Here is another version of the Ray Kane classic “Keiki Slack Key” I recorded on my Taylor 412ce-R steel string guitar.Keiki Slack Key (not to be confused with the Sonny Chillingworth song of the same name) is one of the first slack key songs I transcribed, and has stayed on my setlists ever since.To me, Ray Kane is probably the best example of an ‘old style’ slack key player, and his tracks are always nahenahe.Hope you enjoy.
Here’s an alternate version of my take on Gabby Pahinui’s classic instrumental simply and appropriately titled “Ki Ho’alu,” which of course is the Hawaiian term for “slack key.”I probably first heard this song on the stellar “Pure Gabby” album, although it has appeared on other compilations and been covered by numerous slack key artists, including Ozzie Kotani’s excellent version.My version is inspired by Gabby, Ozzie, and also Dennis Kamakahi who was prolific in the Mauna Loa tuning.
I used to take a guitar to sit and play some slack key at beaches around Kailua-Kona like Old Airport, Honl’s, Kahalu’u, Keauhou Bay, and La’aloa Beach Park… which is also known locally as White Sands, or Magic Sands.La’aloa Beach Park is just off Ali’i Drive a few miles South of Kailua-Kona.Often known as Magic Sands because the sand ‘disappears’ practically overnight from most of the shoreline during winter swells, only to fully ‘reappear’ in the Summer, the beach is a popular spot for residents of Kona.I often used to head over there with a cup of Kona coffee in the early morning before the crowds arrived, when it was still quiet, and sit on the picnic tables and play guitar.Here is a slack key style tune I wrote one day while hanging out with my guitar around Magic Sands.Hope you enjoy.
Here is an alternate take of Slack Key No. 1, the classic showpiece of slack key master Sonny Chillingworth.I first heard it on the Dancing Cat release “Endlessly,” and it also appears on his 1964 solo release “Waimea Cowboy.”The Waimea Cowboy version sounds like it was recorded on an electric guitar, while the version on Endlessly was recorded on acoustic guitar.Both versions are very similar, though with some slight differences.I have incorporated elements from both versions in the arrangement I play.Hope you enjoy.
Here is another version of the Ray Kane classic “Keiki Slack Key” I recorded on my Taylor 414ce-NR nylon string guitar.Keiki Slack Key (not to be confused with the Sonny Chillingworth song of the same name) is one of the first slack key songs I transcribed, and has stayed on my setlists ever since.To me, Ray Kane is probably the best example of an ‘old style’ slack key player, and his tracks are always nahenahe.Hope you enjoy.
Here’s an alternate take of my arrangement of the Springsteen classic I’m on Fire.This is a really cool little song – almost a sketch at under 3 minutes long, but it really creates a great atmosphere in that short amount of time.Hope you enjoy.
The Bantry Girl’s Lament is a traditional Celtic song which dates back to the early 1800’s.The ‘lament’ is for the soldiers who were called off to fight in the Napoleonic wars, but I find the melody is more wistful than maudlin.My fingerstyle version is based on Martin Simpson’s version from his fine album “Leaves of Life.”While Martin used a Drop D tuning for the song (or rather its equivalent on Baritone guitar), I play it here in open G6: (D-G-D-G-B-E).To me, this is a peaceful, meditative song that gives pause.Hope you enjoy.
Recorded with a Taylor 912ce (Rosewood/Spruce, with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD Light strings) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.
“Meadows” is a slack key song I wrote during a full moon in Kailua-Kona.I think the song was influenced by the night air and night sounds – the occasional chirp of geckos, the distant sounds of traffic on Mamalahoa Highway and the waves in the ocean.Hope you enjoy.
Here is an alternate take of the Bach Cello Prelude (BWV 1007) on guitar.I fell in love with the Pablo Casals recordings of the Bach cello suites a few years back.The prelude to the first suite is oft adapted for guitar, but it’s still a great piece to play.Hope you enjoy.