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Lehua Records - Artist: Jerry Byrd

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Artist: Jerry Byrd
Album: Steel Guitar Hawaiian Style
CD Id: SLCD-7023

ukulele = Play short MP3 sound clip
Track Song Title Time
1 Kohala March 01:56
2 Pa'au'au Waltz 03:17
3 Maui Chimes 02:25
4 Sand 03:43
5 Jesu Meke Kanaka Waiwai 02:00
6 Hanalei Moon 03:10
7 Hilo March 02:54
8 Kilima Waltz 02:54
9 How D'ya Do 03:13
10 Serenade To Nalani 02:53
11 Kawohikukapulani 03:03
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MDI Distribution, Inc.
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Phone: (404) 934-9226

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Album CoverMaking this album was a real kick for me!! Nostalgia is especially meaningful when it applied to Hawaiian music, so I thought it would be good to show how steel guitar sounded in the "old days"; those times before the revolutionary introduction of electric guitars then to the first electric and into modern sounds, and stylings.

The old National, German silver resonator guitar was the steel guitar in the 20's and early 30's, being designed to make the instrument louder by using resonator cones, etc. The first steel guitar I ever heard was one of these played by a Hawaiian in a tent show that came through my home town in Ohio. I never forgot it and that same plaintive sound lives again in this album.

The guitar pictured on the front cover belonged to the late Pua Almeida — one of Hawaii's great musicians. His wife, Leilani, graciously consented to let me use it for this album. I selected three traditional instrumentals of that era so you can once again hear how they sounded: "Hilo March", "Kohala March" and Kilima Waltz". They are for you, Pua.

Then came the first electric steel guitars called "Fry Pans," made by the Rickenbacher Co. in the early 30's. Their tone is still unequaled, in my opinion — along with many others. It is made of cast aluminum with only one control — for volume, and for super pick-up. You'll hear it on the lovely song, "Kawohikukapulani."

The other selections were played on a much newer double-neck ShoBud steel guitar, custom built for me: 7 strings on one neck; 8 on the other.

A Fender Twin Reverb Amplifier was used also, along with a Goodrich foot volume control.

In order to keep the sound pure and authentic, all instruments in the band were acoustic and they were played by some of Hawaii's finest:
Benny Kalama —Rhythm guitar/ukulele
Norman Isaacs — Upright bass
"Atta" Isaacs — "Slack key" guitar, 6 & 12 string.

"Slack key" is a distinctly Hawaiian style of playing straight guitar, the term coming from the technique of "slacking" or lowering the string pitch to achieve a major chord. This was the direct forerunner of steel guitar. "Atta" Isaacs is the premier "slack key" stylist in Hawaii today.

A word about some of the other selections: "Jesu, Meke Kanaka Waiwai" is an instrumental version of the much loved Hawaiian gospel song written by Pua Almeida and his father, John K. "Hanalei Moon" is a lovely song from the pen of Bob Nelson. "Sand" and "How D'Ya Do" are old favorites written by Andy lona in the 1940's but still as popular as ever. "Pa'au'au Waltz" is a beautiful old waltz written by Charles E. King who gave us many great songs. And finally, "Serenade to Nalani" is my own. Nalani is a lovely hula dancer.

So — enjoy a musical trip through Hawaii's golden years. It's music to remember — like it used to be.

-Jerry Byrd

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