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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″ (12.29.10)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 3 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Hilo Hula (Holunape’s recording on the album He ʻOlu)

If you’ve read some of my other “TOP 3″ lists, you’ll know that I’m a HUGE FAN of the group Holunape. I love their tight harmonies. I love their style. They’re a fantastic group–one of the greatest performing today.

This song is a classic–and they do it so well. Exercising restraint, with nothing overly flashy in their delivery, they invoke the spirit of the place and the spirit of the hula. Gotta love that.

The song type is also one of my favorites–a song that celebrates a place or an area. In this case, it celebrates Hilo and its surrounding areas on the “Big Island” of Hawaiʻi. It’s a great way to learn about a place. (Music makes everything taste better!)

2. Ke ʻAla O Ka Rose (Willie K.’s recording on the album Awhilima: Reflections)

A paniolo (cowboy) song! In my research, I’ve read it was composed by a young man (only 17 years old!) named Danny Kaʻopio on the island of Niʻihau–he was courting a woman named Loke, which is the Hawaiian word for “rose.” Hence the title, Ke ʻAla O Ka Rose, The Fragrance of the Rose.

I love Willie K.’s delivery of it–his kāhea or call to the musicians (and maybe dancers as well?) gives it a casual, kanikapila-style feel to it. Like maybe he’s singing it a backyard lūʻau. And his infectious laugh that rings out about halfway through the song never fails to make me smile.

This is a classic song–and his delivery is fantastic!

3. The Music of Hawaii (Melveen Leed’s recording on the album Melveen’s Hawaiian Country Hits)

Hawaiian country music delivered by Hawaiʻi’s country queen!

This feel-good, uptempo song talks about some of the composer’s favorite things about Hawaiʻi. And it sounds like the music that dominated the mainland’s country music scene in the late 1960s and 1970s. If you weren’t paying attention to the lyrics, you’d think it was a song written in Nashville for a Nashville singer. (However, if you missed the lyrics, you’d miss its distinctive Hawaiian message–and that would be such a shame!)

Aunty Melveen never fails to delight me with her music. This song is one that I need to learn to sing and strum on the ʻukulele!

What are YOU listening to? Drop me a line and let me know!!

4 Responses to “The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″ (12.29.10)”

  1. carol says:

    aloha e Jason
    listening to Owana Salazar, Wahine Slack and Steel. Now that I have my very own O’ahu vintage steel guitar and no teacher, I am trying to learn the old fashioned way. Listen and try, listen and try.
    Hau’oli Mahakhiki Hou

  2. Schantell says:

    hey plug in one in for the hubby….his name is kroon, were from Waianae….He is making a name for himself here in MIchigan…..He is a first rate krooner……enjoy http://www.krooonster.com
    Aloha and keep singing!!!

  3. Jason Poole says:

    Aloha e Schantell! Mahalo for sharing your husband’s music and website link here on the blog! I hope it leads people to his site! E ‘ohana mākou. We’re all family. So important to keep the music alive! Right on!

  4. Jason Poole says:

    Aloha e Carol! I love Owana and her music. Right on! And I look forward to being able to hear YOU play this wonderful vintage steel guitar someday soon! Listen and try. Listen and try. I’m sure you’ll be great–you play from the heart! HAU’OLI MAKAHIKI HOU TO YOU!