Friday, July 26, 2013

Surf's Up!!

Aloha Kakou!!

Well, it's been a rather busy little bit here in Hilo. My Mom had a great visit and left us after a month of wonderful food, drink, music, TCM on the lanai and her fantastic company. A month may seem like a long time to have someone staying but the time just flew by and we were so thankful that she was able to come. She tried some new things, and we found her a regular Tuesday night haunt, which I will talk about now.

This may not look like much, but it is the front of the Hilo Town Tavern, which has become our regular Tuesday night outing. There is inexpensive, very cold beer, friendly locals, and the amazing Kanakapila playing Hawaiian music from 6:30-9:30pm. Or as the band like to say, from about 6:30 to 9:30p...maybe. They are a great group of local musicians, and the ukulele player is an ex-classmate of Leialoha's named Victor Chock. He is an amazing musician, and a heck of a great hang. So, if you are ever in Hilo on a Tuesday night...make an effort to get over won't be sorry.

So on to the title for today's blog...I warn you, it is a little self serving, because I am very excited about sharing a few things with you all. So, you may think I am going to tell you about all the choice waves I have been catching here in Hawai'i Nei, at all the great surf spots, right? Well, I have never really been a beachy person...well, I like going there, just not getting in the water too much. I don't surf, I don't paddleboard, I don't kayak and I don't para-sail. I really have only had one hobby in my life, and that is playing golf. Now, since I do not have any golf clubs here with me, (they were left behind in Florida) I really do not have any sort of a hobby. I do go to the gym every day, but not for's strictly so I can indulge in my favorite local food and not balloon up like I once did. So, what do I do to fill up my time? Well, I practice steel guitar, and work on music. When I am done with that, I take a break, and then start all over again. Now, just because I don't surf doesn't mean I am not fascinated by surf particular the surf culture from the 60's...and most specifically the music of the surf culture. I am a big surf music fan. I think I can trace it back to this man:

This is the fantastic Dick Dale and I can remember seeing him perform in some of those fantastic Beach Blanket Bingo movies. (This also ties in with my love of cheezy films) It was my first exposure to reverb drenched double picking and drums played with a backbeat and heavy on the tom toms. It was a sound that has stuck with me for years. Now since I have concentrated primarily on steel guitar these last few years, I got to thinking what it might sound like to do some of this music on the steel guitar. There are certainly great musicians who have done this before, but I had to try it myself and see how it sounded. So, I present to all of you the beginning stages of a new CD that is going to be called "Surf n Steel". I have done some demos to see how it would go, and I want to share it with all of you.  So please take a few moments to give it a listen.

Walk Don't Run

Surfer Girl

Tear Drop

I am still trying to figure out a few things to translate some guitar techniques to steel guitar, but I think there is some good stuff here. I will keep everyone posted as to the progress of this CD.

We are also about 2/3 of the way through the new Elua CD. We try to record a new one every other year, and this one is going to be a "by request" CD of many songs that our guests have asked us for and that we have worked into our sets in the past few years. It will be all hapa haole, (with one exception)  and the tentative song list is:

I'm Going To Mau'i Tomorrow
Pineapple Princess
Blue Hawaiian Moonlight
Mau'i Waltz
On The Beach At Waikiki
Hapa Haole Hula Medley (This is a medley of songs originally done by the legendary Kahuanu Lake Trio)
Pua Olena
Princess Pupule
Can't Help Falling In Love (this is actually from the movie Blue Hawai'i)
Lahaina Farewell
Ukulele Lady
I'll Remember You

So, that is what takes up my time...someday I will try to actually get up on a board and try some surfing, but for right now, the twangy sound of guitars dripping in reverb will be the closest that I come. So to quote Gone With The Wind, "tomorrow is another day" and tomorrow means ukulele tracks for the new CD and doing steel solos on some of the the songs.  I'll be back soon with some more music to share and some more tales from the Big Island.

A Hui Hou e Malama Pono!!

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