Category Archives: Fingerstyle

LIVE 124 • Bantry Girl’s Lament (912ce)

The Bantry Girl’s Lament is a traditional Celtic song which dates back to the early 1800’s.  The ‘lament’ is for the soldiers who were called off to fight in the Napoleonic wars, but I find the melody is more wistful than maudlin.  My fingerstyle version is based on Martin Simpson’s version from his fine album “Leaves of Life.”  While Martin used a Drop D tuning for the song (or rather its equivalent on Baritone guitar), I play it here in open G6: (D-G-D-G-B-E).  To me, this is a peaceful, meditative song that gives pause.  Hope you enjoy.

Recorded with a Taylor 912ce (Rosewood/Spruce, with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD Light strings) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.

76 Minutes Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Covers

This video features a collection of Ki Ho’alu a/k/a Hawaiian Slack Key guitar instrumental covers I have performed, recorded, and assembled here for your listening pleasure.  These are songs by various slack key legends such as Gabby Pahinui, Ray Kane, Leonard Kwan, Keola Beamer, Fred Punahoa, Sonny Chillingworth, Atta Isaacs, Dennis Kamakahi, and Ledward Ka’apana – all slack key guitar masters who have been influential to me as well as many others.  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.

LIVE 117 • Makalawena (alternate take)

Here is an alternate take of “Makalawena,” an original song I named after a charmingly beautiful and relatively isolated beach on the Kona Coast.  Makalawena is part of that long stretch of white sandy beaches you see right before landing at Kona International Airport at nearby Keahole Point.  The beach is generally accessible via a short hike from the neighboring Mahaiʻula Bay section of Kekaha Kai State Park.  I remember camping out at Makalawena as a kid, exploring the rare anchialine ponds with their delicate red shrimp, and swimming in the waters of the bay.  Today still, the neighboring marsh is a protected nesting ground, home to rare birds such as the Hawaiian coot.  The song’s bridge seems to capture the strange sense of converging energies that I feel in special places such as these.  Hope you enjoy.

Recorded with a Taylor 414ce-NR (Rosewood/Spruce grand auditorium nylon string) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.  

LIVE 116 • Fair Wind (K22ce)

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.

LIVE 108 • Wonderful Tonight Remix

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.

LIVE 111 • Harvest Moon (alternate take)

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

“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

LIVE 103 • Bron-Yr-Aur (912ce)

Bron-Yr-Aur is probably my favorite Led Zeppelin acoustic song. Written about a tranquil cottage in the Welsh countryside, the song is meditative and bucolic; it always puts me in a different place whenever I hear it or play it. This version was recorded on my Taylor 912ce.

Recorded with a Taylor 912ce (Rosewood/Spruce, with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD Light strings) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone. 

LIVE 101 • Momentum (912ce)

Momentum is an original I’ve been playing for a while.  Over the years, I have added different bridges and changed the intro at times, but at its core the song remains the same. This version has a new bridge and was recorded on my Taylor 912ce.  

Recorded with a Taylor 912ce (Rosewood/Spruce, with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD Light strings) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.  

LIVE 092 • Opihi Moe Moe (Taylor 310ce)

Here’s a recently found cover I did of Leonard Kwan’s signature tune, Opihi Moe Moe. One of the most popular songs in the slack key repetoire, this song has been covered perhaps most prominently by Led Kaapana; in fact, Chet Atkins even recorded a version after hearing it from Leonard on a visit to Hawai’i. Notably, Leonard himself recorded several versions of this song including variations such as Opihi Bounce. Opihi Moe Moe is a fun song to play that lends itself to little variations, and everyone seems to bring something different to this deceptively simple song. Hope you enjoy.

Recorded with a Taylor 310ce (Elixir Polyweb 80/20 Bronze) and a matched stereo pair of Shure KSM141 microphones in Holualoa, Hawai’i, 1/4/2008.