Album: Live at Sounds of Hawaii Studios
CD Id: SLCD-7016
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||E Ku`ulei, E Ku`uipo
||Panini Pua Kea
||L-N-D Slack Key
||Love Story of Kalua
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Phone: (404) 934-9226
The Hui Ohana — Ledward and Nedward Kaapana and Dennis Pavao — are at their best when "just being themselves." And that's what they are on this album, the product of a relaxed Sunday afternoon recording session at Sounds of Hawaii.
The normally sterile studio location was turned into a party setting with food, booze and friends to cheer the trio on. They wore "at home" clothes, yakked with guests, sucked 'em up and chowed down between takes. They had a ball along with their appreciative audience and came up with Album No. 4 — their best to date.
"Hui Ohana Live at Sounds of Hawaii" features the beloved old-time favorites the group has become noted for, but also includes some "hapa haole" tunes that give added dimension in the versatility of their vocal and instrumental artistry.
In "E Kuulei, E Kuuipo," listen for the "chalang-a-lang style" reminiscent of the trio's days "back home in Kalapana" on the Big Island. "L-N-D Slack Key" is a jaunty instrumental and, in case you're wondering, the letters stand for the initial letters of the guys' names.
"Sanoe" is a beautiful Queen Liliuokalani tune not commonly heard in the repertoire of Island musicians. In certain portions of "Panini Pua Kea" the group sings "a cappella" except for background sounds provided by some ancient Hawaiian instruments. The album has songs to please all tastes.
"Ahulili" features Dennis' fantastic falsetto singing. Compare this voice to that in "Macao," a song about a Portuguese sailor on a whaler, and you'll be amazed at the wide vocal range Pavao has at his command.
If any one number on this album can be called extra special, it probably should be "Kahealani." The group is at its super best in this selection. "Kalua," too, could easily be the favorite of some listeners.
But it is with "Honeysuckle Rose" that the trio lets down all bars and becomes "themselves" — totally relaxed and informal. The party atmosphere really comes through as the artists rap with friends in the studio while performing their blockbuster finale.
If you are already a Hui Ohana fan, this album is a must. If you are yet to get acquainted, "Hui Ohana Live at Sounds of Hawaii" should convert you into a fan.
Scoops Kreger (1975)