Island Mele

By John Berger,
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Friday, December 5, 1997

Solo ‘Canoe’ rides
in right direction

A Blue Canoe: Wade Cambern (The Mountain Apple Company)

WADE Cambern was best known until now for his partnership with Bryan Kessler as the core of the Hawaiian Style Band. His solo album is an impressive step forward. The music is more diverse, the moods more varied, the arrangements more imaginative.

"Funky Hula Girl" sets an old story to a new tempo. "U Use 2 B So Nice" blends several contemporary styles to create a fresh sound in local melodic soft rap. An acoustic remake of "Live A Little" shines in its simplicity.

Cambern uses a trick or two from his HSB days. "Raining In Town" has vocalist Malia Gibson taking the spot once filled by Merri Lake McGarry and Kahakalau; Jon Osorio, Owana Salazar and Matt Swalinkovitch contribute elsewhere.

Cambern's bold reworking of "Holoholo Ka'a" is a gamble. Unfortunately he shares no information on the song or its history. Malihini won't know how imaginative it is.

Bishop Estate Trustee: Trust Me aka Nux Vomica (Scream) single

AMERICAN troubadours have satirized political figures and hot potato issues since the earliest days of the Republic. Nux Vomica continues that tradition with this catchy and imaginative original song spiced with light yet scathing commentary. The music is all the stronger for being solid, synthesizer-free mainstream rock. John S. Pritchett cartoons of trustees complete the package.

Blame It On The Night: Fabulous Krush (Bluewater)

IT'S been 20 years since Yemun Chung masterminded the make-over of a struggling Top 40 band into The Fabulous Krush. He made several personnel changes before they recorded this album with producer Brian Robertshaw in 1979. Originally titled "Fabulous Krush," it won three Hoku Awards including Album of the Year in 1981.

"Waialua Sky" and "Blame It On The Night" were the hits. Bobby Gonzales' polished take on Jay Larrin's "Between The Laughter And The Tears," and Butchie Canencia's showcase," Who Do You Love," were also notable. Chung and Robertshaw hedged their bets by including a disco version of "Misty" and some routine Motown remakes as well.

See Record Reviews for some of John Berger's 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 Home Zone
section on Fridays for the latest reviews.

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