More Power to Slack Key

Some Hawaiians are complaining that a slack key guitar album has now won the Hawaiian Grammy this year again for three years running, but I say: great. (Photo above: Producers George Kahumoku Jr. and Wayne Wong at the Grammy's. Below: Richard Ho'opi'i and others sing chorus of "Hawai'i Aloha" on stage. Both photos courtesy of Honolulu Advertiser).

Critics say that older Hawaiian styles, like chanting or drumming, should gain recognition by getting a Grammy, but I say Slack key guitar is a true Hawaiian art form, though more modern than chanting, and every Grammy it gets means more international recognition for and more international interest in an art form that is too often pooh-poohed. (Best Hawaiian album was added as a category to the Grammys three years ago within the folk music category.)

The album that won this year is "Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live from Maui", a compilation by producers Daniel Ho, George Kahumoku Jr., Paul Konwiser and Wayne Wong of Daniel Ho Creations and features tracks by Led Kaapana, Cyril Pahinui, Dennis Kamakahi, George Kahumoku, Jr., one of my favorites Ozzie Kotani and others. Buy it, listen to it, lean back and imagine the waves lapping against the shores at night.


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