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Posts Tagged ‘Lei Pua Kenikeni’

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. Kaʻu Nui ( The Kahauanu Lake Trio’s recording on the album At the Halekulani Hotel)

Oh!  That’s the  song!

This song is familiar to many people.  I’d certainly heard it before, but I wasn’t aware of the title.  (Too often, that’s the case:  I listened to so much Hawaiian music before I started to understand the language.  Unfortunately, that meant I was familiar with a song’s melody, but had no way to look it up!  Ah–another benefit to knowing even a little bit of Hawaiian!)

The song, written by Mary Kawena Pukui and Maddy Lam, celebrates the district of Kau on the island of Hawaii.  It describes the amazing land and it’s beauty.  I love songs that teach me about an area!  The best way to learn!

And the Kahauanu Lake Trio’s rendition has got a “swing” to it that will get into your bones!

(A special “shout out” to the students at Molokai High School who sang this Nā Mele O Maui song competition earlier this year, which honored the music of Uncle Kahauanu Lake.  Right on, gang!  You all sounded FANTASTIC!)

*Please click HERE to read Uncle K’s page on the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame’s website.

2. Rain Liʻiliʻi (Mark Yamanaka’s recording on the album Lei Pua Kenikeni)

Listening to my iPod on “shuffle mode” this week, this song caught me off guard. When it first started,  I thought it was Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaiʻi.  (That ʻono steel guitar!  Sweet!)  And then I heard Mark Yamanaka’s distinctive voice.  What a treat to be surprised!

Wanna know why it might have that “old-school” kanikapila-style sound?  Well, it was written by one of my favorite composers, the one and only Rev. Dennis Kamakahi!  And Uncle Dennis wrote and recorded many of his compositions while he was a part of the Sons of Hawaiʻi.  Turns out, it’s no coincidence, at all!

I love the song.  And I love Mark’s wonderful rendition.  Right on!

*Please click HERE to visit Mark’s page at Reverbnation.

3. Aleamai (Kuʻuipo Kumukahi’s recording on the album Nā Hiwa Kupuna O Kuʻu One Hānau)

I can’t get enough of  Kuʻuipo Kumukahi’s voice.  Gentle yet powerful.  When she hits those low notes, wow… it resonates deep in my body.  My naʻau–my gut.  I can feel it!

A song to celebrate where her family home is, not too far from Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island.  It’s got that distinctive hula-feel.  I wonder if it’s been danced as a hula!  If I close my eyes, I can see one, for sure.

Her music inspires me to try to write my own song.  And her voice inspires me to sing.  Mahalo for that!

*Please click HERE to visit Kuʻuipos’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!

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. Kāʻanapali Sunset (solo ʻukulele version) (Herb Ohta Jr’s recording on the album ʻUkulele Dream)

Herb Ohta, Jr. playing a solo ʻukulele with his amazingly skilled hands.

Perfection.

For realz.  Check it out.

(For a simple strummer like me, I can’t even imagine ever being able to play like this… Wow!)

*Please click HERE to visit Herb Ohta Jr’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″ (1.4.12)

Wednesday, January 4, 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. Hawaiian Love Call (Alfred Aholo Apaka’s recording on the album My Isle of Golden Dreams)

It’s no secret:  I love the voice the golden voice of the legendary crooner, Alfred Aholo Apaka.  He has a way of delivering a song that can make me stop in my tracks and just listen.  How amazing is that?!

This song, attributed to Aunty Irmgard Farden Aluli, is a classic. And this recording, which opens with the sound of a harp(!) is a classic, too.  Beautiful orchestration.  Beautiful background vocals that take part in a kind of call and response, both in English and Hawaiian.  And of, course, the voice of Alfred Apaka.

A perfect combination!

2. Nani Koʻolau (Robi Kahakalau’s recording on the album Keiki O Ka Āina)

I dare you listen to this song without a breaking a smile!

The incredible Troy Fernandez and his ʻukulele stylings open the track with a bouncy beat, guaranteed to make you tap your feet.

I love Sistah Robi’s voice–its smoky huskiness that tickles the ear.  (I have a friend here in NYC that sounds like Robi when she speaks.  Sometimes I ask her to repeat herself when she speaks–not because I didn’t hear her, but because I want to hear her again!  Ha!)

And this song, written by Abbey Kong, is a smile-inducing three minute ride of fun.

*Please click HERE to visit Sistah Robi’s website.

3. Kīhei (Mark Yamanaka’s recording on the album Lei Pua Kenikeni)

I have been LOVING this song this week.

It’s a classic song written by the legendary Kai Davis.  The song celebrates the beauty of the district of Kīhei on the island of Maui.  When you listen to it, I’ll bet you can imagine a great hula being danced to illustrate the lyrics.

And when Mark Yamanaka brings his smooth and effortless falsetto to the song, it ROCKS! (At least he makes it sound effortless!)  His sound excites me–it makes me want to listen more.  Im sure Im just one of his legion of fans–this guy can SING!!  Uihā!

*Please click HERE to visit Mark’s page at Reverbnation.

4. ʻO ʻOe Nō (Kūpaoa’s recording on the album English Rose)

When I heard this song, I got choked up.  I’ll be the first to admit that my Hawaiian language skills are rudimentary.  But you don’t need to be able to speak Hawaiian in order to understand the sentiment.

A song written for her beloved, Kalikolihau professes her love so beautifully.  When I sat down with the lyrics in front of me, it brought tears to my eyes.  And the way they trade parts–one singing harmony for while and then switching to carry the melody.  You can tell they love each other so much–their voices blend seamlessly. (There were moments where I was reminded of another favorite contemporary Hawaiian duet with close vocal harmonies, Kaʻena–recorded by Amy Hānanialiʻi Gilliom and Fiji on Amy’s album, Puʻuhonua.)

LOVE THIS!

*Please click HERE to visit Kūpaoa’s website.

5. Ka ʻŌpae (The Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album Yesterday and Today)

When you want the sound of old Hawaiʻi–you know… the kind of music that could be played at a backyard paʻina (party)or a kanikapila (Hawaiian-style jam session)–where do you go?  The Sons of Hawaiʻi!

This song, written (and sung, too!) by Dennis Kamakahi is like a fest for my hungry ears.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting ready to head back to the islands and I’m getting excited.  But I was really looking for something to give me what I was looking for.  And this song did it.  Right on!

*Please click HERE to visit the Sons of Hawaiʻi’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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