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Posts Tagged ‘wahine ilikea’

The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (8.15.12)

Wednesday, August 15, 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. Lei Poinaʻole (Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album By Request)

One of my all-time favorite voices?  Aunty Genoa Keawe.  One of my all-time favorite ladies?  Aunty Genoa Keawe.

Her voice and distinctive strum have “set the standard” for so many songs–and this is no exception.  Every time I’ve ever thought of this song, it’s the voice of the beloved Aunty Genoa that rings in my ears.

And how could you not love a song that opens with “You are my beloved, unforgettable lei…”

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

2. For You A Lei (Andy Iona and the Islanders’ recording on the album Hawaiians In Hollywood)

My “time warp favorite” this week is this song as recorded by Andy Iona and the Islanders.  I mean, it’s really like opening a window and stepping back into 1934.  That classic ʻukulele strum, the slide guitar, the vocal harmonies…


I am so thankful we have recordings from this era.  I could listen to ‘em all day!

*Please click HERE to read more about Andy Iona.

3. Honouliwai (Eddie Akio Waimakanui Tanaka, Jr’s recording on the album Mystical Molokaʻi)

You guys know how much I love the island of Molokai.  And how the island’s East End holds a special place in my heart…

Well, Eddie Waimakanui Tanaka’s song about Honouliwai, the bay that’s also celebrated in Uncle Dennis Kamakahi’s Wahine ʻIlikea, is a special song in my heart.

And he should know the bay well–his home is right there!  He captures the magic of that special place so beautifully.

A hauntingly beautiful new song about the island of Molokai and the bay known as Honouliwai.  Fantastic!

*Please click HERE to visit Eddie’s website 

4. Kauaʻi Nani Lā (Robi Kahakalau’s recording on the album Sistah Robi)

This week, I’ve been feeling a need to listen to the voice of the one and only Sistah Robi.  Soulful to the max!

This song describes the beauty of the island of Kauaʻi.  Her voice reminds me of Stevie Nicks on this track–and when the harmonies join her, it reminds me of Fleetwood Mac.

And yet, at the same time, it’s a distinct and very unique sound.  Distinctly island.  Distinctly Hawaiian.

And oh, so beautiful.

It tugs at my heart. (And brings a tear to my eye.)

*Please click HERE to visit Robi’s website.

5. Keiki Slack Key  (Sonny Chillingworth’s recording on the album Endlessly)

I love kī hōʻalu, Hawaiian slack key guitar music..  And I especially love it when it’s played by a master like Uncle Sonny.

This song bounces.  That’s the word that comes to my mind when I listen to it.  And it’s peppered with familiar melodic passages from children’s nursery rhymes.  It’s fun.  It’ll make you smile.

And it reminds me to take a much needed deep breath.  Right on.

Please click HERE to read more about Uncle Sonny.

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 for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

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What are your “GO TO” songs?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Here’s a question for YOU:

What are your “Go To” songs?

Know what I mean?  Those songs that you love so much–either to sing ‘em or to play ‘em or both! 

Those songs that when you pick up your instrument, you automatically sing ‘em because they make you feel good.  Or maybe it’s because they sound  really good.  Or maybe they are a real workout for you and you use ‘em like a warm-up to get you loose and limber.

What are your “GO TO” songs?

For example:  When I first tune up the ʻukulele, I often strum/sing the Israel Kamakawiwoʻole arrangement of KA PUA UʻI that he sings on his album, Facing Future.  The song’s chord progression allows me to hear the ʻukulele in all of its glory–and I can quickly tell if I’m in tune!

When someone asks me to sing a Hawaiian song, I usually ask ‘em if they want a fast(er) song or slow(er) song.  

If they choose fast(er), I’ll often strum/sing Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole’s KA ULUWEHI O KE KAI.  It’s fun to listen to.  It tells a story and it’s not toooo vocally demanding so that I can have fun singing it.

If they chose a slow(er) song, I’ll often strum/sing something like the hula classic, ALOHA KAUAʻI.  I think the song allows for a lot of cool crooner-isms and I love exploring it.  Simple and challenging all at the same time.

And when I’m at a party and someone asks me to share a song in a song-circle, I usually call out Rev. Dennis Kamakahi’s WAHINE ʻILIKEA.  It acts as an immediate touchstone for me.  It takes me to the island of Molokai in my mind.  Takes me to Hālawa Valley.  It grounds me.  And it instantly takes away any nervousness that I may be feeling.

What do YOU sing and/or strum when you’re asked to share a song?  What songs do YOU sing in the shower or in the privacy of your car (with/without the windows rolled up!)

molokai, peace, jason poole

A moment of peace on Molokai. (6.26.11)


You all know how I believe in the healing powers of Hawaiian music.  There’s something special in the music… something that reaches deep inside me–past all of the chaos–and soothes my soul.

Taking a deep, conscious breath is an opportunity to practice peace.

To honor World Peace Day, I’ve compiled a list of my TOP 5 Hawaiian songs that inspire me to take a deep breath when I hear ‘em:

1. Wahine ʻIlikea (Rev. Dennis Kamakahi’s recording on the album Puaʻena)

When I need to connect to my source, I listen to this song.  It never fails.  It takes me to Molokai. It takes me to that quiet place in my heart.

I can’t help but get choked up when he starts to sing–especially the second verse that talks about Hālawa.

Recorded by many, but no one does it like the man who wrote it.  Rock on, Uncle Dennis.  Rock on.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Dennis’ website.

2. Lei Mānoa (Hapa’s recording on the album Māui)

I love a good Hapa song.  There’s a certain familiar feeling.  A certain familiar sound.

And then there’s THIS song.  I can’t really explain it.  It feels different.  Almost surreal.  In my mind’s eye, I see water trickling down the face of a rock…

*Please click HERE to visit Hapa’s website.

3. Kaulana Waialua Aʻo Molokaʻi (Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom and Willie K’s recording on the album Hawaiian Tradition)

This song reminds me of my very first tentative steps in hula.  We listened to the album, Hawaiian Tradition, a lot  in that class.  Hours and hours spent learning basic hula steps with Amy’s sweet voice in the background.

I remember being rocked to my core when I heard this song.  And I remember the day I listened closely and realized she was singing about Molokai–a place that I’d only heard of.  A place that I so desperately wanted to go to.  Funny how that is.

(P.S. I still haven’t been to Waialua on Molokai.  Maybe the next trip.)

*Please click HERE to visit Amy’s website.

*Please click HERE to visit Wille’s website.

4. So Free (Olomana’s recording on the album Like a Seabird in the Wind)

You all know how much I love the music of the group Olomana.

And this song, written by Cindy Combs, is–well–perfect.  I mean it’s got that “chillax” 1970′s vibe that takes me out of the concrete jungles of NYC and transports me to a beach.  (And for some reason, I always picture myself in a VW van when I hear it.  Ha!)

I love how the melody twists and turns.  I love that it features a cello. (How cool is that?!)  And I love its message:  So Free.  Right on.

*Please click HERE to visit Olomana’s website.

5. Pili Kāpekepeke (Nā Palapalai’s recording on the album Makani ʻOluʻolu)

This song transports me–instantly–to my first trip to Hawaiʻi.  We stayed in a hotel in Waikiki on Oʻahu that piped Hawaiian music through its sound system.

One day, this song played over and over and over.  (The CD player must have gotten stuck!  I still smile just thinking about it.)  I made my way over to the front desk to tell them.  Not because I didn’t love the song.  But because I was afraid they’d end up burning a hole in the disc!  You can’t let that happen to good music!

When I hear them sing the opening phrase, I feel like I’m right back in that hotel–getting ready to set out on an adventure.  Exploring Oʻahu for the very first time.

*Please click HERE to visit Nā Palapalai’s website.

What songs inspire YOU to take a deep breath?  Drop me a line and let me know!

And, as always, a giant MAHALO to Puna and the gang at for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!