Here is another Ray Kane cover – this time his classic song Punahele. According to the Dancing Cat liner notes, Punahele (“favorite” or “pet”) came to Ray “one night in 1938 at Zablan’s Beach in Nanakuli. ‘Back in those days there were no cars, it was pitch black. So I sit there in the dark in the nice cool breeze and I hear the waves bouncing on the sand and see the moonlight flicker on the water. It inspired me, something so nice. So mellow. That’s what gave me my inspiration.’”
Similar to other songs Ray composed on the beach (Keiki Slack Key for example), this mellow laid back songs exemplifies Ray’s nahenahe approach that to me represents the archetype of ‘old style’ slack key. Like Keiki Slack Key, Punahele is one of the first slack key songs I learned, and has stayed on my setlists ever since. I recently improvised a few new licks into the song, and recorded a half dozen takes – some 5-6 minutes long. I think this short three and a quarter minute version gets the point across though. Hope you enjoy.
From the vaults, here is a slide guitar song I wrote called Home Abroad. I used to play a fair amount of slide guitar, but I don’t play it much anymore. I figured I’d either have to go all in on the slide or not, but couldn’t just dabble with it – so I decided to work on other areas instead. This is a fun leftover from when I dabbled with it though. Hope you enjoy.
Here is a demo version of my arrangement of the U2 song “In a Little While,” from 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind. This was recorded a few years back when I was using dreadnaught size Taylors, before I got hip to their smaller, more comfortable guitars. The mix is a bit more compressed than what I’ve been doing lately, but it gets the job done. Hope you enjoy.
Here is a demo version of my arrangement of The Police song “Every Breath You Take” I recorded a few years back. I was using dreadnaught size Taylors back then and the mix is a bit more compressed than what I’ve been doing lately, but I think it works for this song. Weren’t The Police great? Hope you enjoy.
Here is a strum intensive song from the vaults called “Make”. The louder strumming in this song was meant to provide a counterpoint to some of the mellower fingerstyle and slack key songs I was playing at the time. I recorded this while living in an ohana unit with a large, tiled room that I kept mostly empty because I enjoyed the acoustics. (Plus, I didn’t own a lot of furniture.) Hope you enjoy.
Here is a rendition of Pua Lililehua from the vaults. I always enjoyed this song because it is mostly sweet and mellow, but still has a bit of tension that creates a sense of yearning in it. I recorded this while living in an ohana unit with a large, tiled room that I kept mostly empty because I enjoyed the acoustics. (Plus, I don’t own a lot of furniture.) Hope you enjoy.
Iris has a lot of harmonics, which creates a light, chimey atmosphere. A thunderstorm rolled in while I was recording and gave some interesting punctuation to the take. I’ll probably try to record another version of this song, but thought the lightness of the song coupled with the thunderstorm left an interesting contrast. Hope you enjoy.
Morning and Night started out as a fingerpicking study I wrote for one of my students way back when. I added a little to the study to perform it as a slow, relaxing solo piece and it has stayed in my repertoire ever since.
A few years back I decided to write a harmony part for the song, which I almost forgot about until I found a demo take while combing through some old files. I think it’s interesting to hear the song both with and without the harmony. Hope you enjoy both versions.