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Posts Tagged ‘Raiatea Helm’

The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (10.3.12)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

I LOVE HAWAIIAN MUSIC!  True story.

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. ʻUla Nōweo (The Brothers Kanilau’s recording on the album Mele Oli)

Sometimes I feel like I need to look to Hawaiʻi’s older songs. I mean really old. Sometimes I need to listen to a chant.  An oli.

I really enjoy this recording of a well-known (and often danced!) chant that was written to honor the Kauaʻi chief, Kamohaʻi.  I love the percussive instruments that they use–it sounds like an ipu heke (double headed gourd) and at least one ʻuli ʻuli (gourd rattle).  And on the repeat of the verse, the Brothers Kanilau join voices and chant/sing in harmony.

I love it.  It satisfies that need.

2. Kimo Hula (Raiatea Helm’s recording on the album Far Away Heaven)

I remember the first time I heard this recording.  I thought, “This is the voice of an angel.”  And even now when I listen to it, that’s the thought that springs to my mind.

The song is a favorite.  Written by Helen Desha Beamer to honor Kimo and Leimakani Henderson, the song is essentially a musical “thank you” note–written to honor the couple and to thank them for their hospitality.

This recording appears on Raiatea’s debut album.  Her voice embodies innocence and purity.

One word to describe it? Lovely.

*Please click HERE to visit the Raiatea’s website.

3. Ginger Blossom (Natalie ʻAi Kamauu’s recording on the album ʻI)

I love hula music, don’t you?

And who better to sing a song than the composer, right?  Especially when the composer is the songbird, Natalie ʻAi Kamauu.

Trust me when I tell you that if you listen to this with your eyes closed, you’ll see visions of hula dancers and you’ll smell the sweet ginger blossoms on the breeze.

*Please click HERE to visit Natalie’s website.

4. Rainy Day Song (Country Comfort’s recording on the album We Are The Children)

Maybe it’s because of the weather lately.  The nip of autumn in the air.  Maybe it’s because we’ve had some rain here in NYC.

This song has really resonated with me this week.  Not only because of its AWESOME 1970′s vibe, but also because of it’s lyrics–we have blue skies sometimes, and other times the rain’s gotta fall.

The mellow vibe, the vocal harmonies–when I close my eyes, it takes me Molokai, driving along the road from the airport in Hoʻolehua to Kaunakakai.  Mountains on one side. The ocean on the other.  And Molokai’s huge sky overhead.

Right on.

(A MAHALO to Dennen for encouraging me to listen to some Country Comfort tunes this week!)

5. Inward Journey (Anthony Natividad’s recording on the album Ahupuaʻa)

I love the sound of the ʻohe hano ihu, the Hawaiian bamboo nose flute.  It does something wonderful to my head.  It makes my scalp tingle.  I imagine both hemispheres of my muddled brain begin to resonate in harmony.

And Anthony Natividad’s masterful playing is STELLAR!  I mean… WOW! (And on this recording, you get to hear 2 flutes at once!)

I was listening to this song with my eyes closed to see what images came to mind.  Immediately, I thought of walking along the trails up the mountainside in Hālawa.  The sacredness of the land.  The trees. The rocks. The ancient footpaths.

Do you have this album?  It’s a MUST HAVE.  For real.  You’ll love it, too.

*Please click HERE to visit Anthony’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!

Here’s this week’s question:

What is the name of Raiatea Helm’s first solo album?

(Hint: It was released in 2002.)

A. FAR AWAY HEAVEN

B. SWEET & LOVELY

C. HAWAIIAN BLOSSOM

D. SEA OF LOVE

• 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:

Y’all amaze me.  Every week.  Right on.

Yes!  The answer is A.  Far Away Heaven.  It’s a great debut from this oh-so-talented lady.  Wow.  (Please click HERE if you’d like to check out the album!)

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

Mahalo for playing this week, gang!  And I hope you’ll take the challenge again next week, too.

Happy Weekend.

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!

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

1. May Day Is Lei Day in Hawaiʻi (Gary Aiko’s recording on the album Hula Hou)

Aunty Genoa Keawe’s son, GARY AIKO, sings this fantastic song on her album, Hula Hou.

Gary’s voice is a favorite of mine. A true Hawaiian crooner–he knows how to use the voice to be smooth and elegant and classy.  To ‘da max!  I love his albums!

We celebrate May 1st as May Day and Lei Day–not only in Hawaiʻi, but everywhere that has Hawaiians or Hawaiians-at-heart.

It only seems right to include this classic this week.  And Gary Aiko sings it so beautifully!  Mahalo for that, Uncle Gary!

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

*Please click HERE to learn more about May Day/Lei Day.

2. ʻAhulili (Raiatea Helm’s recording on the album Hawaiian Blossom)

When I first heard this recording, I wasn’t sure who was singing it.  It had that “old school” Hawaiian sound to it, but it sounded like a more recent recording.  Newer.  Brighter.

I was delighted when I learned that it was Raiatea Helm singing it–and honoring the singers that came before her who presented the song in a certain way.  She delivers it so beautifully!  It quickly became a favorite.

The song is attributed to Scott Haʻi.  And if you click HERE you can see what the original, handwritten manuscript looked like!  Cool!  (Mahalo, Huapala.org!)

*Please click HERE to visit Raiatea’s website.

3. Koali (Kamakakēhau Fernandez’s recording on the album Wahi Mahalo)

I love this song!  And I love how Kamakakēhau Fernandez sings it!

This song is on his long-awaited, much-anticipated album.  And wow… it delivers!  I’m hooked!

This traditional and classic song really allows him to showcase the fluidity of his smooth falsetto.  I’m blown away!

4. Young and Free (Olomana’s recording on the album Come to Me Gently)

You guys know how much I love a song that rocks that late 1970′s vibe (this album was released in 1980).  And you know how much I love the sound of the Hawaiian group, Olomana.  So it’s no surprise that this song rocks my world.

It’s got that feel-good vibe that my soul craves.  And their sweet vocal harmonies…

It calms this urban strummer down and reminds me to take a deep breath.

*Please click HERE to visit Olomana’s website.

5. Punahoa Slack (Ledward Kaapana’s recording on the album The Legend: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar)

When it’s time to relax, to wind down, to shed the stresses of the day, I turn to Uncle Led Kaapana and the awesomely soothing sounds of his kī hōʻalu, his slack key guitar.  So I guess it’s not a shock to see him (and his latest album) on the Weekly TOP 5–again!

The Hawaiian word I’d use to best describe his sound is nahenahe–soothing, gentle.

We all need a little peace and tranquility.  I turn to Uncle Led’s recordings for that.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Led’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″ (1.25.12)

Wednesday, January 25, 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. Pōhai Ke Aloha (Kawai Cockett’s recording on the album Beautiful Kauaʻi)

Ok.  I’ve had this song (and Uncle Kawai’s recording of it!) on my TOP 5 before.

Wanna know why?

Because I love it!  I mean I think Uncle Kawai’s version of this song (which is one of my all-time favorites) is outta this world!

Most often, I think this song is associated with a female singer.  At least that’s been my experience.  And the lyrics mention tears wetting the singer’s cheeks–and all too often, tears are associated with women instead of men.  (*Crooner Note:  Men cry, too!)

But when Uncle Kawai sings this song–wow… So tender and yet so masculine.  So AWESOME.

*Sadly, Uncle Kawai passed away in 2006. Please click HERE to read more about this amazing man.

2. ʻAkaka Falls (Elodia Kāne’s recording on the album Tribute to Lena Machado)

This beloved Hawaiian classic, attributed to Helen Lindsay Parker, is a favorite.  And Aunty Elodia’s recording is also a favorite.

Her voice has the clarity of a bell–the kind of voice I can imagine carrying through the air and being heard from a great distance.  Never shrill. Always tender.

And I love that she includes an English language verse, too!  It helps a listener who may be totally unfamiliar with the Hawaiian language by giving them an anchor–something they are familiar with.

Lovely from start to finish.

3. Kuʻu Kumu (Kaukahi’s recording on the album Life In These Islands)

Perhaps it’s because I’ve just gotten back from Molokai and spent some time with Pops, my kumu.  When I listened to this song this week, it really struck a chord.

The song uses the word KUMU in two ways, both as a teacher and as the trunk of tree.  The metaphor holds true–we learn from our teachers and we, as students, are branches of them and their knowledge.

Totally brought tears to my eyes… in the best way! (**Crooner note:  Please see above–men cry, too!)

(*Crooner Note:  I had the chance to see Kaukahi perform while I was on Oʻahu.  They are just as good–and maybe even better–in person.  Go see ‘em!  Wow…)

*Please click HERE to visit Kaukahi’s website.

4. Pua Tuberose (Raiatea’s recording on the album Hawaiian Blossom)

An unforgettable ballad about an unforgettable flower.

The classic song, attributed to Kimo Kamana, speaks of the tuberose flower and its delicate fragrance.  It’s not hard to infer that perhaps the kaona in this song is describing a beloved–an unforgettable love.

Raitea’s voice and the simple, almost understated accompaniment are a perfect combination for this lovely song.  I can see a hula being danced to it when I close my eyes and listen…

*Please click HERE to visit Raiatea’s website.

5.  Lei Nani (George Kahumoku, Jr. and Daniel Ho’s recording on the album Classic Hawaiian Hulas Vol. 3)

Oh!  So good, this version!

A favorite hula to play and sing, I love how Uncle George Kahumoku sings this, with Daniel’s sparkling ʻukulele in the background, dancing around Uncle George’s masterful ki hoalu (slack key) stylings!

The song, attributed to Charles Nāmāhoe, is a lovely song of affection. And it’s a favorite of so many hula dancers.  Musicians, this is good one to know!

*Please click HERE to visit the Uncle George’s website.

*Please click HERE to visit Daniel’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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Hawaiian Music at the Gym? (Part 2)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last month I posted about searching for the ULTIMATE PLAYLIST to listen to while I run on the treadmill at the gym.

I can’t stand the “cardio-pumping” mixes that have been produced specifically for the treadmill. They just weren’t what I was looking for.

Well…

I’ve been listening to tons of Hawaiian music while running and I’ve been LOVING it!

At first, I tried making my own mixes of tunes. And they were ok–but they weren’t great. It was like I was still stuck on trying to hit the ULTIMATE mix that would keep me going. What was the problem?

Finally, I asked myself “What are you looking for?”

I want to listen to a mix that might play on a Hawaiian radio station.

The songs don’t all have to be my favorites. They don’t even have to all be familiar! (Sometimes it’s even BETTER if I don’t know the song–it helps me learn it!)

So I built a playlist on iTunes using the “Genius” feature. I don’t know ANYTHING about computers or technology. But this was cool. I picked Gabby Pahinui’s song MOONLIGHT LADY and the computer picked 99 other songs from my collection that went with it.

The Verdict?

I listened to the mix today while I ran. I set the timer on the treadmill for the maximum amount of time (6o minutes at this gym) and pressed PLAY on the iPod.

One hour later, I was finished with a killer workout. And I was smiling from ear to ear. The mix was fantastic! It was like being able to stream Hawaiian 105 KINE on my iPod! (Maybe someday we’ll be able to do that. Until then, this is a good substitute!)

So I’m publishing it here for you with links to the albums!!

Here are the 16 songs that played over the course of the hour and the cool-down:

1. Moonlight Lady (Gabby Pahinui’s recording on the album, The Panini Collection)

2 Hanakeoki (Eddie Kamae & the Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album, Eddie Kamae: Sons of Hawaiʻi)

3. Sun Lite, Moon Lite (Country Comfort’s recording on the album, We Are The Children)

4. Kuʻu Home O Kahaluʻu (Olomana’s recording on the album, Like A Seabird in the Wind)

5. Kāwika (The Sunday Manoa’s recording on the album, Guava Jam)

6. Waika (The Brothers Cazimero’s recording on the album, The Best of the Brothers Cazimero)

7. Wai Paheʻe (Eddie Kamae & the Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album, Eddie Kamae: Sons of Hawaiʻi)

8. All Hawaiʻi Stand Together (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album, All Hawaiʻi Stand Together)

9. Pua Maeʻole (Raiatea Helm’s recording ont he album, Sweet and Lovely)

10. Kona Daze (Kalapana’s recording on the album, Best of Kalapana Vol. 2 )

11. Lei Nani (Gabby Pahinui’s recording ont he album, The Panini Collection)

12. Seabreeze (Keola and Kapono Beamer’s recording on the album, Honolulu City Lights)

13. Hale Aliʻi O Waimaka (Amy Hanaialiʻi Gilliom & Willie K.’s recording on the album, Hawaiian Tradition)

14. Good Morning (Willie K.’s recording on the album, The Uncle In Me)

15. Kananaka (ʻAleʻa’s recording on the album, Take Me Home)

16. Jealous Guy (The Pahinui Brothers’ recording on the album, The Panini Collection)

So I think I’ll have some fun with this “Genius” playlist for a while. I’ve got 83 more songs to go before it repeats! Cool!

What do YOU listen to when you exercise?

**Crooner Note: PLEASE SUPPORT HAWAIIAN ARTISTS AND BUY HAWAIIAN MUSIC!! (Mahalo!)

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