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Posts Tagged ‘Tropical Hawaiian Day’

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. Flowers of Paradise (Alfred Aholo Apaka’ recording on the album My Isle of Golden Dreams)

The golden voice of Hawaiian crooner Alfred Aholo Apaka never disappoints me.

This is a song that I only recently became reacquainted with.  I’d been asked about Hawaiian flowers and I searched thru my stack of CDs to see what songs mentioned different types/kinds.  Imagine how excited I was when I came across this one!

I think it would be perfect to do in a show–sharing Hawaiian botany via song.  That’s pretty cool.

2. ʻĀina o Lānaʻi (Aunty Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Hulas of Hawaiʻi)

When I think of the hula classics, my mind automatically jumps to the one and only Aunty Genoa Keawe.  She set the standard for so many songs!  Her recordings are an encyclopedia of hula music.

And we don’t hear enough music from/about the island of Lānaʻi.  I was just talking about that the other day with a friend of mine.  So I decided I need to learn this song and sing it often!

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

3. Kū Ka ʻOliʻoli Nā Moku (Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu’s recording on the album Call It What You Like)

Hawaii’s rebel kumu hula and rebel chanter.  I love this recording.  I love the fact that he’s playing with “the classics.” Exploring them.  Showing how vital these chants still are today–and helping to introduce a new audience to the amazing poetry.

Yes.  I know there are people that don’t approve of what he’s doing.

And there are others that celebrate it.

I’m glad to have this recording.

*Please click HERE to read more about Kumu Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu.

4. Still The One (The Kaʻau Crater Boys’ recording on the album Tropical Hawaiian Day)

You guys know how much I love a good ’70′s vibe.

And if you read my Weekly “TOP 5″ lists, you know I’m a huge fan of the group Kaʻau Crater Boys.  They had the ability to cover a super-familiar song and make it sound like it was new–and like Kaʻau Crater Boys original.  Amazing musicians who were able to infuse true island flavor into all of their stuff.

Originally released in the late 1970s by the group Orleans, I love what the Kaʻau Crater Boys did with it.

*Please click HERE to visit Ernie Cruz Jr’s myspace page.

*Please click HERE to visit Troy Fernandez’s website.

5. Molokaiʻi Longing (John Keawe’s recording on the album Beautiful Hula Dancer)

I love John Keawe and his special music.  And this song, in which he sings about the beauty of my beloved Molokai, really touches my heart.  Makes me homesick.

It was on Molokai that I first met John and his beautiful wife, Hope.

Special days in a special place.

*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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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (9.28.11)

Wednesday, September 28, 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. Home Kapaka (Kahauanu Lake Trio’s recording on the album At The Halekulani Hotel)

I love this song.  And that’s a good thing, too.  I’ve played it about 100 times this week!

Some of our NYC-based hula dancers asked if I’d learn it so they could have live music while they rehearsed.  (And you know how much I LOVE to play for the dancers!)  Unfortunately, I wasn’t as familiar with the song–or at least the lyrics of the song–as I’d hoped.  And that was a great excuse to really immerse myself in studying the song.

I looked through my CD collection and found several different versions.  Each one of ‘em distinct.  Each one of ‘em perfect in their own right.

But this week, while I’ve been strumming and singing, I’ve been hearing Kahauanu Lake Trio’s version in my head.  It’s very polished.  Very refined.  Very representative of their sound–and the sound of the Halekulani Hotel in Waikīkī.  Dreamy…

2. Home in the Islands (The Brothers Cazimero’s recording on the album The Best of the Brothers Cazimero )

Wanna feel like you’re back in the islands?  Looking for a song to create a mood?  Look no further.  This is it.

From the opening sounds of the guitar and the first taste of the Brothers Cazimero’s tight harmonies, I’m back on Oʻahu–tooling around in a car with the windows down.  It takes me there instantly.

Robert Cazimero sang the song at the piano–as a solo– when he was here in NYC this past weekend. When he sang it, I got a little choked up.  That familiar aching in my chest because I want to be in the islands.  Auē… (Please click HERE to read more about that performance.)

Thankfully, this recording takes me there–and that means I can go to Hawaiʻi in my mind just by pushing PLAY.

*Please click HERE to visit the Brothers Cazimero website.

3. Waiomina (The Hoʻopiʻi Brothers’ recording on the album Nā Mele Hoʻoheno)

I love leo kiʻekiʻe, Hawaiian falsetto singing.  And who does it better than the legendary Hoʻopiʻi Brothers?!

I was riding the subway downtown this week and my music was playing in “shuffle” mode. This song came on and it brought an instant smile to my face–which is really saying something since it was a packed subway car during rush hour!

The song has that powerful paniolo (cowboy) feeling built into it.  A wonderful and wild strum on the guitar and ʻukulele.  And fantastic harmonies in their distinctive soaring vocals.

Come on.  It’s so ʻono!

4. Hana Calls (Ernie Cruz Jr.’s recording on the album Portraits)

This song has been a favorite for a long time.

I first heard it on a Kaʻau Crater Boys album, Tropical Hawaiian Day.  The song was fast and fun.  And it featured their distinctive brand of harmonies and ʻukulele flair.

I was thrilled to hear it again on Ernie Cruz Jr.s solo album.  A blast from the past.  A little slower than the earlier version, but still a song that moves along like a sailboat that’s caught a good gust of wind.

(Interesting to note that the Kaʻau Crater Boys recording is in the key of G while Ernie Cruz Jr.’s solo recording is a fourth higher–in the key of C.  When I’ve had the pleasure of singing it with slack key guitar players, I like to sing it in G–it’s an easy/friendly key for them.  But when I’m jamming the song by myself, I like to do it in C.)

*Please click HERE to visit Ernie Cruz, Jr.’s myspace page

5. Liloa’s Mele (Sonny Chillingwoth’s recording on the album Endlessly)

I love kī hōʻalu (slack key guitar) music!  It’s no secret.

And Uncle Sonnyʻs masterful touch makes everyone of his recordings a delight to listen to.

I needed to listen to something soothing the other night. (Insomnia and I have become friends, again.)  I started looking through my collection of slack key albums and put together a playlist of songs that would soothe my stressed nerves.  It was heavenly.

And this song was a favorite, for sure.

But I have to admit that I had a hard time just closing my eyes and listening to it–or I should say I had a hard time listening to it mindlessly.  As I listened, I had to sit up.  I had to imagine what his fingers must have looked like while he played this song on the guitar.  A real master.

The album’s liner notes tell a nice story about how the song was written for one of Uncle Sonny’s grandchildren.  What a legacy he’s left for them!

*Please click HERE to visit Dancing Cat Records’ Sonny Chillingworth page.

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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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. Lei ʻIlima (Mahi Beamer’s recording on the album Hawaiʻi’s Mahi Beamer)

A stunningly beautiful song written by Charles E. King. Mahi Beamer makes the song his own! His soaring falsetto and delicate touches make my head spin. A crooner of the highest caliber.

This recording sounds like a duet, yet I can’t find other artist mentioned in the liner notes. This leads me to believe that Mahi was singing both parts! Give it a listen and let me know what YOU think!

He is a constant source of inspiration. He delivers Hawaiian songs with the passion and subtlety that they require. Wow…

2. E Kiss Kāua (Sons of Hawaii’s recording on the album The Best of Sons of Hawaiʻi – Vol. 1)

I talked with Pops on the phone this week. The whole time we were speaking, I was picturing the ride from Kaunakakai town to Hālawa Valley and the wonderful winding road that follows the coastline. There’s something magical in the rural-ness of it all. With every mile we travel, I can feel my city-ness falling away.

This song, written by the incredible Rev. Dennis Kamakahi, has fun “country” vibe to it. I love the way it bounces. And I love that The Sons of Hawaii feature a harmonica in this version! Come on! It doesn’t get much better than that!

When I listen to the song, it brings images of that ride from Kaunakakai to the Valley to my mind’s eye. (And I love that!)

3. Rhythm of the Falling Rai n ( The Kaʻau Crater Boys’ recording on the album Tropical Hawaiian Day)

Ok… this song may not be Hawaiian in origin. It’s a pop song from the mainland. But if you didn’t know better, I’ll bet you’d think one of the Kaʻau Crater Boys had written it. They bring their own unique–and very Hawaiian–vibe to it. The way the ʻukulele is featured knocks me out. It’s not just an instrument. It’s a distinct VOICE in the song!

The Kaʻau Crater Boys were one of the first Hawaiian groups I listened to. Their music evoked a feeling in me that I hadn’t felt before. I was hooked. I wanted to know more. That lead me to listen to more traditional Hawaiian music. And the rest is history.

I love what they added to the Hawaiian musical scene when they were still working as a group. And I love what they’ve added to the scene as solo artists. Thanks, guys, for helping to “hook” me into the music!

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

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