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Island Mele
Friday, March 9, 2001

By John Berger


Sly Dog smooth
in second CD


Bullet Up & Arise:
By Sly Dog (Chucky Machado Productions SLY-104)

SLY Dog uses its recent "Summer Of Love" CD-single as a powerful starting point for its second album. The quintet and its studio sidemen blend Jamaican rhythms with steel guitar to give "Summer Of Love" a distinct Hawaiian ambience. They tap a mainstream reggae sound as activists addressing Hawaii's problematic economic situation in "Homeless."

Sly Dog has a smooth local-style reggae groove throughout Some tunes suggest the sound of international reggae icons Big Mountain and Maxi Priest but almost every song is original and there are plenty of original ideas. Count Sly Dog among the major players in the island reggae scene.

MP3 Audio Clips:
Bullet Summer of Love
Bullet Homeless
Bullet Happy Song
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Paniolo Style:
By Eddie Ku (Eddie Ku Entertainment EKE2000)

BIG Island resident Eddie Ku captures the true ambience of premodern country-western music on his third album. The sound is acoustic. Ku ('ukulele and vocals) is joined by Larry Miller (bass) and Jeff Quinn (fiddle, mandolin and guitar). Ray Arraujo and Mark Yamanaka add backing vocals and more guitars.

The selections are a mix of paniolo and traditional mainland country songs. All are cleanly done. Ku's unpretentious organic sound brings to mind the pure traditionalists on Nashville-based Warner Western (the label that did Edgy Lee's "Paniolo" soundtrack in 1997).

Information on Ku and his musicians, and something on the meaning and significance the Hawaiian songs, is all that's missing from this neat salute to paniolo tradition.

MP3 Audio Clips:
Bullet High Water (In Waipio Valley)
Bullet Amazing Grace/Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Bullet Hawaiian Rough Riders
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Memories of Hawaii Calls Volume II:
By various (Hawaii Calls/Hula CDHSC-930)

WEBLEY Edwards' "Hawaii Calls" popularized Hawaiian and hapa-haole music to a worldwide radio audience from 1935 until the early 1970s. This album recreates the ambience of a typical live broadcast from under the Moana Hotel banyan. Edwards presides as master of ceremonies and introduces artists such as Haunani Kahalewai, Nina Keali'iwahamana and Sol Kamahele.

These recordings date from the '60s but the arrangements are in the older Territorial Era style. Project coordinator Cindy Lance adds enough information to put the recordings in context.

MP3 Audio Clips:
Bullet Blue Hawaii
Haunani Kahalewai
Bullet Hawaii Calls Aloha
Nina Keali'iwahamana
Bullet The Hawaiian War Chant
Sol Kamahele
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

See Record Reviews for some past reviews.
See Aloha Worldwide for locals living away.

John Berger, who has covered the local
entertainment scene since 1972, writes reviews of recordings
produced by Hawaii artists. See the Star-Bulletin's Today
section on Fridays for the latest reviews.

E-mail to Features Editor

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