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Posts Tagged ‘Local Girls’

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. Manowaiopuna (The Royal Hawaiian Serenaders’ recording on the album Legends Of Waikiki)

I love a great vintage recording of a great Hawaiian song, don’t you?

And the Royal Hawaiian Serenaders’ recording of this song, also known as KOʻULA, is one of my favorites.  Their arrangement is simple–nothing flashy or showy (other than the stellar falsetto!) which really allows the beauty of this classic song to shine through.

Triple love it.  True story.

*Please click HERE to read a great bio via the amazing Territorial Airwaves website.

2. Kuʻu Pua Pakalana (Natalie Ai Kamauu’s recording on the album ʻĀ)

For the second week in a row, this song is my obsession.  Still listening to it over and over.  Still singing it when I wake up in the morning.  What do they call that?  An “earworm” right?

(I’m so happy that I still love it and that it’s not driving me crazy by now!)

It’s contemporary and timeless at the same time.

According to the album’s liner notes, she says she wrote it to honor her son, Chaz.

It brings tears to my eyes and warms my heart.

*Please click HERE to visit Natalie’s website.

(** Crooner Note: Congrats to Natalie for her Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award this year: Female Vocalist of the Year!)

3. Nā Vaqueros (Kuana Torres Kahale’s recording on the album Kaunaloa)

I was on the treadmill this week and this song started to play.  I actually stopped the treadmill to look to see who was singing.  I had been zoning out (one of the benefits/hazards of running on a treadmill) and I heard the Spanish lyrics and was confused for a minute… I thought I’d been listening to Kuana Torres Kahele.  Then I recognized the song and had to laugh!

I love it for so many reasons: it’s beautiful, for sure.  It has a strangely familiar feel to it–I hear a lot of Spanish music living in NYC.  So it’s familiar that way.  And yet it also has a traditional hula feel to it, too!  How cool is that?!

*Please click HERE to visit Kuana’s website.

(**Crooner Note: This whole album rocks my world.  And it rocked the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards this year, too!  A giant CONGRATS to Kuana for all of the recognition he received for this outstanding album: Album of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year (Nā Vaqueros) and Liner Notes!  Fantastic!)

4. Over (Keahiwai’s recording on the album Local Girls)

I was feeling homesick for my friends/family on Oʻahu this week.  And this song, recorded by the fantastic duo known as Keahiwai, always takes me back.

It’s totally contemporary–well, it was released in 2001, but that’s contemporary in my world.  A mild “Jawaiian” feel to it.  It makes me want to head out to the North Shore and watch some surfing and catch some time in the sun and sand.  I love how it makes me feel.

It takes me back to happy times, for sure!

5. Waimaka Helelei (Dennis Kamakahi & Stephen Inglis’ recording on the album Waimaka Helelei)

You guys know how much I love Uncle Dennis Kamakahi!  And this song (& album!) that he recorded with Stephen Inglis is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

I think this song will enter into the classic/staple Hawaiian song category very soon.  So simple–yes.  Verses are only 2 lines long.  But so deep!  It pays tribute to the folks that lived at Kalaupapa–the colony for those affected by leprosy (Hansen’s Disease)–located on the island of Molokai.

We’ve needed a song like this for so long.  And finally, it’s here.  A giant MAHALO to Uncle Dennis for writing it.  And to Stephen for sharing his musical gifts.  Individually, they are fantastic musicians.  As a duo, these guys are incredible.

*At the time of this writing, Uncle Dennis shares this song AND the lyrics on his website.  Just click HERE to visit the site and listen to this song!

*Please click HERE to visit Stephen Inglis’ website.

(**Crooner Note:  CONGRATS to Uncle Dennis and Stephen for their Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for this album: Slack Key Album of the Year!  Right on!)

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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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 3 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Waiakanaio (Ledward Kaʻapana’s recording on the album Black Sand)

From what I read, the song was composed by George Huddy for the group Hui ʻOhana. I love how Uncle Led plays this as an instrumental piece–kī hōʻalu-style.

Letʻs face it: the guy is a MASTER musician. And when he plays the 12-string guitar, it shimmers. To me, it’s the sound of light dancing on the surface of the ocean. I love it.

2. Over (Keahiwai’s recording on the album Local Girls)

I have been feeling so nostalgic this week! I found a mix CD that I made from my “extensive” Hawaiian collection when I first started listening to Hawaiian music–and this song kicked it off! Keahiwai was DEFINITELY a huge group at the time. And I couldn’t get enough of their sound.

I remember streaming KCCN FM 100 on the computer at work. I haunted Tower Records here in NYC and combed through their limited Hawaiian selection. I think I bought every CD they had!

Now, for those of you who consider yourselves to be Hawaiian purists and will turn your noses up at Hawaiian “pop” or “Jawaiian” music, please note: A lot of the music we call “traditional” today was once the popular music of the time.

I remember thinking Keahiwai’s music connected me to the islands. Folks were listening to them on Hawaiian radio stations. And I was listening in my apartment in NYC. A bridge between our islands…

You’ll love their tight harmonies. You’ll love their great and catchy hooks. And I’ll bet you’ll find yourself dancing around a bit when you hear it. I do. Their music still makes me smile.

3. Jingle Bells (In Hawaiian) ( Genoa Keawe & Her Hawaiians’ recording on the album Santa’s Gone Hawaiian)

While working at an amusement park one summer, I learned about a tradition that I quickly adopted: Christmas in July! It was so fun to try to create a holiday feeling in the middle of summer. We put up a decorated tree–complete with homemade ornaments because the stores didn’t have any for sale in July!

So… before the month ends, I wanted to keep the tradition alive and listen to some holiday music. This week, I’ve been hooked on a gem of a recording of Aunty Genoa Keawe & Her Hawaiians. It’s truly a classic–and how cool to be able to play the “sounds of yesteryear” using today’s technology!

Classic + Fun = Awesome

What are YOU listening to? Drop me a line and let me know!!

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