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The Croonerʻs Weekly “TOP 5″ (11.23.11)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

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 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Hawaiian Isles (John Piʻilani Watkins & His Heavenly Hawaiians’ recording on the album Songs to Remember Hana-Maui)

I don’t know much about this song, other than it’s found on the album mentioned above.

I DO know, however, that I love it.  I love the feeling the song evokes–nostalgic, for sure.  Nostalgic even for the time it was written/recorded.  A longing.  But filled with memories of happiness.

Do YOU know about this song?  Was it Watkins who penned it?  Any information you all could provide would be so appreciated.

Triple love this song.  True story!

2. Pua Pīkake (Bill Kaiwa’s recording on the album Na Halia)

I love the voice of the baritone crooner, Bill Kaiwa.  You know, I was familiar with his older albums–the ones from 1960s.  However, I was so excited to find this album, released in 2008.  He sounds so good!

He sounds like I HOPE to sound as I grow older.  Such a gentle voice–and so strong.

This song, attributed to Charles E. King, has become a favorite.

Hula dancers take note:  There is an instrumental pass (paʻani) in this recording.  But his tempo–and the stunning lyrics–practically BEG for a hula!)

3. Pua ʻAʻaliʻi (Kawika Alfiche’s recording on the album Kaleʻa)

Earlier this week, I wrote that I’d falled in love with this song, written by Lee Ann ʻĀnuenue Pūnua.  And I have to admit that I’m kind of obsessed with it.

I love Kawika Alfiche’s recording of it.  I love what he brings to it.  It’s gentle, but not passive.  It MOVES.  It has momentum, propelling the listener forward.

And I can’t get enough of the contemporary strum of his ‘ukulele!  I think I need to start using that strum in some other songs.

The song (and Kawika’s presentation of it!) inspire me.  Right on.

*Please click HERE to visit Kawika’s website.

4. Fish & Poi (Sean Naʻauao’s recording on the album Now Serving Fish & Poi)

I’ve been singing this song all week.  Why?  Well, it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow.  And that makes me think of food.  And when I think about Hawaiian food, this neo-classic Jawaiian-style song comes to mind.  Sean Naʻauao essentially lists–and celebrates!–Hawaiian foods.

I grew up on the mainland’s east coast.  We didn’t Hawaiian food at Thanksgiving.  As my friends say, we had a more “Norman Rockwell-style traditional Thanksgiving feast.”  But knowing that my ʻohana hānai, my Hawaiian family on Molokai, will be getting together tomorrow to celebrate and give thanks–and knowing that they will be eating all kinds of ‘ono Hawaiian grindz (Hawaiian food) I smile when I sing this one.

Break out the poi!  Let’s eat!

(*Note:  The song is featured on a bunch of compilation albums, too!  It’s a party classic.  Check out Sean Naʻauao’s Hot Hits!)

*Please click HERE to visit Sean’s page at Mountain Apple Company.

5. He Aloha Nō ʻO Honolulu (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album Wale Nō)

I love kī hōʻalu (slack key guitar) music!  It’s no secret.

And Uncle Dennis Pavao’s recording of this classic song is–well–perfect!  When I first heard this recording, I was expecting two things:  1.  A faster tempo.  2.  Uncle Dennis Pavao’s melodious voice.  I was surprised to hear it presented in a delicious, rolling slack-key tempo.  And surprised that it was an instrumental track.  (However, I’ve come to realize one can still hear Uncle Dennis’ voice–it’s just that his voice is the voice of the guitar in this recording.)

Surprised and delighted.

What a treat for ears–and what soothing sounds for my NYC nerves.  Grateful for that!

(P.S.  I love a recording that features the percussive sound of an ipu in the background.  Bonus!)

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

And, as always, a giant MAHALO to Puna and the gang at for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

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