 – Crossing the Field 4/20/09 11 – Morning and Night 6/20/09 12 – Brownsboro Road 4/20/09 13 – Bull By the Horns 2/14/09 14 – Kona Snow 6/20/09 15 – Transition One 3/16/09 16 – Momentum 6/8/09 17 – Outro 6/20/09
Here is a demo of a song called Kuakini Slack Key, named after Kuakini Highway (which was in turn named after former governor of Hawai’i island and builder of Hulihe’e Palace, John Adams Kuakini). I wrote this in a friends’ condo which was off Kuakini, not far from Palani Road and the Kailua pier. As a kid, I also lived for several years in a home farther south that was just off Kuakini.
This is one of the few recordings done with a Larrivee parlor guitar I used to own – a rosewood / spruce P-09, which I have since sold. There’s also a fun little manual fade at the end. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Larrivée P-09 Parlor guitar (Rosewood / Sitka Spruce) and a matched stereo pair of Shure KSM 141 microphones in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, 8/27/07.
Today’s song is the joyful “Punahoa Special,” a signature showpiece of legendary slack key master Fred Punahoa. This is a song I was fortunate enough to learn directly from Led Ka’apana, one that Led had in turn learned directly from Fred himself. Though Fred Punahoa never made a full album under his own name, he did make a notable appearance on the Waimea Music Festival album in addition to fostering amazing talents of the next generation such as Led and Sonny Lim. “Punahoa Special” is an often covered song in the slack key canon, and might also be the most popular song in Mauna Loa slack key tuning. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 414ce-NR (Rosewood/Spruce grand auditorium nylon string) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.
Here is an alternate take of Dennis Kamakahi’s song, “Hilo Rag.” This is a super fun song to play and one of my favorites from Dennis Kamakahi’s oeuvre. Better known for lyrical songs like Koke’e, Hilo Rag makes me wish I heard more of Dennis’s instrumental work. Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 414ce-NR (Rosewood/Spruce grand auditorium nylon string) and an Ear Trumpet Labs “Edwina” microphone.