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Posts Tagged ‘Genoa Keawe Sings Luau Hulas’

Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Genoa Keawe, Aunty Genoa, Auntie Genoa, Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 5, TOP 5, Hawaiian music,

Today would have been Aunty Genoa Keawe’s 94th birthday.

She is still a daily inspiration to me.

I keep a photo of her on my desk. When I reach my “What on earth am I doing?” moments, I look over at her and remember.  We push on.  I mua.  We share Aloha.  That’s the most important thing.

And to celebrate the anniversary of her birth, I wanted to share with you my TOP 5 Favorite Recordings by Aunty Genoa Keawe.

(P.S. Narrowing it down to only 5 recordings is impossible!  Any one of her recordings could have been on this list!)

LOVE YOU FOREVER, TŪTŪ!

Me ke Aloha pau ʻole.

Jason

***

1. Maile Swing (from the album Hula Hawaiian Style)

A favorite recording of Aunty Genoa. (Perhaps circa 1946?) I’ve read in the album’s liner notes that this is the historic first recording of her sweet singing voice.  And on this recording, the legendary composer, John K. Almeida leads the band.

FANTASTIC!

2. Ipo Hula (from the album Genoa Keawe sings Lūʻau Hulas)

A song composed by another Hawaiian musical legend, Aunty Lena Machado!

The song’s title translates as “Sweetheart Hula” and Aunty Genoa serves it up in her typical hula style!  There’s something magical in the way she presents a hula song–keeping a steady beat and letting the lyrics take on a life of their own–essential when it’s being illustrated through dance.

She is the Queen of Hula Music for a reason!  Nō ka best!

3. Nā Ka Pueo (from the album Party Hulas)

Aunty Genoa rocked the uptempo hulas! Uihā!

This song is attributed to Samuel Kalani Kāʻeo.  Some recordings have the lyrics “No ka Pueokahi…” meaning “Love for the Pueokahi.”  It’s believed this is the original text.  According to the book HE MELE ALOHA, more contemporary versions feature the lyrics as recorded by Aunty Genoa, “Na ka Pueokahi…” meaning “Love from the Pueokahi.”

In any case, I love HER version.  The strum!  The beat!  (And THE VOICE!)

I dare you to listen to it and not jump up to move around.  I dare you…

4. Pua ʻOlena (from the album In The Hula Style)

The last time I had the chance to sing with Aunty Genoa, I prepared this song.  I’ll never forget sitting in the hotel room in Waikīkī and thinking, “I want to sing something really special with her tonight.”  This was the song that came to mind.  And for me, the song will always be associated with her.

Written by James Kalei Kaholokula, Sr, this song is a beautiful ballad.  And Aunty Genoa’s recording always brings a tear to my eye when I hear it.

5. ʻAlika (from the album Aloha to Aloha Grill)

One song that comes to many people’s minds when they hear the name Aunty Genoa Keawe is ʻAlika!  And for good reason, too:  she made this song HER OWN.

How?  Well…

She showed her vocal prowess–with her awesome falsetto stylings!– and her stamina–by holding notes until the cows came home!

In my own collection of discs, I have several recordings of her singing it.  But THIS recording is live.  You can really hear the magic in this one.  It’s almost as good as being there.

A favorite for so many people.  And certainly, a favorite of mine.

But wait!  There’s more!

You can catch the Keawe ʻOhana at their weekly performance in Waikīkī at the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort!  For more information, please click HERE.  (Wait ’til you hear the vocals of her lovely granddaughter, Pomaikaʻi Keawe Lyman.  Unbelievable!  And Aunty Momi and Uncle Gary and Uncle Alan and… and… and…)

And Aunty Genoa’s son, the legendary GARY AIKO, has just released a new album of some of the smoothest music you’ll ever hear.  Please click HERE to visit his site and listen to samples!

And please click HERE to visit the website of Aunty Genoa Keawe.

Do YOU have a favorite Genoa Keawe recording?  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!**

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The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (9.12.12)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

I LOVE HAWAIIAN MUSIC!  True story.

And I listen to it all the time!  Especially when I’m on the move–either walking along NYC’s crowded sidewalks or riding the rails on the subway through the tunnels under the concrete.  (I’m convinced that it helps to keep me sane in this crazy city!)

I love a really wide variety of it: vintage, traditional, contemporary, instrumental…

And I love sharing some of my favorites with you.

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Nani (Aunty Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Genoa Keawe Sings Luau Hulas)

One of my favorite classic hulas!  It opens with the typical “Genoa Keawe” opening–steel guitar and her unmistakable strumming of the ʻukulele.

The song, written by Alice Namakelua, describes someone’s beauty.  I’d always assumed it was a love song.  Only recently, I read the story that she’d written it for a group of young girls–her hula students–imagining their beauty as they grew older.  (How great is that?!)

The song has five verses and each one is rich with descriptive language–words that beg for a hula to illustrate them.

There’s a reason Aunty Genoa is considered to have “set the standard” when it comes to hula music.  She’s simply one of the greatest.  Ever.

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoa’s website.

2. Tewe Tewe (The Brothers Cazimero’s recording on the album The First Two Albums)

Wanna dance?  This classic (and rascal!) hula will make you want to jump up out of your chair!

The song seems to be describing the slipping and sliding and arching of the ʻoʻopu (goby fish).  And wrestling a fish like that can be a lively thing, indeed.

However…  when I’ve heard the elders sing the song and seen them dance the hula, they indicate that there may be a more–well–”rascally” interpretation.  I’ll let you listen to the words and decide for yourself.

The Caz do an awesome job with this song.  Master musicians to the max.  And even though the song has been covered by so many artists, I can’t help but think of The Brothers Cazimero when someone mentions its name.

*Please click HERE to visit the Brothers Cazimero’s page at Mountain Apple Company.

3. Puaʻala (Kainani Kahaunaele’s recording on the album ʻŌhai ʻUla)

There’s something special about a hula that opens with the sounds of piano, right?

This song was written as a mele inoa or name song.  A precious gift, indeed.  According to the album’s liner notes, it was presented to Aunty Aileen Puaʻala Enos on her 70th birthday.

Kainani’s rich voice and smooth delivery knocks my socks off.  Classic and contemporary at the same time.  Traditional and jazzy.

And even if you don’t speak Hawaiian, I’ll wager you’ll be able to feel the spirit of Aloha that emanates from this beautiful song.

*Please click HERE to visit Kainani’s website.

4. Brother’s Got A Problem (Olomana’s recording on the album And So We Are)

The group, Olomana, is a favorite.  And in this song, they’ve captured the sounds of the time (the late 70s) perfectly.

It’s an English language song.  Contemporary.  Some might argue and say that it’s not a Hawaiian song but more of a pop song.  Being that it’s done by Olomana, it’s Hawaiian to me.  And there is that unmistakable-yet-impossible-to-describe “island sound” to it.

When I first went to Molokai, I was singing in a kanikapila (jam session) with the amazing Kevin Brown.  He asked me to sing another Hawaiian classic and then inserted this song–a verse of each at a time–making a medley.  Right there on the spot.  It was one of the most magical times of my musical life.  Jamming with a Hawaiian legend.  And making music on the spot.  A moment that can never be repeated–but one that plays over and over in my mind.

*Please click HERE to visit Olomana’s website.

5. Safe Passage (John Keawe’s recording on the album Hawai’i Island Is My Home)

I’m hooked.  It’s still on my list this week.  Can’t stop listening!

New Yorkers aren’t the only ones who feel stress.  You get stressed out, too, right?

One of things I love to do when I’m stressed out is put on some amazing kī hōʻalu, slack key guitar, music.  It soothes me.  Reaches down inside me and acts a pressure release.  Seriously.  I can feel my shoulders drop away from my ears…

And when it’s played by an amazingly gifted and skilled musician like John Keawe… wow!

This is one of those instrumental tracks where you are completely transported–the voice of the guitar tells the story.

Ah.

*Please click HERE to visit John’s website.

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!**

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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!**

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