Category Archives: Songs

Keiki Slack Key (412ce)

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.

 

 

Meditation on Which Will (Nick Drake Guitar Part)

Nick Drake’s guitar parts (and music in general) seem to live in their own magical realm that we can tap into whenever listening to an album like Pink Moon.  I was trying a new recording set up one day and decided to see how it would sound playing my version of the guitar part from “Which Will,” which is not really meant as a note-for-note copy of the original guitar part.  Rather, I wanted to do a sort of meditation on the part and just enjoy the mellow vibes that Drake’s music always impart to me.  Hope you enjoy.

Ki Ho’alu (Gabby Pahinui Slack Key Cover, Taylor Nylon Guitar)

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.

Crossing the Field (Original Fingerstyle)

Here’s another take of “Crossing the Field,” a song from my “Awake Again” album.  “Crossing the Field” was recorded as part of a pair of songs (along with its companion song, “Moment in the Sun”) to set the stage for the second half of the album.  Following the dramatic strumming of “Make” that closed the first half of the album, “Moment” & “Field” framed the mellower vibe of the album’s remaining songs.  Hope you enjoy.

 

Magic Sands (Original Slack Key, Alt Take)

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.

Slack Key Number 1 (Taylor 412ce)

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. 

Persistence (Original Guitar Instrumental)

From the vaults, here’s a guitar instrumental called “Persistence.”  All of the parts were tracked as you hear them; none of the parts were sped up and I recall that all ‘layered parts’ and harmonies were multi tracked ‘one at a time.’  While not usually a fan of excessive stereo panning and movement, I do like the interplay here of the stereo ‘back and forth’ towards the end.  Persistence originally appeared on a project called Positivity that was in part a collection of demos and song ideas.  Hope you enjoy.

Dive In (Original Fingerstyle)

Today’s song from the vaults is Dive In, which I recall as being inspired by Celtic and Bluegrass fiddle tunes, but it also has some distinctly guitar-ish strumming and rhythms.  “Dive In” is a track from a project I had called Signs Music Has Changed Your Life.  Hope you enjoy.

Sin Qua Non (Electric Guitar Harmony)

From the vaults, here’s an electric guitar driven song called “Sin Qua Non.”  I recall writing and tracking this song over a number of months – probably all done on an Ibanez 7 string guitar.  All of the parts were tracked as you hear them; none of the parts were sped up and I recall that all the lead / melodic harmonies were multi tracked with the possible exception of some parts of the ‘heavy horses’ interludes.  Sin Qua Non originally appeared on a project called Positivity that was in part a collection of demos and song ideas.  Hope you enjoy.