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Posts Tagged ‘Tribute to Lena Machado’

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. Kona Daze (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album All Hawaiʻi Stand Together )

I love the voice of  the crooner, Dennis Pavao!

This English language song usually makes me think of the Hawaiian group, Kalapana.    It was written by the legendary Malani Bilyeu.

And I usually think of Uncle Dennis Pavao singing more “traditional” Hawaiian songs.

However, I love this version that Uncle Dennis sang!  Love the soul he infuses it with.

Listening to it brings to mind the sunny dryness one finds on the island of Hawaiʻi in Kailua Kona–that heat and sunshine and blue water.  Ah… takes me there in my mind.

2. Mom (Elodia Kane’s recording on the album Tribute to Lena Machado)

Aunty Elodia Kane’s sweet soprano voice is one of my favorites.  And I love hearing her sing the songs of Aunty Lena Machado!  One sweet Hawaiian songbird honoring another!

This particular recording almost has a “Gershwin-feel” to it with the horns.  Or a theatrical piece from a classic Broadway show.  Love it.

The song, while written in English, really has a Hawaiian feel to it.  And it paints such a loving (and/or sad) portrait of what was happening in the South Pacific (and throughout the world!) when it was written.  According to another album’s liner notes, Aunty Lena Machado copyrighted the song  in June of 1944.  The soldiers and their letters home to their beloved mothers most certainly inspired this touching ballad.

It’s melody stays “up high” in the voice… making it a favorite of sopranos and falsetto (leo kʻiekiʻe) singers.

3. Ain’t No Big Thing (Kui Lee’s recording on the album The Extraordinary Kui Lee)

Triple love the fun sound of this song!  And Kui Lee–wow!

The album was recorded in 1966, I think.  And it has all of the earmarks of the era.  Organ, whistles, fantastic guitar, fun percussion.  It’s all in there.

We lost Uncle Kui too soon… I would love to be able to see what he would have created later in life.  I’m so glad we can rock out to his records!

4. Kaimana Hila (Darlene Ahuna’s recording on the album Classic Hula)

When I’m feeling “down in the dumps”–and yes!  Even Accidental Hawaiian Crooners have those kinds of days–I look to a classic, uptempo hula to help chase away the blues.

And this song, written by the amazing Charles E. King, is guaranteed to make me smile.  Like every time!

It describes some of the things one might see if one were to go holoholo (out cruising) in and around the Diamond Head side of the island of Oʻahu.  Fun!

And I love the controlled break in Darlene’s voice–maikaʻi that haʻi!  Hana hou!  Encore!

*Please click HERE to visit Darleneʻs website.

5. Hoʻokena (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.

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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