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Posts Tagged ‘Keola Beamer’

Aloha kākou!

Here’s this week’s question:

Which artist recently released an album called MĀLAMA KO ALOHA (Keep Your Love)?

A. WELDON KEKAUOHA

B. GARY AIKO

C. AMY HĀNAIALIʻI

D. KEOLA BEAMER

• Please submit your answer by posting a reply to this entry on the blog.
• All correct answers will be eligible to win a special email message from me.
• One winner will be randomly chosen at 11:59pm HST.

Will YOU be this week’s lucky winner?

Good Luck!

Aloha Poʻalima! Happy Aloha Friday!

*Crooner Update:

Wow!  You all continually amaze me…

The correct answer is D. KEOLA BEAMER.

(Note: Please click HERE to visit Keola’s website!)

And this week’s winner, chosen randomly from all of the correct answers is… (Drum roll, please…) LINDA CANNIZZO!  Congrats, Linda!  That makes you this week’s Trivia Superstar!

Mahalo to everyone who played along this week!  And I hope you’ll play along next week, too.

Happy Weekend, gang.

A hui hou…

Jason

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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!

**Crooner Note:  This week’s TOP 5 is dedicated with love to the memory of a good friend, Braddah Allan.  Mahalo for encouraging me…  and for celebrating Hawaiian music and culture.  We miss you.

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

1. Niʻihau ( Kai Davis’ recording on the album Legends of Falsetto)

I was feeling like I needed a good, solid dose of AMAZING Hawaiian falsetto singing today.  And I turned to Uncle Kai Davis–one of the best.  Hands down.

And this song is so outrageously wonderful–simple with verses that are only two lines long.  A simple chord structure.  And yet it evokes the essence of the islands INSTANTLY.

I am fascinated by the island of Niʻihau and hope to be able to visit there someday.  Until then, I’m happy to listen to Uncle Kai’s voice sing its praises.

2. Paniolo Country (Melveen Leed’s recording on the album Melveen’s Hawaiian Country Hits)

My mom’s family lives in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Country music is a driving force in that terrain.  I remember listening to awesome story songs when I’d go there to visit as a kid.

When I first heard Hawaiian music, I instantly recognized the similarities.  A story presented in language of the people, for the people.

And Aunty Melveen Leed, with her signature voice and amazing Hawaiian-country style, marries the two beautifully!  This song talks about “Paniolo country” or Hawaiian cowboy country.  A nod to her Molokai roots, maybe?

Love the song.  Love her.

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Melveen’s page at Tidal Wave Entertainment, Inc.

3. Hualālai (Nā Palapalai’s recording on the album Ka Pua Hae Hawaiʻi)

Wanna hear voices that soar into the stratosphere?  Check out this recording!

It’s no secret: I LOVE NĀ PALAPALAI!  They keep that “old-style” Hawaiian music alive and in the public eye–and ear!

This track, written by Uncle Dennis Kamakahi, is a favorite for sure.  Their arrangement of it rocks.  True story!

*Please click HERE to visit Nā Palapalai’s website.

4. Hawaiian Eyes (Jon Osorio & Randy Borden’s recording on the album Hawaiian Eyes)

You guys know how much I love a good ’70′s vibe.  And this song–complete with some killer jazz flute!–rocks me to my core!

And yes… this song was on the list from last week, but IT’S STILL ROCKING MY CORE THIS WEEK.

This is an instant “feel good” song for me.  I can’t help it–I start swaying and my neck starts swinging.  Awesome!

And the “hand claps” section that comes in on the chorus = over the top awesomeness!

5. Old Man Pueo (Keola Beamer’s recording on the album Island Born)

I needed some Keola Beamer music in my world this week.

And I love this song–the story of how he encountered Old Man Pueo–a Hawaiian owl.

This song talks about yearning to be free.  And sometimes NYC can feel kind of–well–restricting.  So many people.  So many obligations.  I understand that craving.  I get it.

Mahalo, Keola,for sharing this song–both its story and your wonderful musicianship.

*Please click HERE to visit Keola’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″ (2.8.12)

Wednesday, February 8, 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. Wahine Uʻi (Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenader’s recording on the album The Wandering Troubadours)

I needed a good dose of vintage Hawaiian music this week and I looked to one of my favorites, Mr. Andy Cummings.  His style is so classy!  That falsetto of his–wow!  And the sultry sound of the lap steel guitar… so good!

The song, attributed to John K. Almeida, is a favorite, too.  The title says it all, Beautiful Woman.  (Or perhaps the song praises several beautiful women?!)

A classic and a favorite.

*Please click HERE to read Square One’s bio page of Andy Cummings.

2. Hanohano Hawaiʻi (The Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album The Folk Music of Hawaiʻi)

A classic, traditional Hawaiian song done in a classic and traditional Hawaiian way!  And who better to do that than Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaiʻi?

The song sings of four of the main/major Hawaiian islands (Hawaiʻi, Maui, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi) and tells of the flower associated with that island.

I needed this song this week.  Something simple that I could strum and sing along with.

Right on.

*Please click HERE to read a tribute page about the Sons of Hawaiʻi.

3. Ā ʻOia (The Kahauanu Lake Trio’s recording on the album He Aloha Nō ʻO Honolulu)

I love this song, don’t you?

Attributed to John K. Almeida, this song’s title proclaims, “That’s it!”  The uptempo classic bounces along and compels the listener to smile.  The singer tells his/her intended that they will win them over.  (Or that they already have won them over!)

And when it’s done by Uncle K. and the Trio, you know it’s being done by the best.  Triple love their recording of it!

I love to see this hula, too!  I’ve seen many hula groups use pūʻili, split bamboo, when they dance this song.  Fantastic!

*Please click HERE to read a classic article about Uncle K. from the Starbulletin archives.

4. Haleʻiwa Hula (Aunty Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Hulas of Hawaiʻi)

If I’m ever feeling down or depressed (or suffering from “winter blues”) I know that Aunty Genoa’s voice will pick me right up and help me find my smile.

Her unmistakable haʻi (female version of Hawaiian falsetto sings) is the best there is.  And I’m convinced you can hear the smile in her voice when she sings!

This song, written by Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom’s grandmother, Jennie Wood, is a hula classic.  And it’s a song every Hawaiian musician should know!

LOVE IT!

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

5.  ’Neath One Big Tin Roof (Aunty Nona Beamer & Keola Beamer’s recording on the album The Golden Lehua Tree)

This story and song brings tears to my eyes when I hear it.  I love it, for sure.  And it brings such wonderful memories to mind.

I first heard this song at Aloha Music Camp when I attended it in 2007 when it was on the island of Molokai.  Aunty Nona, Keola, Moanalani and Kaliko all presented it one evening after the classes and workshops had finished for the day.  Seeing them all together, singing and laughing and telling this charming story of a giant family–comprised of all sorts of creatures!–is an image I’ll hold in my heart forever.

Aunty Nona has left an amazing legacy.  And it’s inspiring to watch her family carry on her work.  And to see all of the seeds that she planted in folks over the years taking root and flourishing.

I’m so thankful for this recording.

**A giant “ALOHA!” to everyone at Aloha Music Camp this week.  I’m there strumming and singing with you in spirit.**

*Please click HERE to visit Aloha Music Camp’s official website.

*Please click HERE to visit Keola’s website.

*Please click HERE to visit Kaliko Beamer-Trapp’s website.

*Please click HERE to visit the Mohala Hou Foundation’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″ (12.21.11)

Wednesday, December 21, 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. Mahina O Hoku (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album Keiki Kupuna)

One of my favorite songs (a crooner classic!) recorded by one of my favorite singers.  Kind of a perfect combination, wouldn’t you say?

This song, attributed to Lilian Awa, talks about the night before the full moon.  Two lovers.  A secluded beach.  (Dot…dot…dot…)

In this version, Uncle Dennis presents the song with his beautiful leo kiʻekiʻe (falsetto) in a soothing way.  And he presents each verse two times–a hula dancer’s dream.  Note:  He doesn’t sing the third verse that’s sometimes included.

I love the golden crooning of Uncle Dennis Pavao.  I’m so glad we have his recordings–we can still thrill to his voice.

•Please click HERE to see a tribute page to Uncle Dennis Pavao.

2. Hiʻilawe (Ernie Tevares’ recording on the album Hukilau Hulas)

I was on the treadmill at the gym the other day and this version of the classic song, Hiʻilawe, came on.  It was different from others that I was familiar with.  Bouncier.  I loved it.  I loved it so much that I had to look to see who recorded it.  (Note to self: Stop the treadmill before attempting to read anything.  I practically wiped out!)

Only after I got home and searched the internet did I learn about the amazing musician, Ernie Tevares.  I’m blown away by what I read about him.   Coming from a classical “conservatory background”, I’m always so humbled when I learn about self-taught musicians that are so talented they’d make the best “conservatory trained” musicians bow down to their abilities.  I wish I could be like that!

This is a great recording and one I will go back to again and again.  And it’s bouncy tempo made for some great listening time while I was running!

*Please click HERE to read a little bit about Ernie Tevares and his brother, Freddie.

3. Panini Puakea (Israel Kamakwiwoʻole’s recording on the album Facing Future)

Ah!  This recording brings back such memories!

Like so many folks, Facing Future was one of my very first Hawaiian albums.  I remember listening to it–and THIS SONG in particular!–in my tiny studio apartment in NYC’s Lower East Side.  Ok… it was really more like a closet.  But when this song played, it felt like the whole space opened up.  Even a gloomy NYC winter’s day became sunny.

Long before I had dreams of even visiting Hawaii, I loved this song. And the healing sounds of Braddah IZ’s voice and ʻukulele.

The song, attributed to John K. Almeida, talks about a favorite flower.  And I think it would be easy for one to see the similarities between the flower and a beloved.  But that’s just my take on it…

Magical, indeed.

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

4. Falling (Keahiwai’s recording on the album Satisfied)

Listening to Keahiwai takes me back to the first time I went to Hawaiʻi.  I’d gone to Oʻahu for a friend’s wedding.  We were cruising around Waikīkī and I heard their music a lot on the radio.  My hula/ʻukulele friends and I had been listening to their debut album, Local Girls, a lot.  But the sound made so much sense when I got to Oʻahu and breathed the same air, saw the same sights, tasted the same tastes, heard the same sounds.

(It was on that trip that I also learned a lot of the music that made sense to my ears in NYC seemed loud and grossly out of place in Hawaiʻi!)

Simple.  Sweet.  Awesome.  (Makes me wanna close my eyes and sway.)

*Please click HERE to visit the Keahiwai’s official website. (And let ‘em know we miss them and want more music!)

5. Keʻala’s Mele (Leonard Kwan’s recording on the album Hawaiian Slack Key Masters Vol. 1)

This album served as my introduction to kī hōʻalu (slack key guitar) and I still love it.  What a great collection of so many amazingly talented musicians!

This track, recorded by the incredibly gifted Mr. Leonard Kwan, is pretty close to heaven.  I mean, I imagine this is what heaven must sound like.  The guitar is “honeyed’ and golden and sparkles.  The way light might dance along the water.

Love it.  And I love the way it makes me feel… (So thankful for recordings like this!)

*Please click HERE to read Leonard’s bio from Dancing Cat Records.

**Christmas Bonus Song:  Do You Hear What I Hear (Keola Beamer’s recording on the album Kī Hōʻalu Christmas)

This “traditional” Christmas song is magical.  And Keola’s recording captures the magic and mystery of Christmas for me. It brings to mind all sorts pictures–wise men following a star.  A deep blue-indigo night.  If something could be called perfect, this is it.

(**Crooner Note:  The whole album is fantastic!  This is something that plays all season in our home!)

*Please click HERE to visit Keola’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″ (11.16.11)

Wednesday, November 16, 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. Kalalea (Ed Kenney’s recording on the album MY HAWAII)

Another legendary Hawaiian crooner, that I listen to all the time (and study his every vocal move!) is Ed Kenney.  A giant MAHALO to a very kind and generous Hawaiian woman at a picnic in NYC a few years ago.  She said I needed to track down some of his recordings and listen to them.  No need to tell me twice!  I tracked down a few of his albums and quickly understood why she’d recommended him to me.  His voice is smooth and graceful and oh, so elegant.  A treat for the ears!

This song celebrates the island of Kauaʻi–and the cliffs that overlook Anahola.

I first heard this song at a “backyard jam session” kanikapila.  It was delicious and oozed island flavor.  And then I heard Ed Kenney’s version which is totally different.  It has the same melody, but none of the roughness.  It’s smooth.  Polished.  Orchestrated.  It totally celebrates the era it was recorded in–the late 1950s.

Both versions are great.  This week, I swooned as he crooned.  Right on.

2. Lei Lokelani (The Kahauanu Lake Trio’s recording on the album At the Kaimana Beach Hotel)

I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of listening to the amazing recordings of the Kahauanu Lake Trio.  I mean, come on!  Does it really get much better than that?

This song, attributed to Charles E. King, describes a lei made of the lovely lokelani or Maui rose.  It’s not difficult to infer that perhaps the kaona–or “hidden meaning”–might be the comparison of the flower to a beloved.

 

Even though the song is about the Maui rose, this recording takes me to Waikīkī instantly, sitting oceanside and listening to Hawaiian music while watching the sunset.  Ah!

*Please click HERE to read a great article written about Uncle K. from 2003.

3. Honolulu Blue and Green (Melveen Leed’s recording on the album Melveen’s Hawaiian Country Hits)

Aunty Melveen’s voice rocks!  I love its texture–kind of rough and playful and smoky and sultry–all at the same time.  I’ve tried to describe it to friends and the closest comparison I can come up with is that it’s similar to the sound of Dusty Springfield.  But Aunty Melveen’s voice is totally unique.  Totally beautiful.  Totally hers.

This song, sung entirely in English (except for the Hawaiian place names) is a great tune that Aunty Melveen brings to life so beautifully.  I’ve heard stories about how she went to Nashville–and I imagine her singing this song while she was there and homesick for her beloved islands.  Wondering why she’d ever left and dreaming about her homecoming.

It’s got a great 1960s feel is both country and Hawaiian at the same time.  (I always say that Hawaiian music and country music are close cousins!)

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

4. Keawaiki (Keola & Kapono Beamer’s recording on the album Hawaii’s Keola & Kapono Beamer)

From the opening notes of the guitar, you can tell this is a Beamer family recording–their distinctive style comes through loud and clear.

And what’s most exciting about this recording is that it takes an old classic song like Keawaiki and puts a somewhat contemporary spin on it–with modern (at least for the time!) instrumentation and phrasing.  The album was originally release in 1975,  during a time when Hawaiʻi was undergoing a huge renaissance and re-claiming a sense of cultural identity and pride.  How exciting to see a duo of young brothers recording a classic song and releasing it for broad/wide audience.

When I pulled this CD from my collection and looked at the cover, my heart “squeezed” a little bit.  When I look at the faces of Keola and Kapono, I can see the face of their mother, Aunty Nona Beamer.  I miss her.  But seeing her in her sons’ faces makes me smile, too.  Like she’s not really gone.  Her line continues… not only in her family, but in those that she taught and in those that she touched.

*Please click HERE to visit Keola’s website.

*Please click HERE to visit Kapono’s website.

5. ʻOhana Slack Key (Rev. Dennis Kamakahi’s recording on the album ʻOhana)

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

And I love the music of Uncle Dennis.  (That’s also no secret!  Ha!)

This week, I wanted to close my eyes while I listened to this song.  We used to do that in music classes when I was in elementary school.  It allowed for deep listening.  And sometimes, it allowed us to “see pictures” in our minds–creating scenes that followed the sounds we were hearing.

When I closed my eyes to listen to this song, the image that came to mind was a group of people having a conversation.  A dialogue.  With activity happening in the background.  Pretty interesting that the song is called ʻOhana Slack Key–ʻohana being the Hawaiian word for family.

Pops tells stories about growing up in Hālawa Valley on Molokai.  When the family was done eating, often times there would be a kanikapila, a music session.  I imagine conversations happening, music playing and activity like cleaning up after the meal–all happening at the same time.  Peaceful yet active.  Just like this song.  Different voices and different energies moving together.  Weaving together.

Awesome.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Dennis’ 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!

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Nauapaka, Caren Loebel-Fried, Nona Beamer, Keola Beamer, Kaliko Beamer-Trapp, book club

The Crooner's Book Club's Reading Selection for September 2011

Aloha, gang!

I’m hoping you all have enjoyed savoring Nona Beamer’s NAUPAKA during the month of September.  (I sure have!)  How many times did you read it?  I read it at least a dozen times through and listened to it about a bazillion times.

Yup.  A bazillion times.

(I have the book open on my lap, right now, as I’m typing this blog post.  It’s a joy to read it every time!)

Here are my thoughts:

The Story:  It’s a classic tale of forbidden love.  A princess falls in love with a commoner.  And at that time in their culture, that love is kapu, taboo/forbidden.  Ah!  So tragic!  And while this storyline isn’t uniquely “Hawaiian” it does have some AWESOME points that make it Hawaiian.  A story that deals with a kapu, or taboo.  The lovers consult the kūpuna, the elders, when they need advice.  They eventually consult with a kahuna, a priest, who tells them that the Hawaiian gods must decide.  And then they receive the tragic “verdict” via a hōʻailona, an omen/sign–and this one was found like so many signs in Hawaiʻi–via the natural elements..

And the story, itself, helps to explain the naupaka flower–the flower found in 2 complete halves, one on the beach and one in the uplands.  I love a legend that explains something in nature. One of my more “scholarly friends” subscribes to the theory that people see things in nature and then create stories/myths/legends to explain it.  I appreciate his scientific approach.  And I still enjoy the romance of the story and the traditional legend that surrounds the flower’s origins.  I love it all.

The Language:  I love how Aunty Nona tells a rather “mature” story with complex themes in language that wouldn’t alienate a child.  I love that her voice is the voice of beloved teacher–both on the page as well as the recording!  It’s got a nice mix of English and Hawaiian–much like one would hear when talking with Hawaiian kūpuna (elders).  The two languages are so often lovingly braided together in a conversation.

The Hawaiian translation, provided by master linguist (and Aunty Nona’s hānai son!) Kaliko Beamer-Trapp, makes the book a valuable resource for both Hawaiian language speakers and students, alike.  Having the text in both in English and Hawaiian on the same page has given me an opportunity to read (and reread!) the story–each time in a different language.

The Art: Caren Loebel-Fried is one of my all-time favorite artists.  And we share a love for our beloved teacher, Aunty Nona Beamer.  When I read Aunty Nona’s words (and listen to her voice via the recording) I immediately picture Caren’s stunning artwork.  Her style compliments Aunty Nona’s words and presence.  It’s strong–yet still feminine.  It’s powerful.  It’s got stong mana.  A perfect combination.  (I hope to interview my buddy, Caren, in an upcoming blog post.  Please stay tuned for that!)

The Recording:  Ah.  This is the part that has been the most difficult to write about.  Why?  Well, I miss Aunty Nona so much.  She passed away in 2008 and I miss hearing her voice.  However, thanks to this recording, I can bask in her golden tones, again.  Simply by pushing PLAY.  The recording was originally made for her story album The Golden Lehua Tree.  It’s been a favorite for years.  Aunty Nona’s voice, her distinct style of storytelling AND the music of her son, Keola Beamer, makes a perfect listening treat.  So I listen to it and I’m happy.  And I’m equally sad that she’s no longer here.  But mostly, I smile… her voice is delicious to my ears.  And Keola’s musical accompaniment provides the perfect “soundscape” for the stories.

So… that leads to the final question:  Is this a children’s book?

My gut says NO.  At least, not exclusively.  Could a child listen to the story and appreciate it?  Absolutely.  Could an adult “see more”/have more insights into the story?  Absolutely.

I can think of a more fitting question:  Is this a book that should be treasured by people of all ages?

And instantly, my heart says, “YES!”

What are YOUR thoughts on the book?

**Note:  Due to a research project that is taking up an incredible amount of time, I’m taking a brief break from The Crooner’s Book Club.  I look forward to selecting another title soon.  And I’d love to hear suggestions for the next selection from YOU!  Please drop me a line to let me know what you think we should read next!

* Please click HERE to visit Kaliko Beamer-Trapp’s website.

* Please click HERE to visit Caren Loebel-Fried’s website.

* Please click HERE to visit Keola Beamer’s website.

* Please click HERE to visit the Mohala Hou Foundation’s website.

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