Island Mele

By John Berger

Friday, July 30, 1999


Smooth blends ring true blue


Bullet True Blue Kua'aina, Del Beazley (Hale-Bubba)

DEL Beazley first hit as half of the Hoku Award-winning duo Apo & Beazley. He has since become a Hoku winner in his own right and has written hits for other artists. His fourth solo album finds him adeptly blending Hawaiian, Caribbean and traditional African-American music in his recordings.

Beazley reuses a familiar sound in his musical repertoire in "The Big Bad Bruddah." It's catchy, commercial and educational, and should already be getting radio play. Kids who find history boring will now have no problem remembering the accomplishments of the man Beazley dubs "Kamehameha Number One."

Mpeg Audio Clips:
True Blue Kua'aina
The Big Bad Bruddah
I Mua Na Pua O Punana Leo
Mahalo Bruddah Iz - Aloha A Hui Hou
Quicktime | MPEG info

Beazley reaffirms his Hawaiian nationalist credentials as "I Mua Na Pua O Punana Leo" looks toward the day when all island residents will speak Hawaiian. Other originals address the importance of water rights ("Sweet Water") and recall his family's rural roots ("True Blue Kua'aina"). He closes with a farewell to Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole, "Mahalo Bruddah Iz Aloha A Hui Hou."

Beazley and co-producer Pierre Grill smoothly blend live instruments and synthetics to use the best of both. The liner notes ensure that anyone now discovering "Da Beaz" will be able to appreciate his place in contemporary Hawaiian music.

Del Beazley, Hale-Bubba Records, P.O. Box 4062, Kaneohe, HI 96744.



Bullet Two Waters, Coconut Joe (Turtle Bay)

COCONUT Joe is actually a quartet. No one is named Joe, but multi-faceted Bob Rogers is the resident song writer. Knowledgeable observers of the local music scene will recognize guitarist Frank Kam as a former member of Shnazz and the Heebee Jeebee Brothers. Macy Campbell (drums/percussion), and Barbara Ann Rogers (bass) complete the group. All four sing.

Rogers favors a cosmopolitan light rock sound. The mood is generally somber and occasionally brooding. Several songs speak directly of Hawaii. Others are oblique. Rogers' liner notes share the inspiration for each.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Two Pineapples In NY City
Hawai'ian Rain
Lucy Loves Me
The Kauai Song
Download Quicktime | MPEG info

Cutesy allusions trace the experiences of "Two Pineapples in NY City," but Rogers eschews that device when writing on more serious topics. Two aunties -- Charlotte Jackson and Elsie Barton -- join Kam as the trio featured on a neat reworking of "Aloha Means I Love You" that adds a hidden track to the collection.

Attentive liner notes readers will learn this is Hawaii's third CD-ROM enhanced album; band bios, photos and sound bites await discovery along with an animated clip of Hawaiian Spice reprising "Two Pineapples in NY City." The video options add another dimension to the experience.

Coconut Joe, Turtle Bay Records, P.O. Box 777, Kailua, HI 96734.
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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.

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