Tag Archives: open tunings

Hualalai Sunrise (Early Take)

“Hualalai Sunrise” was inspired by the morning sunrises in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i.  Much of North Kona – from Kalaoa where I spent much of my early childhood to Holualoa where I later lived – can see the sun shining over the top ridges of Hualalai in the morning, bathing its warm light over the slopes from the summit to the ocean.  This is an early version of this song, though I have improvised several slightly different versions since.  Hope you enjoy. 

 

Little Grass Shack, Pua Tuberose – Slack Key Medley

From the vaults, here is an old recording of a slack key medley performed during an informal kanikapila at what was then the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Hotel (it has since changed hands from Sheraton).  The medley starts out with a rendition of Little Grass Shack, followed by the classic Pua Tuberose.  Hope you enjoy.

 

Hula Blues (Nylon String Guitar)

Here is a version of the classic Johnny Noble song “Hula Blues” recorded on nylon string guitar.  Hula Blues is a steel guitar and slack key staple – a quick check of my iTunes library shows over a dozen versions by everyone from Sol Ho’opi’i to Sonny Chillingworth, Led Ka’apana, Leonard Kwan, Bobby Ingano, as well as separate versions from Gabby Pahinui and his son Cyril.  This song is fun to play and captures a certain energy that many find appealing.  Hope you enjoy.

 

Bron Yr Aur (K22ce)

Bron-Yr-Aur is probably my favorite Led Zeppelin acoustic song.  Written by Jimmy Page about a tranquil cottage in the Welsh countryside, the song is meditative and bucolic; it always puts me in a different place whenever I hear it or play it.  This version was recorded on my Taylor K22ce.

 

76 Minutes Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Covers

This video features a collection of Ki Ho’alu a/k/a Hawaiian Slack Key guitar instrumental covers I have performed, recorded, and assembled here for your listening pleasure.  These are songs by various slack key legends such as Gabby Pahinui, Ray Kane, Leonard Kwan, Keola Beamer, Fred Punahoa, Sonny Chillingworth, Atta Isaacs, Dennis Kamakahi, and Ledward Ka’apana – all slack key guitar masters who have been influential to me as well as many others.  This compilation includes both energetic and relaxed tunes, though I’d say the overall vibe is relaxing.  I like to listen to  some of those longer “relaxing music” videos while working on the computer and became inspired to produce some videos featuring my own performances.  Hope you enjoy.

 

Meadows Slack Key (912ce)

“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.  

Opihi Moemoe (improv on K22ce)

Here’s a recently found recording where I’m improvising some ideas around Leonard Kwan’s classic slack key song Opihi Moemoe.  One of the most popular songs in the slack key repertoire, this song has been covered by everyone from Ledward Kaapana to Chet Atkins.  Opihi MoeMoe is a fun piece that lends itself well to improvised variations, and everyone seems to bring something a little different to this deceptively simple song.  Hope you enjoy.

 

Mino’aka – Keola Beamer Cover (Alt Take)

Here’s an alternate take of Keola Beamer’s Mino’aka (Smile), from his awesome Soliloquy album. Soliloquy is one of my favorite Dancing Cat era albums from Keola and a highly recommended listen. Keola’s book is one of the first I picked up when I really delved into the slack key style years ago, and this was one of my favorite songs featured in the book. In fact, I also recommend Keola’s book for beginner to intermediate fingerstyle players who are looking to learn some slack key. Although the version I recorded here is at a slightly faster tempo, I hope it still captures the original’s relaxed feel. Hope you enjoy.

 

Slippery Slack Key (Nylon String Guitar)

Here is another version – this one recorded on a nylon string guitar – of my song “Slippery Slack Key.”  Also known as the “Slippery Fish Slack Key,” this is a fast paced and fun to play slack key song that saw various incarnations in my set a few years back.  The slippery runs were inspired in part by the fish in the waters off Kailua-Kona.  Hope you enjoy.