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Posts Tagged ‘Legends of Falsetto’

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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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. Kealoha (Benny Kalama’s recording on the album Legends of Falsetto)

A favorite song sung with the FANTASTIC falsetto-stylings of Mr. Benny Kalama = a huge smile on my face when I listen to this recording.

Seriously, gang, this is AWESOME!

Done like a true falsetto crooner, Benny Kalama brings this song to life so beautifully–with all the stylistic intricacies of the era.

If you’re a fan of leo kiʻekiʻe (falsetto singing) you’re going to love this.

*Please click HERE to see an article about Uncle Benny written in 2006.

2. I’ll Remember You (Myrtle K. Hilo’s recording on the album The Singing Cab Driver)

I love this song, written by the amazing Kui Lee.

And I love the super cool, raspy and ono-to-the-ears sound of Aunty Myrtle K. Hilo’s (a.k.a. The Singing Cab Driver’s) voice.

Put ‘em together, along with some awesome Hawaiian lyrics written by Pilahi Paki, and you’ve got an awesome combination.

Magic.  Pure magic.

*Please click HERE to read a fun interview/article featuring Aunty Myrtle from 2002.

3. Kanoe (Robert Cazimero & Halau Na Kamalei’s recording on the album RCHNK)

I was listening to my iPod on “shuffle mode” this week.  And this song took my surprise.  I thought, “What is this?  A Hawaiian men’s chorus?  I didn’t know I had an album like this!”

I was so excited to see that it was a recording by the legendary male hālau hula (hula school) Hālau Nā Kamalei–under the direction of the legendary musician and kumu hula (master hula teacher) Robert Uluwehi Cazimero.

When I got back to my apartment, I went right to my CD stacks to read the album’s liner notes to see who was on the recording as well as any notes that were provided.   Loved it from the first word.  And, of course, that meant I needed to listen to the album again–from start to finish!  (And I loved it, again, from the first note to the last.)

This song, written by Robert Cazimero, stole my heart.  I love it for so many reasons–especially the tenderness in the men’s voices.

*Please click HERE to learn about the exciting and award-winning documentary (by Lisette Kaualena Flanary) about the halau: NĀ KAMALEI: The Men Of Hula.

4. Puko’o Paddle (Lono’s recording on the album Old Style III)

When I think of music on Molokai today, I think of Lono–his voice and songs are so tightly woven in the tapestry of that island.

This song, written by Lono (Lonomusic) is amazing–complexly beautiful and so very simple at the same time.  I know it’s kind of a cliche to say it, but it’s like a sweet onion–with so many layers!  Contemporary music with such a truly “Old Style”-feel to it.

Do you know Lono and his music?  Please check him out.  I love him.

*Please click HERE to visit Lono’s website.

5. Let Us Dream (John Cruz’s recording on the album One of These Days)

I totally dig the music of John Cruz.

Whether he’s singing traditional Hawaiian music or a self-penned contemporary composition like this one, he always put his distinctive spin/sound on it.

This song took me back to my days working in my dad’s jazz club in Pittsburgh.  Sultry.  Smoky.  Cool.  Right on.

*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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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. Mauna Kea (George Kainapau’s recording on the album Legends of Falsetto)

Want to learn how to sing a beautiful and flowing (legato) line?  Studying this recording will teach you, for sure!  The song, attributed to Mokihana Fernandez, is a classic Hawaiian ballad that delights in a slow and sleepy tempo.

And WOW!  The first time I listened to the stellar vocal talents of George Kainapau, I was blown away!  He sings with such control! I’m amazed each and every time.  And his falsetto NEVER waivers–it’s strong ’til the end!  (There’s a good reason he’s referred to as the “Hawaiian Falsetto King!”)  I’m a huge fan–no doubt about it.

2.  Lei ʻOhu (Ata Damasco’s recording on the album Paʻina Hou!)

It’s no secret that I love the amazing voice of Ata Damasco.  His phrasing of the lyrics, his seemingly-effortless falsetto, his joyful spirit–all of that makes for a wonderful recording.  And this song, attributed to George E. Akiu, is yet another fantastic vehicle for Ata’s distinctive sound.

It’s a song that celebrates the islands–each verse honoring a different island.  Upbeat and fun, it brings a smile to my face.

And CONGRATS to Ata on his Na Hoku Hanohano Award this year for his album Somewhere Up Ahead!  (Best Religious Album 2011)

3. Ipo Lei Manu (Lono’s recording on the album Old Style)

Uncle Lono’s voice is a familiar sound on the island of Molokai.  Perhaps that’s why he’s on my mind this week.

I love this classic love song, written by Queen Kapiʻolani for her beloved huband, King Kalākaua.  This song has been recorded by so many artists!  And I love the way Lono delivers it–straightforward and direct.  Haunting and beautiful.

The song’s story (and a brief bio of Queen Kapiʻolani) can be found on the Huapala site–it’s so sad that King Kalākaua never heard its sweet melody…

4.  Makaha (The Kaʻau Crater Boy’s recording on the album Making Waves)

I was delighted to “rediscover” this song this week!  It was one of favorites when I first started listening to Hawaiian music–and it still is!

Written by the amazing Troy Fernandez, the song describes Mākaha, an area on the island of Oʻahu known for its legendary surf scene, and some of its best-known personalities.  (Author Stuart H. Coleman wrote a great book about Mākaha called FIERCE HEART–and it was our first selection in TAHC’s Book Club!  Click HERE to read more.)

The song fuses a Hawaiian vibe and a Jamaican/reggae vibe–a sound that dominated the airwaves when the album was released in 1996.  Contemporary island style!

When I listen to it, I imagine a great party on the beach.  How can you not love that?!

5.  (E Kuʻu) Morning Dew (Ray Kāne’s recording on the album Punahele)

I love kī hoʻalu (slack key guitar) music.  There’s something almost magical about it–something about the sound relaxes my mind, body and spirit.

And this recording by Uncle Ray Kāne is one of my favorites.  The song was written by the legendary Hawaiian musician Eddie Kamae.  (Kāne lists the song as simply “Morning Dew” on the album.)

As I’m writing up the TOP 5 list today, the sun is just coming up here in NYC.  I love looking out my window at a sleepy street.  Granted, I can’t see delicate morning dew from my window–but the song just feels “right” this morning.  Ah…

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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