Tag Archives: Slack Key

LIVE 113 • Meadows

“Meadows” is an original song I wrote during a full moon in Kailua-Kona.  I think the song was influenced by the night air and night sounds – the occasional chirp of geckos, the distant sounds of traffic on Mamalahoa Highway and the waves in the ocean.  This version was probably recorded within a year of when I wrote it.  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, 10/9/07.

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 118 • Lily (Original Slack Key, 912ce)

Here is an original fingerstyle tinged slack key song I wrote a number of years ago called “Lily.”  Hope you enjoy.  

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

LIVE 114 • Slippery Slack Key (310ce)

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.

77 Minutes Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Instrumental Music

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.

LIVE 112 • Saddle Up! Slack Key

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.

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 107 • Kuakini Slack Key

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.   

LIVE 110 • Punahoa Special

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.

LIVE 105 • Hilo Rag (alt take)

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.