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Posts Tagged ‘Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai’

The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (9.19.12)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner


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. Ei Nei (Lena Machado’s recording on the album Hawaiian Song Bird)

One of my favorite voices from the past is Aunty Lena Machado.  And while her voice and this song are both considered to be vintage by some folks, in my mind they’re also timeless.

One of my favorite things to hear when I’m on Molokai is when one of the kūpuna (elders) calls out so sweetly to someone across the room, “Hui!  Ei nei… aloha!  Aloha mai!”  (“You there!  Darling!  Love from me to you!”)

There’s a great story in the book, LENA MACHADO: SONGBIRD OF HAWAI’I that describes Aunty Lena’s relationship with her husband, Uncle Lu.

Listening to the song takes me back to when I was a little boy, staying in my grandparents’ house in Pennsylvania.  After dinner was finished and the dishes had been washed, they’d turn out the overhead lights and the kitchen would be lit by a tiny light over the sink.  We’d all go into the other room to watch television, with my grandparents holding hands while they walked.

Ei nei…

2. Nā ʻOno O Ka ʻĀina (Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole’s recording on the album Hiʻipoi I Ka ʻĀina Aloha)

I love this album and I love this particular track.  Here’s why:

This piece is dedicated to Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole and inspired by her song, Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai as well as her teachings.  The composition, attributed to Kalani Meinecke and George Kahumoku in the album’s liner notes, describes different types of taros (Aunty Edith’s favorites) and is done like a hymeni-style (hymn-like) chant with beautiful vocal harmonies.

The last verse of the piece will be instantly recognizable to so many people as the group HAPA used it to close their legendary recording of Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai.

Note to self: I need to make this part of my repertoire!

*Please click HERE to visit the website of the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation.

3. A Lei Of Aloha (Moe Keale’s recording on the album Imagine)

Wanna hear a beautiful song that really describes the spirit of Aloha?  This is it.

Incredibly simple–and yet so deep. How do you describe the Aloha spirit?  Well, this song’s lyrics do a great job of illustrating something so easily felt but so difficult to put into words.

And who better to sing it than Uncle Moe Keale?  His voice… his voice…

I’ve been listening to this song on repeat.  I like to think that the more I listen, the more it sinks into my bones.

*Please click HERE to visit a page that display’s the song’s lyrics.

4. One Day Soon (Ernie Cruz Jr’s recording on the album Portaits)

Oooh!  This song is smooth!

And that awesome slap-strum that makes such a fun beat!  I bet you can’t listen to it without moving your body.  I find myself snapping along while I listen–like I’m back in my father’s jazz club.

The song reminds me of a Stevie Wonder tune.  Old-school soul groove all the way–island style.  Love it.

5. Noenoe (Cyril Pahinui’s recording on the album 6 & 12 String Slack Key)

When I’m stressed out, I 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…

This song, played by the one and only Cyril Pahinui, is like listening to the soundtrack of a dream.  Ah!  Those arpeggios!  The notes mix and swirl like colors on an artist’s palette.

A true master, he bends the strings and the rhythms under his skilled fingers.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Cyril’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 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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What are your “GO TO” songs?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Here’s a question for YOU:

What are your “Go To” songs?

Know what I mean?  Those songs that you love so much–either to sing ‘em or to play ‘em or both! 

Those songs that when you pick up your instrument, you automatically sing ‘em because they make you feel good.  Or maybe it’s because they sound  really good.  Or maybe they are a real workout for you and you use ‘em like a warm-up to get you loose and limber.

What are your “GO TO” songs?

For example:  When I first tune up the ʻukulele, I often strum/sing the Israel Kamakawiwoʻole arrangement of KA PUA UʻI that he sings on his album, Facing Future.  The song’s chord progression allows me to hear the ʻukulele in all of its glory–and I can quickly tell if I’m in tune!

When someone asks me to sing a Hawaiian song, I usually ask ‘em if they want a fast(er) song or slow(er) song.  

If they choose fast(er), I’ll often strum/sing Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole’s KA ULUWEHI O KE KAI.  It’s fun to listen to.  It tells a story and it’s not toooo vocally demanding so that I can have fun singing it.

If they chose a slow(er) song, I’ll often strum/sing something like the hula classic, ALOHA KAUAʻI.  I think the song allows for a lot of cool crooner-isms and I love exploring it.  Simple and challenging all at the same time.

And when I’m at a party and someone asks me to share a song in a song-circle, I usually call out Rev. Dennis Kamakahi’s WAHINE ʻILIKEA.  It acts as an immediate touchstone for me.  It takes me to the island of Molokai in my mind.  Takes me to Hālawa Valley.  It grounds me.  And it instantly takes away any nervousness that I may be feeling.

What do YOU sing and/or strum when you’re asked to share a song?  What songs do YOU sing in the shower or in the privacy of your car (with/without the windows rolled up!)