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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Yeaton’

The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (2.22.12)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

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. Kamalani (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s recording on the album In Concert – The Man And His Music)

I love a good live album, don’t you?  If it’s done well, it’s like being there and seeing it happen.  And I love when the artist does things in the live recording that they don’t do in the “studio versions.”

This track opens with the incomparable Braddah IZ telling the audience about the song and the story.

And then he launches into it.  So beautiful and so haunting.

(Every time I hear this song, I think about my musical brother, Tommy Cheng, and how much fun we have playing and singing it.  Tommy!  We need to jam soon!)

*Please click HERE to visit IZ’s official website.

2. Ipo Hula (Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Genoa Keawe Sings Lūʻau Hulas)

When I find myself  ”down in the dumps,” I know surefire way to feel better:  listen to an Aunty Genoa recording!

Her joy–the joy of singing and sharing Hawaiian music–comes through so clearly!

And her distinctive strumming style makes me grin from ear to ear.  It’s instantly recognizable–even before she sings, you know it’s Aunty Genoa.

Attributed to Aunty Lena Machado, this simple-to-strum (only 4 chords!) is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoaʻs website.

3. Maile Swing (Leinaʻala Haʻili’s recording on the album Best of Leinaʻala)

How much fun is this song?!

Seriously, gang.   Makes me grin from ear to ear.  Attributed to John K. Almeida, this song lives up to it’s name–IT SWINGS!

And with a voice like Aunty Leinaʻalas, how can you go wrong?

Another song that should be a part of every Hawaiian crooner’s repertoire.

4. Naturally (Kalapana’s recording on the album The Best of Kalapana Vol. 1)

When I’m in need of a great 70′s vibe, I turn to Kalapana.

Yup.  They rock my world.  And this song makes me feel like I’m riding around in big ol’ car with the windows rolled down and warm summer wind blowing in my face.

Gets me every time.

5.  Puka Pants (Chris Yeaton’s recording on the album The Stand)

Chris Yeaton has such a magical touch on the guitar.   The sound of sunshine, I think.  Like the sound of light making dancing rings on the water.

And this classic song gets a royal treatment, Yeaton-style!

I think he’s an amazing musician.  And an amazingly cool guy, too.

*Please click HERE to visit Chris’ page on the Woodsong Acoustics Group site.

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 www.mele.com for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted?  You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**

2 Comments

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. My Rose of Waikiki (Andy Iona’s recording on the album Hawaiians in Hollywood)

I love this hapa haole tune!  It’s not one that I’ve heard a million times before.  In fact, the first time I heard it was fairly recently–right after I bought this compilation album.  The song is attributed to Andy Iona and Louis Herscher–and it was recorded somewhere between 1934-1936.

The interesting thing to note is that it can be called “hapa haole” (at least in my humble opinion) because of the inclusion of the Hawaiian-named place, Waikīkī.  However, all of the other lyrics are in English.  It’s also interesting to note the possible use of kaona, or “hidden meaning.”  Is Andy Iona singing about a flower of Waikiki?  A woman named “Rose?”  Or is rose just a poetic reference to a lover that he misses?

Typical of the era, the song has all of the wonderful flourishes that make a crooner swoon.  I need to learn this one!

2.  Kamakahala (Bill Ka’iwa’s recording on the album This Is Bill Kaiwa)

I was riding on the subway the other day and this song began to play on my iPod.  I’d heard it before because–well– Bill Kaiwa is a favorite musician and I listen to his music a lot.  I was familiar with the song’s melody.  And this week, I decided it should be part of the Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5.”  Whenever I hear it, with it’s bouncy tempo, I can’t help but smile.

I wish I could tell you what this song was about.  But to be honest, I can only make guesses.  This is one of those songs that’s full of allusions to things.  For example, I’m sure the choice of the ʻāhihi flower was deliberate–it symbolized something.  The lyrics were probably easy for folks to understand–on many level–when it was composed.  However, even as a language student, I can only make educated guesses.  The song’s lyrics can be found on the Huapala website by clicking HERE.

(I’ll be asking my teacher about this one when I’m back on Molokai later this month!)

3.  Kaimana Hila (Darlene Ahuna’s recording on the album Classic Hula)

I love this song!  It’s about a group of folks that go out “cruising” on the island of O’ahu and some of the places they visit.  One of the reasons I love Darlene’s recording is because she includes so many verses!  Most of the time I’ve sung it (and seen it danced) it only includes 3 places.  But her version includes 6!  Double the fun!

It’s got a great uptempo beat and it begs for a hula.

And if you learn the lyrics to the song, you’ll know some of the most famous places/sights on the island of Oʻahu.  What a great way to learn geography, right?

4.  Ain’t No Big Thing (Kui Lee’s recording on the album The Extraordinary Kui Lee)

Wanna listen to something groovy?  This is it!

I first heard a much-beloved version of this song as recorded by the Brothers Cazimero.  (And you guys know how much I love the CAZ!) But then I picked up the CD–and heard the song as recorded by the composer himself.  It’s got all of the cool 60s sounds including a swingin’ organ and a tambourine!  Right on!  And it delivers the awesome “No worries” vibe that Kui Lee was trying to share with the listener.

It’s a lot of fun crammed into 2 minutes and 22 seconds!

5.  ʻOpihi Moemoe (Chris Yeaton’s recording on the album Kīkaha Mālie)

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

And I love it when it’s played by my “brother from another mother,” Chris Yeaton!  This song is playful and fun and full of joy.  He really makes the guitar sing!

He’s  a great musician–and a great guy.  It’s a treat to celebrate the music of someone you admire and respect.  Check out his awesome album.  Love it!

(And a big “ALOHA!” to the gang on Hawai’i Island right now.  NYC is in ‘da house!)

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 www.mele.com for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!

 

2 Comments

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. Kīkaha Mālie (Chris Yeaton’s recording on the album Kīkaha Mālie)

This is one of my favorite pieces that my good friend and gifted guitarist, Chris Yeaton, has recorded. A stunning guitar solo.

He is such a talented musician! A student of John Keawe and Keola Beamer, his music prowess never ceases to amaze me. This song, the title track from his 2003 album, is a killer! It sets the tone of the album and succeeds in painting pictures with sounds… like a seabird gliding along peacefully.

Today is Chris’ birthday. Please join me in wishing this excellent musician HAUʻOLI LĀ HĀNAU!

And please check out his page at Woodsong Acoustics Group.

**Crooner Update: Chris’ album IS available on Woodsong Acoustics Group website!

2. Wahine Uʻi (Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders’ recording on the album, The Wandering Troubadours)

I love this song! And I can’t get enough of Andy Cummings’ version. Pure delight. I think his falsetto and lyrical voice are both fantastic. And the way that this song bounces along, well, it makes me grin. I can picture a dancer helping to illustrate the song’s lyrics about a woman’s beauty with her hands, body and face. Makes me want to be in Waikīkī right now.

In the research I did, I found discrepancies, of course! It’s credited to two different people: John Kameaaloha Almeida and Johnny Noble. Let’s face it–studying Hawaiian music is a lesson in learning to say “Okay…” as you hear different versions of each story. To this listener, it’s not as important WHO wrote it. I’m just glad SOMEONE did!

3. In A Little Hula Heaven (Darlene Ahuna’s recording on the album Bridge Between Generations)

This crooner classic, written for the 1937 film Waikiki Wedding, is such a gem! And Darlene Ahuna’s version of it is perfect–simple and bright and lively and light. You can’t ask for better than that.

I’m kind of “hooked” on this song. I’ve been singing it all over the place as I make my way around NYC. I wonder what the people on the street think as I’m walking around singing it. Ah… who cares?! It makes me smile!

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

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