Anybody into vintage Hawaiian guitar music?

Pablomago

Member
Messages
6,198
I've been doing sound for the last four years for the annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association convention here in Fort Collins, CO. I love that stuff. It's great to be up close and personal with those who are keeping the tradition alive. I got to go to Hawaii about ten years ago and sitting at a bar on Waikiki, sipping a Mai Tai and listening to Jeff Au Hoy play steel guitar was one of life's perfect moments.

I play lap steel in E, but I really need to get another to have in C6 to explore the Hawaiian music more.
 

HaroldBrooks

Member
Messages
2,280
Years ago I bought a CD of some great old-school stuff, 1929-52, red-hot straight and steel guitar playing that remains listenable today. I pulled it out for the first time in ages this morning and had it playing in the car en route to work. This one actually is from 1929 and is probably my favorite. (Trivia Note: Roy Rogers once played rhythm guitar and Tim Spencer of the Sons of the Pioneers was a vocalist in one of King Benny's bands.)



Hawaiian guitar music from what I know of it is great, and the part I like the best are the amps they use (Hawaiian Steel guitar). Lap Steel amps. Sound awsome with a conventional Electric guitar, a Harp, or a genuine Hawaiian Lap Steel guitar !!!
 
Last edited:

2leod

Re-Member
Messages
8,599
I am a fan of the folks who are trying to carry on the traditions - Ozzie Kotani, Ledward Ka'apana, George Kahumoku Jr., Jeff Peterson, Kimo Hussey and Kawika Kahiapo to name some. I've met a number of them at the Slack Key show on Maui, Uncle George even taught me how to play slack key, which was an honour and a treat.
 

2leod

Re-Member
Messages
8,599
George Winston and his Dancing Cat label has been responsible for a good number of beautiful sounding slack key recordings.
 

WordMan

Wax Rhapsodic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,620
I live in a house with 50 ukes on the walls - my mom leads the local strummers with a big section of Hawaiians who’ve ended up on the Monterey Peninsula. Love it.
 

Random1643

Member
Messages
836
Vintage varies as different eras filtered Hawaiian music and instruments differently. I love the ragtimey stuff shared by the OP as well as slack key guitar, even some of the schmaltzy pop songs in the wake of WWII.

Odd band experience. Circa 2000-2002 I strummed/picked guitar for a band that backed up a South Pacific dance troupe. There were 3 ukes and 2 guitars, 2 of the uke players sang, and then an assortment of drums and percussion instruments plus about 20 dancers. I'm used to singing lead or harmony, but in this band I was just a guitar guy with no other band responsibilities. I was the only gringo - can't remember how I got recruited; the rest of the band and the dancers were all Pacific Islanders from Samoa, one or another of the Hawaiian islands, New Zealand, etc. We did big events, fundraisers, company annual dinners and picnics, etc. The other guitarist was a fascinating older guy and a great funky player, fun to collaborate with. (In his younger years he was a full-timer in a popular Maori roots-rock group that I-kid-you-not opened for the Beatles on an early Asian tour; in his basement he had dozens of photos of him and his bandmates standing on the tarmac with those lovable lads from Liverpool, joking backstage, etc. They toured the world for 15 or so years including residencies in Vegas, the Bahamas,..)

With no actual bass and performing a lot of 4/4 ballads, I gravitated toward holding down the bass and rhythm. The other guitarist just comped along, threw in funky licks, added subtle syncopation, made the music more interesting with little apparent effort - a super laid back guy. I am unable to categorize his playing style, but I loved it! The band drank. A lot. At every practice & every gig. I was steadily supplied with cold Bud in a can and offered shots of rum, bourbon, etc; I stuck with beer and paced myself. Eventually family, day job travel, and 2 other band commitments got in the way and I had to quit but to this day just smile when I think about playing He'eia, Ku'u Lei Awapuhi or even Tiny Bubbles :rolleyes: with the band in some big hall, watching the hula dancers sway, relaxed - usually a little buzzed,...good memories.

Sorry for the thread drift.
 
Last edited:

GerryJ

Member
Messages
5,418
The level of musicianship with these guys is off the chart, imo.....Also, I love how the guitar play has more of a 'metal' game-day face than what you'd expect, lol!
 
M

Member 37136

Lap steel, slack key, Weissenborn, contemporary, traditional, whatever -- I love it.
 

2leod

Re-Member
Messages
8,599
Here's a video of George Kahumoku falling fast asleep while I noodled along with him at his house. I learned later that Uncle George was famous for doing that, and though this clip was filmed by my wife a videographer who was also there at the time included a snippet of this time in a PBS series about the masters of Hawai'ian slack key.






My goodness, I just realized that was 10 years ago!
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom